Genesis 30:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 30:9, NIV: "When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she took her servant Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife."

Genesis 30:9, ESV: "When Leah saw that she had ceased bearing children, she took her servant Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife."

Genesis 30:9, KJV: "When Leah saw that she had left bearing, she took Zilpah her maid, and gave her Jacob to wife."

Genesis 30:9, NASB: "When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she took her slave Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife."

Genesis 30:9, NLT: "Meanwhile, Leah realized that she wasn't getting pregnant anymore, so she took her servant, Zilpah, and gave her to Jacob as a wife."

Genesis 30:9, CSB: "When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she took her slave Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife."

What does Genesis 30:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Previously in this passage, Rachel has responded to her older sister's success in childbearing (Genesis 30:1) by using her servant as a proxy to produce two more sons for Jacob (Genesis 30:3–8). This followed a strategy used by her own grandparents many years before (Genesis 16:1–4). Clearly, according to the language used, Rachel sees the situation as a high-stakes competition for sons and for Jacob's affection.

Any doubt about whether Leah agreed about the competitive nature of their family is answered here. Prior verses indicated that Leah had stopped bearing children, for then-unstated reasons (Genesis 29:35). Seeing that Rachel has "caught up" somewhat, Leah takes the same approach as Rachel and gives Jacob her servant girl Zilpah (Genesis 29:24) as his fourth wife. Soon Zilpah, and by proxy, Leah, will bear to Jacob his seventh son. Leah, just as much as Rachel, participates in something of a "birth race" which results in explosive growth for the family.