Zilpah

In the Book of Genesis, Zilpah (זִלְפָּה "meaning uncertain," Standard Hebrew Zilpa, Tiberian Hebrew Zilpāh) was Leah's handmaid, presumed slave,[1] whom Leah gave to Jacob "to wife" to bear him children (Genesis 30:9).[2] 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). 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.[3]

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 [4] 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.[5]

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

Family tree

Terah
Sarah[6]AbrahamHagarHaran
Nahor
IshmaelMilcahLotIscah
Ishmaelites7 sons[7]Bethuel1st daughter2nd daughter
IsaacRebeccaLabanMoabitesAmmonites
EsauJacobRachel
Bilhah
EdomitesZilpah
Leah
1. Reuben
2. Simeon
3. Levi
4. Judah
9. Issachar
10. Zebulun
Dinah (daughter)
7. Gad
8. Asher
5. Dan
6. Naphtali
11. Joseph
12. Benjamin

In popular culture

In the novel The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, Zilpah and Bilhah are represented as half-sisters of Leah and Rachel by different mothers.

References

  1. ^ In Context Josephine Rosman (27 October 2017). Claiming Bilhah and Zilpah. Jewish Womens Archive.
  2. ^ For the etymology, see: Herbert Lockyer (22 November 2016). All the Women of the Bible. Zondervan. p. 242. ISBN 978-0-310-53108-1.
  3. ^ Rabbi Eliezer. "Chapter 36". Pirke De Rabbi Eliezer. Translated by Friedlander, Gerald (1916 translation ed.). London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Turner & Co. Ltd. p. 271-272.
  4. ^ Genesis 30:3
  5. ^ For Rashi's commentary on this, with English translation, see Rashi's notes on 30:10: [1]
  6. ^ Genesis 20:12: Sarah was the half–sister of Abraham.
  7. ^ Genesis 22:21-22: Uz, Buz, Kemuel, Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, and Jidlaph
A Place in the Sun (TV series)

A Place in the Sun is a British Channel 4 lifestyle television series about attempting to find a "perfect property" on the market in the United Kingdom, overseas, and "abroad". It most often focuses on places in southern Europe, but in recent years, it has also featured a number of places in other areas of the world such as Florida and the Caribbean.

Asher

Asher (Hebrew: אָשֵׁר, Asher), in the Book of Genesis, is the second son of Jacob and Zilpah, and the founder of the Tribe of Asher.

Bilhah

Bilhah (בִּלְהָה "unworried", Standard Hebrew Bilha, Tiberian Hebrew Bilhâ) is a person mentioned in the Book of Genesis. Genesis 29:29 describes her as Laban's handmaid, who was given to Rachel to be her handmaid on Rachel's marriage to Jacob. When Rachel failed to have children, Rachel gave Bilhah to Jacob as a concubine to bear him children. Bilhah gave birth to two sons, whom Rachel claimed as her own and named Dan and Naphtali. Genesis 35:22 expressly calls Bilhah Jacob's concubine, a pilegesh.

The Testament of Naftali says that Bilhah and Zilpah's father was named Rotheus. He was taken into captivity but redeemed by Laban, Rachel and Leah's father, who gave Rotheus a wife named Euna, who was their mother. Rabbinic sources (Midrash Raba, and elsewhere), on the other hand, state that Bilhah and Zilpah were also Laban's daughters, through his concubines, making them half-sisters to Rachel and Leah.Bilhah is said to be buried in the Tomb of the Matriarchs in Tiberias.

In the Book of Chronicles, Shimei's brothers were said to have lived in a town called Bilhah and surrounding territories prior to the reign of David.

Gad (son of Jacob)

Gad (Hebrew: גָּד, Modern: Gad, Tiberian: Gāḏ, "luck") was, according to the Book of Genesis, the first son of Jacob and Zilpah, the seventh of Jacob overall, and the founder of the Israelite Tribe of Gad. However some Biblical scholars view this as postdiction, an eponymous metaphor providing an aetiology of the connectedness of the tribe to others in the Israelite confederation. The text of the Book of Genesis implies that the name of Gad means luck/fortunate, in Hebrew.

The Biblical account shows Zilpah's status as a handmaid change to an actual wife of Jacob (Genesis 30:9,11). Her handmaid status is regarded by some biblical scholars as indicating that the authors saw the tribe of Gad as being not of entirely Israelite origin; many scholars believe that Gad was a late addition to the Israelite confederation, as implied by the Moabite Stone, which seemingly differentiates between the Israelites and the tribe of Gad. Gad by this theory is assumed to have originally been a northwards-migrating nomadic tribe, at a time when the other tribes were quite settled in Canaan.According to classical rabbinical literature, Gad was born on 10 Cheshvan, and lived 125 years. These sources go on to state that, unlike his other brothers, Joseph didn't present Gad to the Pharaoh, since Joseph didn't want Gad to become one of Pharaoh's guards, an appointment that would have been likely had the Pharaoh realised that Gad had great strength.The Book of Jasher states that Gad married Uzith. Uzith was the daughter of Amuram, the granddaughter of Uz and the great-grandson of Nahor (son of Terah).

Handmaiden

A handmaiden, handmaid or maidservant is a personal maid or female servant. Depending on culture or historical period, a handmaiden may be of slave status or may be simply an employee. However, the term handmaiden explicitly implies lowly status.

Haran

Haran or Aran (Hebrew: הָרָן – Hārān) is a man in the Book of Genesis in the Hebrew Bible. He died in Ur of Chaldees (Ur Kaśdim), was a son of Terah, and brother of Abraham. Through his son Lot, Haran was the ancestor of the Moabites and Ammonites, and through his daughter Milcah he was ancestral to the Aramaeans.

Ipswich Female Seminary

Ipswich Female Seminary in Ipswich, Massachusetts, established in 1828, was a female seminary, an early school for the secondary and tertiary-level education of young women.

The school was founded as Ipswich Academy in 1828 by Zilpah Grant, with assistance from Mary Lyon. Grant had previously been a teacher and Lyon a student at an academy for female students in Byfield, Massachusetts. The school's focus was on preparing girls for careers as teachers and missionaries. It offered a "rigorous curriculum", including study of English, arithmetic, geography, chemistry, human physiology, history, the natural sciences, religion, vocal music, and calisthenics, and placed an emphasis on "standards of personal conduct and discipline". Teachers encouraged students in questioning and analysis, in addition to comprehension. As part of their preparation, students did practice teaching with guidance from a teacher. Enrollment averaged 116 students.Mary Lyon left as the principal in 1834 to begin a three-year effort that culminated in 1837 with the founding of Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. Grant retired from education in 1839, whereupon the school closed. In 1844 it was reopened by Eunice Caldwell Cowles, an Ipswich graduate, and her husband John P. Cowles, a minister. The school was renamed "Female Seminary" in 1848. It operated until 1876, by which time the increasing availability of public schools had reduced the need for schools of this type. According to Academy records, 88 of school's graduates went on to teach as educational missionaries in the western and southern United States.

Jacob

Jacob (; Hebrew: יַעֲקֹב, Modern: Ya‘aqōv , Tiberian: Yaʿăqōḇ; Arabic: يَعْقُوب‎ yaʿqūb, Greek: Ἰακώβ, Iakṓb), later given the name Israel, is regarded as a Patriarch of the Israelites and so, he is an important figure in Abrahamic religions, such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Jacob first appears in the Book of Genesis, the son of Isaac and Rebecca, the grandson of Abraham, Sarah and Bethuel, the nephew of Ishmael. He was the second-born of Isaac's children, the elder being his fraternal twin brother Esau. However, by deceiving Isaac when he was old and blind, Jacob was able to usurp the blessing that belonged to Esau as the firstborn son, and become the leader of their family. Following a severe drought in his homeland Canaan, Jacob and his descendants, with the help of his son Joseph, who had since become a confidante of Pharaoh, moved to Egypt, where he died, aged 147 years, and was buried in the Cave of Machpela.

Jacob is said to have had twelve sons by four women, his wives, Leah and Rachel, and his concubines, Bilhah and Zilpah, who were, in order of their birth, Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin, all of whom became the heads of their own family groups, later known as the Twelve Tribes of Israel, and it is also known that he had a daughter, Dinah. It is possible he had more children than the thirteen named in the Bible, as the passages Gen. 37:35 and Gen. 46:7 both mention the existence of his sons and daughters, which could support the existence of additional children, who were unnamed in religious texts. Jacob displayed favoritism among his wives and children, preferring Rachel and her sons, Joseph and Benjamin, causing tension within the family, culminating in the sale of Joseph by his brothers into slavery.

Kate Manicom

Kate Zilpah Manicom (11 March 1893 – 27 October 1937) was a British suffragette and trade unionist.

Laban (Bible)

Laban (Hebrew: לָבָן, Modern: Lavan, Tiberian: Lāḇān, "White") is a figure in the Book of Genesis of the Hebrew Bible. He was the brother of Rebekah, who married Isaac and bore Jacob. Laban welcomed his nephew as a young man, and set him the stipulation of seven years' labour before he permitted him to marry his daughter Rachel. Laban tricked Jacob into marrying his elder daughter Leah instead. Jacob then took both women as wives.

Laban and his family were described as dwelling in Paddan Aram, in Mesopotamia. Though the biblical text itself does not attest to this, Rabbinic sources also identify him as the father of Bilhah and Zilpah, the two concubines with whom Jacob also has children (Midrash Raba, Gen 24)

Leah

Leah is described in the Hebrew Bible as the daughter of Laban. She and her younger sister Rachel became the two concurrent wives of Hebrew patriarch Jacob. She had six sons, whose descendants became some of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. She also had a daughter, Dinah.

Nahor, son of Serug

Nahor (Hebrew: נָחוֹר – Nāḥōr; Greek: Ναχώρ – Nakhṓr) is the son of Serug according to the Hebrew Bible. In Genesis Chapter 11, Nahor is listed as the son of Serug.[v.22] He is said to have lived to the age of 148 years old [v.24,25] and had a son, Terah at the age of 29.[v.24] He was also the grandfather of Abraham, Nahor II and Haran, all descendants of Shem.[v.10,25-27]

Peleg Wadsworth

Peleg Wadsworth (May 6, 1748 – November 12, 1829) was an American officer during the American Revolutionary War and a Congressman from Massachusetts representing the District of Maine. He was also grandfather of noted American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.Wadsworth was born in Duxbury, Massachusetts, to Peleg and Susanna (Sampson) Wadsworth. He graduated from Harvard College with an A.B. (1769) and an A.M. (1772), and taught school for several years in Plymouth, Massachusetts, with his former classmate Alexander Scammel. There he met Elizabeth Bartlett (1753 to 1825), whom he married in 1772.

Rachel

Rachel (Hebrew: רָחֵל‎ Rāḥêl, meaning 'ewe') was a Biblical figure, the favorite of Jacob's two wives, and the mother of Joseph and Benjamin, two of the twelve progenitors of the tribes of Israel. Rachel's father was Laban. Her older sister was Leah, Jacob's first wife. Her aunt Rebekah was Jacob's mother.

Samuel Longfellow

Samuel Longfellow (1819–1892) was an American clergyman and hymn writer.

The Red Tent (miniseries)

The Red Tent is an American television miniseries produced by Paula Weinstein and directed by Roger Young. The first two-hour episode premiered on Lifetime on December 7, 2014; the second and final episode aired the next day. The series is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Anita Diamant.

Tomb of the Matriarchs

Not to be confused with the Cave of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs of Hebron.The Tomb of the Matriarchs, (Hebrew: קבר האמהות, Kever ha'Imahot), in Tiberias, Israel, is the traditional burial place of several biblical women:

Bilhah, handmaid of Rachel.

Zilpah, handmaid of Leah.

Jochebed, mother of Moses.

Zipporah, wife of Moses.

Elisheba, wife of Aaron.

Abigail, one of King David's wives.The marble structure beside a modern apartment building block is surrounded by a stone wall.

Twelve Tribes of Israel

In the Hebrew Bible, the Twelve Tribes of Israel or Tribes of Israel (Hebrew: שבטי ישראל‎) descended from the 12 sons of the patriarch Jacob (who was later named Israel) and his two wives, Leah and Rachel, and two concubines, Zilpah and Bilhah.

Zilpah P. Grant Banister

Zilpah Polly Grant Banister (May 30, 1794 – December 3, 1874) was an American educator known primarily for founding Ipswich Female Seminary in Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1828.

Zilpah Grant began teaching at the age of fifteen. Eventually she saved up enough money to enter Byfield Academy and study under the charismatic clergyman Joseph Emerson, a leading proponent of women's education. At Byfield, she befriended Mary Lyon, who later taught with Grant for several years.

From 1824 to 1827 (or 1828), Grant served as principal of Adams Female Academy at Derry, New Hampshire. She then founded Ipswich Female Academy. Grant's curricula at Adams and Ipswich reflected Emerson's influence; they blended rigorous academic studies, moral oversight, and teacher training. Grant expected students to study for the joy of learning, rather than working for grades or prizes. Mary Lyon was Grant's assistant and, later, principal at Ipswich until she left to found Mount Holyoke Seminary in 1834. [1]

On September 7, 1841, Grant married William B. Banister and moved with him to Newburyport, Massachusetts. She continued to be active to promote women's education, and published a pamphlet entitled Hints on Education in 1856.

Children of Jacob by mother in order of birth
Leah
Rachel
Bilhah (Rachel's servant)
Zilpah (Leah's servant)

Languages

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