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Genesis 30:1-3

Context

30:1 When Rachel saw that she could not give Jacob children, she 1  became jealous of her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children 2  or I’ll die!” 30:2 Jacob became furious 3  with Rachel and exclaimed, “Am I in the place of God, who has kept you from having children?” 4  30:3 She replied, “Here is my servant Bilhah! Have sexual relations with 5  her so that she can bear 6  children 7  for me 8  and I can have a family through her.” 9 

1 tn Heb “Rachel.” The proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“she”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.

2 tn Heb “sons.”

3 tn Heb “and the anger of Jacob was hot.”

4 tn Heb “who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb.”

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

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

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

8 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.

9 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).



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