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She replied, “Here is my servant Bilhah! Sleep with[a] her so that she can bear[b] children[c] for me[d] and I can have a family through her.”[e]

So Rachel[f] gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife, and Jacob slept with[g] her. Bilhah became pregnant[h] and gave Jacob a son.[i]

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  1. Genesis 30:3 tn The Hebrew collocation of the verb בּוֹא (boʾ) and the preposition אֶל (ʾel) means “come to” or “approach,” but is also used as a euphemism for sexual relations. Similarly the translation employs a euphemism. For more on this phrase as a euphemism see the note at 2 Sam 12:24.
  2. Genesis 30:3 tn After the imperative, the prefixed verbal form with the conjunction indicates the immediate purpose of the proposed activity.
  3. Genesis 30:3 tn The word “children” is not in the Hebrew text but has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  4. Genesis 30:3 tn Heb “upon my knees.” This is an idiomatic way of saying that Bilhah will be simply a surrogate mother. Rachel will adopt the child as her own.
  5. Genesis 30:3 tn Heb “and I will be built up, even I, from her.” The prefixed verbal form with the conjunction is subordinated to the preceding prefixed verbal form and gives the ultimate purpose for the proposed action. The idiom of “built up” here refers to having a family (see Gen 16:2, as well as Ruth 4:11 and BDB 125 s.v. בָּנָה).
  6. Genesis 30:4 tn Heb “and she”; the referent (Rachel) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  7. Genesis 30:4 tn Heb “came to.” The expression בּוֹא אֶל (boʾ ʾel) means “come to” or “approach,” but is also used as a euphemism for sexual relations.
  8. Genesis 30:5 tn Or “Bilhah conceived” (also in v. 7).
  9. Genesis 30:5 tn Heb “and she bore for Jacob a son.”