Genesis 30:6
And Rachel said, God hath judged me, and hath also heard my voice, and hath given me a son: therefore called she his name Dan.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(6) God hath judged me.—Rachel has no misgivings herself as to the rectitude of her conduct, and by the name she gives the child, she affirms that God also had given a decision in her favour; for “Dan” means judging. While, too, Leah had spoken of Jehovah, Rachel speaks of Elohim, not merely because she could not expect a child of Bilhah to be the ancestor of the Messiah, but because she was herself half an idolater (Genesis 31:19). When, however, she has a child of her own, she, too, taught by long trial, speaks of Jehovah (Genesis 30:24).

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.Bilhah, Rachel's maid, bears two sons. Rachel becomes impatient of her barrenness and jealous of her sister, and unjustly reproaches her husband, who indignantly rebukes her. God, not he, has withheld children from her. She does what Sarah had done before her Genesis 16:2-3, gives her handmaid to her husband. No express law yet forbade this course, though nature and Scripture by implication did Genesis 2:23-25. "Dan." "God hath judged me." In this passage Jacob and Rachel use the common noun, God, the Everlasting, and therefore Almighty, who rules in the physical relations of things - a name suitable to the occasion. He had judged her, dealt with her according to his sovereign justice in withholding the fruit of the womb, when she was self-complacent and forgetful of her dependence on a higher power; and also in hearing her voice when she approached him in humble supplication. "Naphtali." "Wrestlings of God," with God, in prayer, on the part of both sisters, so that they wrestled with one another in the self-same act. Rachel, though looking first to Jacob and then to her maid, had at length learned to look to her God, and then had prevailed.3-9. Bilhah … Zilpah—Following the example of Sarah with regard to Hagar, an example which is not seldom imitated still, she adopted the children of her maid. Leah took the same course. A bitter and intense rivalry existed between them, all the more from their close relationship as sisters; and although they occupied separate apartments, with their families, as is the uniform custom where a plurality of wives obtains, and the husband and father spends a day with each in regular succession, that did not allay their mutual jealousies. The evil lies in the system, which being a violation of God's original ordinance, cannot yield happiness. God hath judged me, pleaded my cause, or given sentence for me, as this phrase is oft taken.

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.

And Rachel said, God hath judged me, and hath also heard my voice, and hath given me a son: therefore called she his name Dan.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
6. judged] Heb. dan, “he judged.” When Rachel says “he has judged me,” she means “God has decided in my favour.” For this use of “judge” in the sense of “vindicate,” cf. Psalm 43:1, “Judge me, O God, and plead my cause”; Psalm 54:1, “Save me, O God, … and judge me.” The name “Dan” is possibly an abbreviation of a longer form, such as Daniel, and Abidan (Numbers 1:11).

Dan and Naphtali, as Bilhah’s children, are associated with the Rachel children in tribal history; cf. Judges 5.

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). Genesis 30:6Bilhah's Sons. - When Rachel thought of her own barrenness, she became more and more envious of her sister, who was blessed with sons. But instead of praying, either directly or through her husband, as Rebekah had done, to Jehovah, who had promised His favour to Jacob (Genesis 28:13.), she said to Jacob, in passionate displeasure, "Get me children, or I shall die;" to which he angrily replied, "Am I in God's stead (i.e., equal to God, or God), who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?" i.e., Can I, a powerless man, give thee what the Almighty God has withheld? Almighty like God Jacob certainly was not; but he also wanted the power which he might have possessed, the power of prayer, in firm reliance upon the promise of the Lord. Hence he could neither help nor advise his beloved wife, but only assent to her proposal, that he should beget children for her through her maid Bilhah (cf. Genesis 16:2), through whom two sons were born to her. The first she named Dan, i.e., judge, because God had judged her, i.e., procured her justice, hearkened to her voice (prayer), and removed the reproach of childlessness; the second Naphtali, i.e., my conflict, or my fought one, for "fightings of God, she said, have I fought with my sister, and also prevailed." אלהים נפתּוּלי are neither luctationes quam maximae, nor "a conflict in the cause of God, because Rachel did not wish to leave the founding of the nation of God to Leah alone" (Knobel), but "fightings for God and His mercy" (Hengstenberg), or, what comes to the same thing, "wrestlings of prayer she had wrestled with Leah; in reality, however, with God Himself, who seemed to have restricted His mercy to Leah alone" (Delitzsch). It is to be noticed, that Rachel speaks of Elohim only, whereas Leah regarded her first four sons as the gift of Jehovah. In this variation of the names, the attitude of the two women, not only to one another, but also to the cause they served, is made apparent. It makes no difference whether the historian has given us the very words of the women on the birth of their children, or, what appears more probable, since the name of God is not introduced into the names of the children, merely his own view of the matter as related by him (Genesis 29:31; Genesis 30:17, Genesis 30:22). Leah, who had been forced upon Jacob against his inclination, and was put by him in the background, was not only proved by the four sons, whom she bore to him in the first years of her marriage, to be the wife provided for Jacob by Elohim, the ruler of human destiny; but by the fact that these four sons formed the real stem of the promised numerous seed, she was proved still more to be the wife selected by Jehovah, in realization of His promise, to be the tribe-mother of the greater part of the covenant nation. But this required that Leah herself should be fitted for it in heart and mind, that she should feel herself to be the handmaid of Jehovah, and give glory to the covenant God for the blessing of children, or see in her children actual proofs that Jehovah had accepted her and would bring to her the affection of her husband. It was different with Rachel, the favourite and therefore high-minded wife. Jacob should give her, what God alone could give. The faithfulness and blessing of the covenant God were still hidden from her. Hence she resorted to such earthly means as procuring children through her maid, and regarded the desired result as the answer of God, and a victory in her contest with her sister. For such a state of mind the term Elohim, God the sovereign ruler, was the only fitting expression.
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