Genesis 30:8 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 30:8, NIV: "Then Rachel said, 'I have had a great struggle with my sister, and I have won.' So she named him Naphtali."

Genesis 30:8, ESV: "Then Rachel said, “With mighty wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister and have prevailed.” So she called his name Naphtali."

Genesis 30:8, KJV: "And Rachel said, With great wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and I have prevailed: and she called his name Naphtali."

Genesis 30:8, NASB: "So Rachel said, 'With mighty wrestling I have wrestled with my sister, and I have indeed prevailed.' And she named him Naphtali."

Genesis 30:8, NLT: "Rachel named him Naphtali, for she said, 'I have struggled hard with my sister, and I'm winning!'"

Genesis 30:8, CSB: "Rachel said, "In my wrestlings with God, I have wrestled with my sister and won," and she named him Naphtali."

What does Genesis 30:8 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Most translations quote Rachel as saying she has used "mighty wrestlings," with her sister and has prevailed or overcome her. The original language suggests that Rachel views bearing children and keeping Jacob's favor as a competition with Leah. In her eyes, she is now "winning" this contest, with the addition of this second child by her servant Bilhah (Genesis 30:1–7).

It's not clear in what sense the addition of a second child would mean that Rachel was overcoming Leah and her four sons with Jacob. Perhaps some specific event had occurred that made it clear Jacob still preferred Rachel over Leah. Or, that since she has now successfully produced two children, while Leah seems to have stopped bearing (Genesis 29:35), she is gaining an advantage.

A few scholars suggest that the language should be read to hear Rachel saying she has been in a "divine" struggle with God, perhaps through prayer for sons. This is not the common view, however, and so most interpretations focus on Rachel's sense of rivalry with Leah.

In either case, the second of son of Rachel through her servant Bilhah is named Naphtali. The Hebrew name Naphtaliy is very similar to the word for "wrestling, struggling, or fighting," which is nip'tal'ti, used earlier in this verse to express exactly that idea.