Bilhah, the handmaid or servant of Rachel, had two sons, Dan and Naphtali, whose father was Jacob.
It was the custom of those times if the wife was barren. Then a another woman would bare children for her.
Bilhah was not from the family of Laban but a servant in the extended household.
Her Hebrew name means: tender.
Bilhah was given as a maidservant in Genesis 29:29
29 Laban also gave his woman servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel to be her maidservant.
Rachel’s Children by Bilhah
30:1 Rachel noticed that she was not bearing children for Jacob, so because she envied her sister Leah, she told Jacob, “If you don’t give me sons, I’m going to die!”
2 That made Jacob angry with Rachel, so he asked her, “Can I take God’s place, who has not allowed you to conceive?”
3 Rachel responded, “Here’s my handmaid Bilhah. Go have sex with her. She can bear children on my knees so I can have children through her.”
4 So Rachel gave Jacob her woman servant Bilhah to be his wife, and Jacob had sex with her. 5 Bilhah conceived and bore a son for Jacob. 6 Then Rachel said, “God has vindicated me! He has heard my voice and has given me a son.” Therefore, she named him Dan.
7 Rachel’s servant conceived again and bore a second son for Jacob, 8 so Rachel said, “I’ve been through a mighty struggle with my sister and won.” She named him Naphtali.
Other modules in this unit:
- Jacob steals Isaac’s blessing, Genesis 27:1-29
- Jacob dreams about a ladder and angels at Bethel, Genesis 28:10-22
- Jacob marries Rachel the daughter of Laban, Genesis 29:15-30
- Laban meets Jacob, Genesis 29:1-14
- Leah the older sister of Rachel, Genesis 29:1-30
- Bilhah, the servant of Rachel, Genesis 29:29 :30:1-30
- Zilpah, servant of Leah, Genesis 30:9-13
- Reuben finds some mandrakes for Leah, Genesis 30:14-18
- Jacob had twelve sons, Genesis 29:31-30:24 and 35:23-26
- Jacob flees with his family from Laban, Genesis 31:1-55
- Esau’s descendants, Genesis 36:1-43
- Joseph’s Dreams, Genesis 37:1-11
- Joseph is put down a well, Genesis 37:12-36
- Tamar and Judah, Genesis 38:1-30
- Joseph runs from Potiphar’s Wife, Genesis 39:1-20
- The Cup that held the wine for the King of Egypt, Genesis 40:1-23 and Genesis 41:1-13
- The chief Baker to the King of Egypt, Genesis 40:1-4, 40:16-22 and 41:1-13
- Joseph’s brothers first trip to Egypt for food, Genesis 42:1-38
- The Second Journey to Egypt, Genesis 43:1-34
- A silver cup belonging to Joseph was put in a Sack, Genesis 44:1-34
- Jacob moves to Egypt in a cart, Genesis 46:1-47:12
- Two Sons of Joseph, Genesis 47:28-48:1-22
- Manasseh Joseph’s older son, Genesis 48:1-22 and 49:22-26
- Ephraim, Joseph’s younger son, Genesis 48:1-22 and 49:22-28
- 12 sons of Jacob which he blesses before he dies, Genesis 49:1-28
- Death of Jacob at one hundred and forty seven years old, Genesis 49:29-33
- Death of Joseph at one hundred and ten years old, Genesis 50:22-26
- 300 year gap between Joseph and Moses, Genesis 50:22-Exodus 1:22
- Life of Moses
- Time Line for the book of Genesis
- Background Information – Genesis Part Two
- Resources – Genesis Part Two