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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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  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.