Jacob agreed to sleep with Leah when Leah bought his services from Rachel (Gen 30.14-16). If he hated Leah (Gen. 29.31 and 33), he would not have found the mandrake exchange reason enough to spend the night away from his beloved Rachel and in the despised arms of Leah. Why did he do it?
Let’s examine the transaction: Leah bought Jacob, yes, but Rachel sold him.
She sold him.
Imagine your dearly beloved trading your affection for mandrakes, despising your affection enough to sell it for the sake of mandrakes, in Rachel’s mind, the opportunity to have children.
What an insult to Jacob. The one he loves hates him. The one he hates loves him enough, is desperate enough, to try to buy his affection. Did he catch that at the time? If he did, it makes perfect sense that he would go agree to go with Leah.
Wasn’t there some Hollywood movie about trading a night with a spouse for money? I can’t remember the name of it and never saw it, but it was much maligned, I remember, for being so lascivious as to even suggest that a husband would be willing–if enough money was proffered–to sell a night with his wife to another man.
Well, Rachel did it… for mandrakes.