Genesis 30:1 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 30:1, NIV: "When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children, she became jealous of her sister. So she said to Jacob, 'Give me children, or I'll die!'"

Genesis 30:1, ESV: "When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I shall die!”"

Genesis 30:1, KJV: "And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die."

Genesis 30:1, NASB: "Now when Rachel saw that she had not borne Jacob any children, she became jealous of her sister; and she said to Jacob, 'Give me children, or else I am going to die.'"

Genesis 30:1, NLT: "When Rachel saw that she wasn't having any children for Jacob, she became jealous of her sister. She pleaded with Jacob, 'Give me children, or I'll die!'"

Genesis 30:1, CSB: "When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children, she envied her sister. "Give me sons, or I will die!" she said to Jacob."

What does Genesis 30:1 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

As described in chapter 29, Leah wound up married to Jacob only because of an act of treachery by her father, Laban (Genesis 29:18–30). It's no surprise, then, that Jacob expressed no love for her, and greatly favored her younger sister, Rachel (Genesis 29:31). In the previous chapter, the Lord noticed that Leah was "hated" and expressed His compassion for her by allowing her to begin bearing children. Four sons followed.

Now Rachel, the wife Jacob truly loves, responds to her sister's blessing with great envy. She still is not able to bear any children, and she apparently holds Jacob responsible. Of course, since Jacob has been fathering children with Leah, there is presumably nothing he could do differently for Rachel. Dramatically, Rachel demands Jacob give her children or she will die.

Rachel becomes the third wife in three generations unable to have children when they wanted to. Abraham's wife Sarah famously became pregnant for the first time at age 90 (Genesis 17:17; 21:1–5). Jacob's own mother Rebekah waited 20 years to become pregnant with her twins (Genesis 25:20–26). Now, another family of God's people is learning that it is ultimately God, not men, who decides conception and birth.