What does Genesis 30:24 mean?
ESV: And she called his name Joseph, saying, “May the LORD add to me another son!”
NIV: She named him Joseph, and said, 'May the LORD add to me another son.'
NASB: And she named him Joseph, saying, 'May the Lord give me another son.'
CSB: She named him Joseph and said, "May the Lord add another son to me."
NLT: And she named him Joseph, for she said, 'May the Lord add yet another son to my family.'
KJV: And she called his name Joseph; and said, The LORD shall add to me another son.
Verse Commentary:
After years of infertility, and a bitter competition with her own sister, Rachel has finally given birth to a natural son of her own. As a result, Rachel expressed her faith that God had given this son to her as a gift. In doing so, she declared in the previous verse that God had taken away the shame she carried as a childless wife. That culture would have viewed barrenness as a shameful, embarrassing condition. Now Rachel gives her son a name that also serves as a prayer for yet another son. Joseph means, in part, "may God add." The Hebrew for this name, Yowceph, is related to the word used earlier in the verse for "taking away" her shame, ā'sap, as well as the word used for "giving" of a future son, yacaph.

Favoritism, unfortunately, runs in Jacob's family. His mother and father were very clear about which child they each preferred (Genesis 25:28). Rebekah's preference for Jacob inspired her to help Jacob cheat his brother, Esau, out of a blessing from their father, Isaac (Genesis 27:5–10). Since he never wanted to marry her in the first place, Jacob demonstrates a clear "hatred" for his first wife Leah, in comparison to her sister and his adored second wife, Rachel (Genesis 29:18–30). Rather than learning a lesson from these imbalances, Jacob will instead follow suit, lavishing his favor on Joseph to such an extent that it fuels jealous revenge in the hearts of his other sons (Genesis 37:3–4).

The birth of Joseph increases the number of Jacob's sons to 11. It also seems to be the event that turns Jacob's thoughts to moving back to his home in the promised land of Canaan. Now that his true love, and favored wife, has borne a son, Jacob probably feels that he is ready to return home, and to face his future.
Verse Context:
Genesis 30:1–24 describes the birth of eight more sons to Jacob, as well as one daughter. While Rachel remains barren, her servant woman bears to Jacob two sons. Then Leah's servant woman does so, as well. Next, Leah herself has three more children. Then, finally, God remembers Rachel. She gives birth to Joseph, giving him a name that is essentially a prayer for another son to follow. As the section ends, Jacob now has 11 sons, at least one daughter, and a plan to return home to his own people.
Chapter Summary:
God alone gives children. He causes babies to be born. He even determines what color baby sheep and goats will be. Genesis 30 describes the urgent desire of Rachel and Leah to have sons for Jacob and how God hears and grants their prayers in His own time. In addition, God blesses Jacob's unusual breeding practices with Laban's flocks to finally allow Jacob to overcome his father-in-law's schemes to keep Jacob under his service.
Chapter Context:
In the previous chapter, Laban tricked Jacob both into marrying Leah along with Rachel and into working for him as a servant for a total of fourteen years. God blessed unloved Leah by allowing her to bear four sons to Jacob. As this chapter opens, Rachel remains barren while Leah and both of their servant women continue to bear sons. Finally God answers Rachel's prayer, allowing her to bear Joseph. His contract completed, Jacob demands Laban send him away to his own people. Laban refuses, asking Jacob to set new terms for his service. Jacob's deal, along with the Lord's blessing and his unusual breeding practices with the flocks, results in Jacob becoming a wealthy man in his own right. This wealth and power will enable him to finally break free and return home.
Book Summary:
The book of Genesis establishes fundamental truths about God. Among these are His role as the Creator, His holiness, His hatred of sin, His love for mankind, and His willingness to provide for our redemption. We learn not only where mankind has come from, but why the world is in its present form. The book also presents the establishment of Israel, God's chosen people. Many of the principles given in other parts of Scripture depend on the basic ideas presented here in the book of Genesis. Within the framework of the Bible, Genesis explains the bare-bones history of the universe leading up to the captivity of Israel in Egypt, setting the stage for the book of Exodus.
Accessed 4/22/2024 9:09:29 AM
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