Genesis 29:29-30:8. 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, that another woman, a servant, would give birth to children for her.
Bilhah was not from the family of Laban, but was 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
- Jacob dreams about a ladder and angels at Bethel
- Laban meets Jacob
- Jacob marries Rachel the daughter of Laban
- Leah the older sister of Rachel
- Bilhah, the servant of Rachel
- Zilpah, servant of Leah
- Jacob had twelve sons
- Reuben finds some mandrakes for Leah
- Jacob flees with his family from Laban
- Jacob prepares to meet Esau
- Esau’s descendants
- Joseph’s Dreams
- Joseph is put down a well
- Tamar and Judah
- Joseph runs from Potiphar’s Wife
- The Cup that held the wine for the King of Egypt
- The head chef to the King of Egypt
- Joseph’s brothers’ first trip to Egypt for food
- The Second Journey to Egypt
- A silver cup belonging to Joseph was put in a Sack
- Jacob moves to Egypt in a cart
- Two Sons of Joseph, Genesis
- Manasseh, Joseph’s older son
- Ephraim, Joseph’s younger son
- 12 sons of Jacob whom he blesses before he dies
- Death of Jacob at one hundred and forty-seven years old
- Death of Joseph at one hundred and ten years old
- 300-year gap between Joseph and Moses
- Questions and Answers 1-14
- Questions and Answers 15-28
- Life of Moses » »
- Timeline for the book of Genesis parts one and two »
- Resources – Genesis Part Two