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Genesis 30:3

30:3 She replied, “Here is my servant Bilhah! Have sexual relations with 1  her so that she can bear 2  children 3  for me 4  and I can have a family through her.” 5 

Genesis 30:14-15


30:14 At the time 6  of the wheat harvest Reuben went out and found some mandrake plants 7  in a field and brought them to his mother Leah. Rachel said to Leah, “Give me some of your son’s mandrakes.” 30:15 But Leah replied, 8  “Wasn’t it enough that you’ve taken away my husband? Would you take away my son’s mandrakes too?” “All right,” 9  Rachel said, “he may sleep 10  with you tonight in exchange for your son’s mandrakes.”

Genesis 30:22-24


30:22 Then God took note of 11  Rachel. He paid attention to her and enabled her to become pregnant. 12  30:23 She became pregnant 13  and gave birth to a son. Then she said, “God has taken away my shame.” 14  30:24 She named him Joseph, 15  saying, “May the Lord give me yet another son.”

1 tn Heb “go in to.” The expression “go in to” in this context refers to sexual intercourse.

2 tn After the imperative, the prefixed verbal form with the conjunction indicates the immediate purpose of the proposed activity.

3 tn The word “children” is not in the Hebrew text but has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

4 tn Heb “upon my knees.” This is an idiomatic way of saying that Bilhah will be simply a surrogate mother. Rachel will adopt the child as her own.

5 tn Heb “and I will be built up, even I, from her.” The prefixed verbal form with the conjunction is subordinated to the preceding prefixed verbal form and gives the ultimate purpose for the proposed action. The idiom of “built up” here refers to having a family (see Gen 16:2, as well as Ruth 4:11 and BDB 125 s.v. בָנָה).

6 tn Heb “during the days.”

7 sn Mandrake plants were popularly believed to be an aphrodisiac in the culture of the time.

8 tn Heb “and she said to her”; the referent of the pronoun “she” (Leah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

9 tn Heb “therefore.”

10 tn Heb “lie down.” The expression “lie down with” in this context (here and in the following verse) refers to sexual intercourse. The imperfect verbal form has a permissive nuance here.

11 tn Heb “remembered.”

12 tn Heb “and God listened to her and opened up her womb.” Since “God” is the subject of the previous clause, the noun has been replaced by the pronoun “he” in the translation for stylistic reasons

13 tn Or “conceived.”

14 tn Heb “my reproach.” A “reproach” is a cutting taunt or painful ridicule, but here it probably refers by metonymy to Rachel’s barren condition, which was considered shameful in this culture and was the reason why she was the object of taunting and ridicule.

15 sn The name Joseph (יוֹסֵף, yoseph) means “may he add.” The name expresses Rachel’s desire to have an additional son. In Hebrew the name sounds like the verb (אָסַף,’asasf) translated “taken away” in the earlier statement made in v. 23. So the name, while reflecting Rachel’s hope, was also a reminder that God had removed her shame.

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