Leah’s/Zilpah’s (12 Children/Tribes)





The following are the children with Rachel and Bilhah had with Israel (a.k.a Jacob). They form 4 of the Tribes of Israel. Joseph’s branches out into Ephraim and Manasseh.

  • Reuven (a.k.a Reuben)
  • Shimon (a.k.a Simeon)
  • Levi
  • Yahudah (a.k.a Judah)
  • Yissachar/Yissakhar (a.k.a Issachar)
  • Zevulun (Zebulun)
  • Dinah (daughter)
  • [Hebrew: Gadh, Gedhudh, Yeghudhennu, Wehu Yaghudh `Aqebh] (a.k.a Gad)
  • Asher


Genesis 30:9-20 Names of God Bible (NOG)

When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she took her slave Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as his wife. 10 Leah’s slave Zilpah gave birth to a son for Jacob. 11 Leah said, “I’ve been lucky!” So she called him Gad [Luck].

12 Leah’s slave Zilpah gave birth to her second son for Jacob. 13 Leah said, “I’ve been blessed! Women will call me blessed.” So she named him Asher [Blessing].

14 During the wheat harvest Reuben went out into the fields and found some mandrakes.[a] He brought them to his mother Leah. Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.”

15 Leah replied, “Isn’t it enough that you took my husband? Are you also going to take my son’s mandrakes?”

Rachel said, “Very well, Jacob can go to bed with you tonight in return for your son’s mandrakes.”

16 As Jacob was coming in from the fields that evening, Leah went out to meet him. “You are to sleep with me,” she said. “You are my reward for my son’s mandrakes.” So he went to bed with her that night. 17 Elohimanswered Leah’s prayer. She became pregnant and gave birth to her fifth son for Jacob. 18 Leah said, “Elohim has given me my reward because I gave my slave to my husband.” So she named him Issachar [Reward].

19 She became pregnant again and gave birth to her sixth son for Jacob. 20 Leah said, “Elohim has presented me with a beautiful present. This time my husband will honor me because I have given him six sons.” So she named him Zebulun [Honor].


In the Book of Genesis, Zilpah (זִלְפָּה “meaning uncertain,” Standard Hebrew Zilpa, Tiberian Hebrew Zilpāh) was Leah’s handmaid, whom Leah gave to Jacob “to wife” to bear him children (Genesis 30:9). Zilpah gave birth to two sons, whom Leah claimed as her own and named Gad and Asher (Genesis 30:10-13).

Zilpah is given to Leah as a handmaid by Leah’s father, Laban, upon Leah’s marriage to Jacob (see Genesis 29:24, 46:18).


Genesis 29:24 Tree of Life Version (TLV)

24 Laban also gave her Zilpah his female servant to his daughter Leah as a female servant.


Genesis 46:18 Names of God Bible (NOG)

18 These were the descendants of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to his daughter Leah. She gave birth to these children for Jacob. The total was 16.


According to the early rabbinical commentary Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer, Zilpah and Bilhah, the handmaids of Leah and Rachel, respectively, were actually younger daughters of Laban.

Zilpah also figures in the competition between Jacob’s wives to bear him sons. Leah stops conceiving after the birth of her fourth son, at which point [3] Rachel, who had not yet borne children, offers her handmaid, Bilhah, “to wife” to Jacob so that she can have children through her. When Bilhah conceives two sons, Leah takes up the same idea and presents Zilpah “to wife” to Jacob. Leah names the two sons of Zilpah and is directly involved in their upbringing.

According to Rashi, an 11th-century commentator, Zilpah was younger than Bilhah, and Laban’s decision to give her to Leah was part of the deception he used to trick Jacob into marrying Leah, who was older than Rachel. The morning after the wedding, Laban explained to Jacob, “This is not done in our place, to give the younger before the older” (Genesis 29:26). But at night, to mask the deception, Laban gave the veiled bride the younger of the handmaids, so Jacob would think that he was really marrying Rachel, the younger of the sisters.

In Jewish tradition, Zilpah is believed to be buried in the Tomb of the Matriarchs in Tiberias.


Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zilpah


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