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She replied, “Here is my maidservant Bilhah. Have intercourse with her, and let her give birth on my knees,[a] so that I too may have children through her.”(A) So she gave him her maidservant Bilhah as wife,[b] and Jacob had intercourse with her. When Bilhah conceived and bore a son for Jacob,

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Footnotes

  1. 30:3 On my knees: in the ancient Near East, a father would take a newborn child in his lap to signify that he acknowledged it as his own; Rachel uses the ceremony in order to adopt the child and establish her legal rights to it.
  2. 30:4 As wife: in 35:22 Bilhah is called a “concubine” (Heb. pilegesh). In v. 9, Zilpah is called “wife,” and in 37:2 both women are called wives. The basic difference between a wife and a concubine was that no bride price was paid for the latter. The interchange of terminology shows that there was some blurring in social status between the wife and the concubine.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

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