Genesis 30:2 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 30:2, NIV: "Jacob became angry with her and said, 'Am I in the place of God, who has kept you from having children?'"

Genesis 30:2, ESV: "Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel, and he said, “Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?”"

Genesis 30:2, KJV: "And Jacob's anger was kindled against Rachel: and he said, Am I in God's stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?"

Genesis 30:2, NASB: "Then Jacob’s anger burned against Rachel, and he said, 'Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?'"

Genesis 30:2, NLT: "Then Jacob became furious with Rachel. 'Am I God?' he asked. 'He's the one who has kept you from having children!'"

Genesis 30:2, CSB: "Jacob became angry with Rachel and said, "Am I in God's place, who has withheld offspring from you?""

What does Genesis 30:2 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Rachel, desperate for children and envious of her fertile sister, has demanded that Jacob give her children. Her statement implies that her barrenness is somehow his fault. This seems absurd, given that Leah has born four sons by Jacob. It also suggests Rachel did not have the same kind of relationship with the Lord that her sister did. Leah's actions in the prior chapter suggest that she is faithful to God, if somewhat resigned to the fact that Jacob will not love her the way he loves Rachel.

For good reasons, Jacob is angry at Rachel's implied accusation. He corrects Rachel's assumption: God is the one who gives children, not husbands. Her complaint is with the Lord.

As did Jacob's grandmother Sarah (Genesis 16:1–4), Rachel will try to solve the problem her own way. This will start off something of a competition between the sisters, resulting in the births of many more sons to Jacob. Rachel will even name one of the resulting children to reflect her belief that this is a "struggle" between her and Leah (Genesis 30:8).