And Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest, and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them unto his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, Give me, I pray you, of your son's mandrakes.
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Ephrem The Syrian
Some say that the mandrake is a plant whose fruit resembles apples, which have a scent and are edible. So by means of these mandrakes, with cheerfulness seasoned with faith, Leah made Jacob take her that night. .
Ruben, now perhaps about four years old, playing in the fields, in the latter harvest time, (Exodus ix. 32) found mandrakes of an extraordinary beauty and flavour, (Canticle of Canticles vii. 13.) whether they were flowers, lilies, jasmine as some translate; or rather, fruits of the mandrake tree, according to all the ancient versions; or of the citron, lemon, or orange tree, if we believe Calmet. Dud aim designates two breasts, or something lovely and protuberant. The ancients have spoken with admiration, and have attributed wonderful effects to the mandrakes, which, though controverted by moderns, might suffice to make Rachel greatly desire to have them; at least, if she believed they would contribute to remove her sterility, as Pliny, Natural History xxv. 15. Aristotle (de Gener. ii.) and other naturalists of eminence, have maintained they did. (Haydock)
The effect which she desired so much, was not, however, to be attributed to them, since she conceived only three years after, and...