Genesis 29:32 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 29:32, NIV: "Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, 'It is because the LORD has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.'"

Genesis 29:32, ESV: "And Leah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben, for she said, “Because the LORD has looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me.”"

Genesis 29:32, KJV: "And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the LORD hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me."

Genesis 29:32, NASB: "Leah conceived and gave birth to a son, and named him Reuben, for she said, 'Because the LORD has seen my affliction; surely now my husband will love me.'"

Genesis 29:32, NLT: "So Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, 'The LORD has noticed my misery, and now my husband will love me.'"

Genesis 29:32, CSB: "Leah conceived, gave birth to a son, and named him Reuben, for she said, "The LORD has seen my affliction; surely my husband will love me now.""

What does Genesis 29:32 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The first of Jacob's twelve sons is born to his unloved wife Leah. Blame for this lack of relationship can be laid at the feet of her father, Laban. After agreeing to let Jacob work seven years for Leah's younger sister, Rachel (Genesis 29:17–20), Laban switched Leah into the wedding night chambers, tricking Jacob into consummating his marriage to the wrong sister (Genesis 29:21–26). By that deception, Laban earned another seven years of free work from Jacob (Genesis 29:27–30).

Responding to Leah's heartbreak, the Lord intervened and allowed her to become pregnant while her favored sister remained childless. Leah names the boy Reuben, connecting it to her circumstances at the time. In Hebrew, Ra'uwben is similar to the phrase rā'ah be'ōnyi, meaning "my misery is seen." The name is also similar to the hopeful phrase Leah utters regarding Jacob, hoping her husband ye'ehā'ba ni—"will love me."

Leah's naming of the boy is an act of faith in God. She clearly gives Him credit for both noticing her pain and for giving her this gift of a son. The name also expresses Leah's misplaced confidence that bearing a son for Jacob will turn his heart toward her. It won't.