ZILPAH (Heb. זִלְפָּה), handmaid of *Leah and concubine of *Jacob. *Laban gave Zilpah to his daughter Leah as a handmaid on the occasion of Leah's marriage to Jacob (Gen. 29:24; 46:18). A parallel custom is attested in the *Nuzi Documents. When Leah ceased bearing children she presented Zilpah to her husband as a concubine (30:9; 37:2), just as her sister *Rachel had previously done with her own maid *Bilhah (30:3). Two sons, *Gad and *Asher, were born of the union between Jacob and Zilpah (30:10–13; 35:26). Sixteen descendants of Zilpah are listed in the Genesis genealogies (46:18). There is no further mention of Zilpah in the Bible.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.