Genesis 30:23
And she conceived, and bare a son; and said, God hath taken away my reproach:
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30:14-24 The desire, good in itself, but often too great and irregular, of being the mother of the promised Seed, with the honour of having many children, and the reproach of being barren, were causes of this unbecoming contest between the sisters. The truth appears to be, that they were influenced by the promises of God to Abraham; whose posterity were promised the richest blessings, and from whom the Messiah was to descend."God remembered Rachel," in the best time for her, after he had taught her the lessons of dependence and patience. "Joseph." There is a remote allusion to her gratitude for the reproach of barrenness taken away. But there is also hope in the name. The selfish feeling also has died away, and the thankful Rachel rises from Elohim, the invisible Eternal, to Yahweh, the manifest Self-existent. The birth of Joseph was after the fourteen years of service were completed. He and Dinah appear to have been born in the same year.21. afterwards, she bare a daughter—The inferior value set on a daughter is displayed in the bare announcement of the birth. Barrenness was then accounted a great reproach, especially in that race, because it was a kind of curse, whereby such persons were excluded both from the first and general blessing of fructification given to all mankind, Genesis 1:28; and from the special blessing given to Abraham for the multiplication of his seed; and from all hopes of being the progenitors of the blessed Messias.

And she conceived and bare a son,.... Through the goodness of God unto her, and for which she was greatly thankful:

and said, God hath taken away my reproach; the reproach of barrenness with which she was reproached among her neighbours; and perhaps by her sister Leah, and indeed it was a general reproach in those times; and especially, it was the more grievous to good women in the family of Abraham, because they were not the means of multiplying his seed according to the promise, and could have no hope of the Messiah springing from them.

And she conceived, and bare a son; and said, God hath taken away my {g} reproach:

(g) Because fruitfulness came as God's blessing, who said Increase and multiply, barrenness was counted as a curse.

23. God hath taken away] The Hebrew for “hath taken away” (âsaph) is clearly regarded as one etymology of the name Joseph.

my reproach] See note on Genesis 30:1. Cf. Isaiah 4:1, “Take thou away our reproach”; Luke 1:25, “to take away my reproach among men.”

Genesis 30:23Birth of Joseph. - At length God gave Rachel also a son, whom she named Joseph, יוסף, i.e., taking away ( equals יאסף, cf. 1 Samuel 15:6; 2 Samuel 6:1; Psalm 104:29) and adding (from יסף), because his birth not only furnished an actual proof that God had removed the reproach of her childlessness, but also excited the wish, that Jehovah might add another son. The fulfilment of this wish is recorded in Genesis 35:16. The double derivation of the name, and the exchange of Elohim for Jehovah, may be explained, without the hypothesis of a double source, on the simple ground, that Rachel first of all looked back at the past, and, thinking of the earthly means that had been applied in vain for the purpose of obtaining a child, regarded the son as a gift of God. At the same time, the good fortune which had now come to her banished from her heart her envy of her sister (Genesis 30:1), and aroused belief in that God, who, as she had no doubt heard from her husband, had given Jacob such great promises; so that in giving the name, probably at the circumcision, she remembered Jehovah and prayed for another son from His covenant faithfulness.

After the birth of Joseph, Jacob asked Laban to send him away, with the wives and children for whom he had served him (Genesis 30:25). According to this, Joseph was born at the end of the 14 years of service that had been agreed upon, or seven years after Jacob had taken Leah and (a week later) Rachel as his wives (Genesis 29:21-28). Now if all the children, whose births are given in Genesis 29:32-30:24, had been born one after another during the period mentioned, not only would Leah have had seven children in 7, or literally 6 1/4 years, but there would have been a considerable interval also, during which Rachel's maid and her own gave birth to children. But this would have been impossible; and the text does not really state it. When we bear in mind that the imperf. c. ו consec. expresses not only the order of time, but the order of thought as well, it becomes apparent that in the history of the births, the intention to arrange them according to the mothers prevails over the chronological order, so that it by no means follows, that because the passage, "when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children," occurs after Leah is said to have had four sons, therefore it was not till after the birth of Leah's fourth child that Rachel became aware of her own barrenness. There is nothing on the part of the grammar to prevent our arranging the course of events thus. Leah's first four births followed as rapidly as possible one after the other, so that four sons were born in the first four years of the second period of Jacob's service. In the meantime, not necessarily after the birth of Leah's fourth child, Rachel, having discovered her own barrenness, had given her maid to Jacob; so that not only may Dan have been born before Judah, but Naphtali also not long after him. The rapidity and regularity with which Leah had born her first four sons, would make her notice all the more quickly the cessation that took place; and jealousy of Rachel, as well as the success of the means she had adopted, would impel her to attempt in the same way to increase the number of her children. Moreover, Leah herself may have conceived again before the birth of her maid's second son, and may have given birth to her last two sons in the sixth and seventh years of their marriage. And contemporaneously with the birth of Leah's last son, or immediately afterwards, Rachel may have given birth to Joseph. In this way Jacob may easily have had eleven sons within seven years of his marriage. But with regard to the birth of Dinah, the expression "afterwards" (Genesis 30:21) seems to indicate, that she was not born during Jacob's years of service, but during the remaining six years of his stay with Laban.

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