Genesis 30:23 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 30:23, NIV: "She became pregnant and gave birth to a son and said, 'God has taken away my disgrace.'"

Genesis 30:23, ESV: "She conceived and bore a son and said, “God has taken away my reproach.”"

Genesis 30:23, KJV: "And she conceived, and bare a son; and said, God hath taken away my reproach:"

Genesis 30:23, NASB: "So she conceived and gave birth to a son, and said, 'God has taken away my disgrace.'"

Genesis 30:23, NLT: "She became pregnant and gave birth to a son. 'God has removed my disgrace,' she said."

Genesis 30:23, CSB: "She conceived and bore a son, and she said, "God has taken away my disgrace.""

What does Genesis 30:23 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This chapter opened with Rachel crying out in despair against Jacob, "Give me children, or I shall die!" (Genesis 30:1). This was unfair, first of all, since Jacob had already fathered four children with his other wife, Rachel's sister Leah (Genesis 29:31–35). Jacob corrected her: God is the one who gives children. But Rachel, just like the culture of her era, would have viewed infertility as something shameful—a barren womb would have made Rachel feel like a lesser woman. This, in no small part, explains her zeal in pursuing a "birth war" against her own sister (Genesis 30:8), resulting in a total of ten sons born to Jacob by this point in history.

The previous verse told us that God "remembered" Rachel. This does not mean, of course, that she had slipped His mind for a few years. It means that He thought of her with favor. He showed her mercy. He responded to her prayers by making her able to become pregnant with Jacob. So, she conceives and has a son, giving credit to God for taking that cultural shame and reproach away. She acknowledges that God is the giver of this good gift.