|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
30:1-13 Rachel envied her sister: envy is grieving at the good of another, than which no sin is more hateful to God, or more hurtful to our neighbours and ourselves. She considered not that God made the difference, and that in other things she had the advantage. Let us carefully watch against all the risings and workings of this passion in our minds. Let not our eye be evil towards any of our fellow-servants, because our Master's is good. Jacob loved Rachel, and therefore reproved her for what she said amiss. Faithful reproofs show true affection. God may be to us instead of any creature; but it is sin and folly to place any creature in God's stead, and to place that confidence in any creature, which should be placed in God only. At the persuasion of Rachel, Jacob took Bilhah her handmaid to wife, that, according to the usage of those times, her children might be owned as her mistress's children. Had not Rachel's heart been influenced by evil passions, she would have thought her sister's children nearer to her, and more entitled to her care than Bilhah's. But children whom she had a right to rule, were more desirable to her than children she had more reason to love. As an early instance of her power over these children, she takes pleasure in giving them names that carry in them marks of rivalry with her sister. See what roots of bitterness envy and strife are, and what mischief they make among relations. At the persuasion of Leah, Jacob took Zilpah her handmaid to wife also. See the power of jealousy and rivalship, and admire the wisdom of the Divine appointment, which joins together one man and one woman only; for God hath called us to peace and purity.
Verse 6. - And Rachel said, God hath judged me, - "hath chastened me," as in Genesis 15:14 (Ainsworth, Wordsworth); better, "hath procured for me justice," as if reckoning her sterility an injustice by the side of Leah's fecundity (Keil, Lange); or, hath carried through my cause like a patron, i.e. hath vindicated me from the reproach of barrenness (Munster, Rosenmüller); or, hath dealt with me according to his sovereign justice, withholding' from me the fruit of the womb while I was forgetful of my dependence on him, and granting me posterity when I approached him in humble supplication (Murphy), which it is obvious from the next clause that Rachel did - and hath also heard my voice, and hath given me a son. With undue severity older interpreters regard Rachel as using the Divine name more hypocritarum, who, when their schemes prosper, think that God favors them (Vatablus, Calvin). The employment of Elohim by Jacob and Rachel, supposed to mark the first thirteen verses as belonging to the primitive document (Tuch, Bleek, Kalisch), though by others (Davidson, Colenso) they are ascribed to the Jehovist, is sufficiently explained by Rachers consciousness that in a large measure her handmaid's son was rather the fruit of her own impious device than the gift of Jehovah (Hengstenberg). Therefore called she his name Dan - i.e. "Judge," one decreeing justice, vindex, from דּוּן, to judge (Gesenius, Keil, Lange, et alii), though, as in other proper names, e.g. Joseph, Zebulun, in which two verbs are alluded to, Michaelis thinks non ajudicando solum, sed et ab audiendo nomen accepisse Danem, and connects it with another verb, a denominative from an Arabic root, signifying to hear (vide 'Suppl.,' p. 425).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Rachel said,.... As soon as she heard that Bilhah had bore a son:
God hath judged me: and hereby testified his approbation, as she understood it, of the step she had took in giving her maid to her husband, and she was justified in what she had done:
and hath also heard my voice: of prayer; she had prayed to God that her maid might have a child, or she have one by her:
and hath given me a son; whom she reckoned her own, Bilhah being her servant, and so her children born of her, hers; or whom she adopted and called her own, and therefore took upon her to give it a name, as follows: and here let it be observed, that she looked upon this child as a gift of God, as the fruit of prayer, and as in mercy to her, God dealing graciously with her, and taking her part, and judging righteous judgment:
therefore called she his name Dan; which signifies "judgment"; the reason of it lies in the first clause of the verse.
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