BILHAH (Heb. בִּלְהָה), servant girl presented to rachel by her father (Gen. 29:29). Bilhah was given by Rachel to her husband Jacob as a concubine (see nuzi ). Bilhah bore two children by him, dan and naphtali (30:1–8). Reuben cohabited with her while his father was still alive, apparently by way of asserting his right of primogeniture (35:22). This offense is given as the reason for the loss of birthright by Reuben (Gen. 49:3–4; I Chron. 5:1). The meaning of the name is uncertain. It may be derived from the Arabic root balaha which means "to be confused" or "lacking in understanding" (cf. Heb. bhl), perhaps having some symbolic connotation relative to the status of the tribes descended from this concubine (see also: Matriarchs, patriarchs , the twelve tribes ). (Encyclopaedia Hebraica) -In the Aggadah The aggadah indicates Bilhah's righteousness by the statement that, after the death of Rachel and Leah, the Shekhinah (which had been continuously present in their households) passed to Bilhah (Zohar 1:175b). After the death of Rachel, Jacob moved Bilhah's bed into his chamber. Bilhah is identified as the "messenger" (Gen. 50:16) sent by the brothers to Joseph, to inform him of his father's will (Tanḥ. B. 3:18). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: C.H. Gordon, in: RB, 44 (1935), 35–36; Noth, Personennamen, 10; S. Yeivin, Meḥkarim be-Toledot Yisrael ve-Arẓo (1960), 149–50.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Bilhah — In the Book of Genesis, Bilhah (בִּלְהָה Faltering; bashful , Standard Hebrew Bilha, Tiberian Hebrew Bilhāh) is Rachel s handmaid and a concubine of Jacob who bears him two sons, Dan and Naphtali. [Gen. 30:3 5, 35:25] Bilhah is given to Rachel as …   Wikipedia

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  • Bilhah — (fl. ?19th 16th cent BCE)    Israelite woman, concubine of Jacob. She was the mother of Dan and Naphtali. Rachel, whose servant she was, gave Bilhah to Jacob when she herself proved to be barren (Genesis 30:18; 32:25 26) …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Bilhah — Bilha Bilha est le nom d un personnage biblique, servante de Rachel et troisième épouse de Jacob. Rachel fait épouser sa servante à Jacob car elle ne peut pas lui donner d enfants. D après d autres commentateurs, Bilha et Zilpa étaient deux sœurs …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Bilhah — /bil heuh/, n. the mother of Dan and Naphtali. Gen. 30:1 8. * * * …   Universalium

  • Bilhah — noun a) Handmaid of Rachel and mother of Dan and Naphtali. b) of biblical origin …   Wiktionary

  • Bilhah —    Faltering; bashful, Rachel s handmaid, whom she gave to Jacob (Gen. 29:29). She was the mother of Dan and Naphtali (Gen. 30:3 8). Reuben was cursed by his father for committing adultry with her (35:22; 49:4). He was deprived of the birth right …   Easton's Bible Dictionary

  • Bilhah — Bil•hah [[t]ˈbɪl hə[/t]] n. bib the mother of Dan and Naphtali. Gen. 30:1–8 …   From formal English to slang

  • Bilhah — /bil heuh/, n. the mother of Dan and Naphtali. Gen. 30:1 8 …   Useful english dictionary

  • FRANKS, BILHAH ABIGAIL LEVY — (1696?–1756), Jewish letter writer. Franks was born in London; the sources are inconclusive about the exact date, just as they are unclear about when the Levy family migrated to New York City. Some documents demonstrate that her father, Moses… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

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