Brooks, Any idea how setting peeled rods of Poplar, Hazel, and Chestnut trees before the sheep would make Jacob’s flock stronger than Laban’s?
Dear Calgary, This is little too deep for me so I asked our good Pastor Jory Brooks for his comments. Here is his very interesting response…
“The text in question is found in Genesis 30:37. What was the importance of the particular trees chosen? The Keil and Delitzsch Commentary translates the trees as “storax, maple, and walnut trees, all of which have a dazzling white wood under their dark outside…” The bark was peeled revealing the pure white color beneath.
The Believer’s Bible Commentary says, “Did these rods actually determine the markings on the animals? There may or may not have been a scientific basis to the method. (New genetic evidence suggests that there might have been.) How else might the animals have been born with the markings Jacob desired?”
“First of all, it may have been a miracle (see Gen. 31:12).”
“Or it may have been a clever trick on Jacob’s part. There are indications in the narrative that he knew the science of selective breeding. By careful breeding, he not only produced animals with the markings he desired, but he was also able to produce stronger animals for himself and feeble ones for Laban. Perhaps the peeled rods were just a trick to hide his breeding secrets from others. Whatever the explanation, Jacob’s wealth increased during his final six years of serving Laban.” (end of quote)