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 Genesis 30:3


 The Life of the World to Come




the Mountain Goats



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Genesis 30:3 is the sixth song on the album The Life of the World to Come. It also appears as the tenth song on the 2020 live album The Jordan Lake Sessions: Volumes 1 and 2.

Bible Verse[]

Then she said, "Here is Bilhah, my servant. Sleep with her so that she can bear children for me and I too can build a family through her." NIV Translation


For several days the visitors were here
We saw them turned down and we watched them disappear
Talked about the days they'd said were sure to come
Had a hard time believing

I remember seeing you, my tongue struck dumb
When you first came here from wherever it was you came from
The power in your voice
Your rough touch
You keeping care of me
Keeping watch

Open up the doors to the tent
Wonder where the good times went
I will do what you ask me to do
Because of how I feel about you

I saw his little face contract as his eyes met light
Try to imagine anything so bright
You only see it once and it steals into the dawn
And then it's gone forever

For several hours we lay there, last ones of our kind
Harder days coming, maybe
I don't mind
Sounds kind of dumb when I say it but it's true
I would do anything for you

Open up the promise of the day
And drive the dark things away
I will do what you ask me to do
Because of how I feel about you

Comments by John Darnielle About this Song[]

  • "I am a feminist, but I think that story is the most beautiful love story I’ve ever heard in my life. I look at it from Rachael’s point of view. The story is about womanhood and defining womanhood through giving birth, and expressing love through that sense of family. In one sense, and this is the type of reading that can get you in trouble with people who are more strict with texts, to me it’s a love story about three people, plus the baby, and how they make that work. All the relationships in the Bible prior to that are working relationships, but there’s people and love in this story." -- Paste Magazine interview, 2009-10-15
  • "So the story in this song is from the Bible, and, um, one person wants to have another child, uh, with her husband, but she has grown too old. So she sends him -- this is the one part of the story that, like, I consider it an extraordinarily sweet story except for the slavery. The part you sort of have to elide. You have to do that a lot in the Bible. This is a cool story except for the part where something horrible happens and they should know better. So, so, these people want to have another baby, she can't, so she sends her slave in to her husband, but there's no indication in the story -- I mean, you can't, it's complicated politically because if you are enslaved you can't consent to anything, so, uh, but the way the story is told if you accept it on its face value, everyone is okay with this arrangement. I know, right? But let's let the story do this thing and later we can interrogate the text..." -- 2013-10-13 - People's Place - Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • A man, a woman, another woman, and then the child who belongs to all three of them, come screaming and beautiful into a some cool dawn several thousand years ago. When I was a kid I remember noticing that the colors on the Sunday comics pager were actually made up of thousands of individual color-dots: I would hold the paper up close to my eyes to make sure I wasn't seeing things. I wasn't. The last frame I ever saw whole before learning the truth was a picture of Pruneface, one of Chester Gould's finest. It seared itself into my memory, and then all total pictures were gone, collapsed into limitless oceans of infinite constituent parts. Still, one tries to hold onto the picture before it breaks apart. You only get to see it once." -- 7/29/2009 - The Life of the World to Come: a film by Rian Johnson, liner notes

Things Referenced in this Song[]

Live Shows this Song Was Played at[]

Videos of this Song[]