The Sons of Jacob

30 Now when Rachel saw that (A)she bore Jacob no children, [a]she became jealous of her sister; and she said to Jacob, “(B)Give me children, or else I die.” Then Jacob’s anger burned against Rachel, and he said, “Am I in the place of God, who has (C)withheld from you the fruit of the womb?” She said, “(D)Here is my maid Bilhah, go in to her that she may (E)bear on my knees, that [b](F)through her I too may have children.” So (G)she gave him her maid Bilhah as a wife, and Jacob went in to her. Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son. Then Rachel said, “God has [c](H)vindicated me, and has indeed heard my voice and has given me a son.” Therefore she named him [d]Dan. Rachel’s maid Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. So Rachel said, “With [e]mighty wrestlings I have [f]wrestled with my sister, and I have indeed prevailed.” And she named him Naphtali.

When Leah saw that she had stopped bearing, she took her maid Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife. 10 Leah’s maid Zilpah bore Jacob a son. 11 Then Leah said, “[g]How fortunate!” So she named him [h]Gad. 12 Leah’s maid Zilpah bore Jacob a second son. 13 Then Leah said, “[i]Happy am I! For women (I)will call me happy.” So she named him [j]Asher.

14 Now in the days of wheat harvest Reuben went and found (J)mandrakes in the field, and brought them to his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.” 15 But she said to her, “Is it a small matter for you to take my husband? And would you take my son’s mandrakes also?” So Rachel said, “Therefore he may lie with you tonight in return for your son’s mandrakes.” 16 When Jacob came in from the field in the evening, then Leah went out to meet him and said, “You must come in to me, for I have surely hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” So he lay with her that night. 17 God gave heed to Leah, and she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18 Then Leah said, “God has given me my [k]wages because I gave my maid to my husband.” So she named him Issachar. 19 Leah conceived again and bore a sixth son to Jacob. 20 Then Leah said, “God has endowed me with a good gift; now my husband [l]will dwell with me, because I have borne him six sons.” So she named him Zebulun. 21 Afterward she bore a daughter and named her Dinah.

22 Then (K)God remembered Rachel, and God gave heed to her and (L)opened her womb. 23 So she conceived and bore a son and said, “God has (M)taken away my reproach.” 24 She named him Joseph, saying, “(N)May the Lord [m]give me another son.”

Jacob Prospers

25 Now it came about when Rachel had borne Joseph, that Jacob said to Laban, “(O)Send me away, that I may go to my own place and to my own country. 26 Give me my wives and my children (P)for whom I have served you, and let me depart; for you yourself know my service which I have [n]rendered you.” 27 But Laban said to him, “If now [o]it pleases you, stay with me; I have divined (Q)that the Lord has blessed me on your account.” 28 He [p]continued, “(R)Name me your wages, and I will give it.” 29 But he said to him, “(S)You yourself know how I have served you and how your cattle have [q]fared with me. 30 For you had little before [r]I came and it has [s]increased to a multitude, and the Lord has blessed you [t]wherever I turned. But now, when shall I provide for my own household also?” 31 So he said, “What shall I give you?” And Jacob said, “You shall not give me anything. If you will do this one thing for me, I will again pasture and keep your flock: 32 let me pass through your entire flock today, removing from there every (T)speckled and spotted sheep and every black [u]one among the lambs and the spotted and speckled among the goats; and such shall be my wages. 33 So my [v]honesty will answer for me later, when you come concerning my [w]wages. Every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats and black among the lambs, if found with me, will be considered stolen.” 34 Laban said, “[x]Good, let it be according to your word.” 35 So he removed on that day the striped and spotted male goats and all the speckled and spotted female goats, every one with white in it, and all the black ones among the sheep, and gave them into the [y]care of his sons. 36 And he put a distance of three days’ journey between himself and Jacob, and Jacob fed the rest of Laban’s flocks.

37 Then Jacob [z]took fresh rods of poplar and almond and plane trees, and peeled white stripes in them, exposing the white which was [aa]in the rods. 38 He set the rods which he had peeled in front of the flocks in the gutters, even in the watering troughs, where the flocks came to drink; and they [ab]mated when they came to drink. 39 So the flocks [ac]mated by the rods, and the flocks brought forth striped, speckled, and spotted. 40 Jacob separated the lambs, and [ad]made the flocks face toward the striped and all the black in the flock of Laban; and he put his own herds apart, and did not put them with Laban’s flock. 41 Moreover, whenever the [ae]stronger of the flock [af]were mating, Jacob would place the rods in the sight of the flock in the gutters, so that they might [ag]mate by the rods; 42 but when the flock was feeble, he did not put them in; so the feebler were Laban’s and the [ah]stronger Jacob’s. 43 So (U)the man [ai]became exceedingly prosperous, and had large flocks and female and male servants and camels and donkeys.

Footnotes

  1. Genesis 30:1 Lit Rachel
  2. Genesis 30:3 Lit from her I too may be built
  3. Genesis 30:6 Lit judged
  4. Genesis 30:6 I.e. He judged
  5. Genesis 30:8 Lit wrestlings of God
  6. Genesis 30:8 Heb niphtal, related to Naphtali
  7. Genesis 30:11 Lit With fortune! Some versions read Fortune has come
  8. Genesis 30:11 I.e. Fortune
  9. Genesis 30:13 Lit With my happiness!
  10. Genesis 30:13 I.e. happy
  11. Genesis 30:18 Heb sachar, related to Issachar
  12. Genesis 30:20 Heb zabal, related to Zebulun. Some translate will honor
  13. Genesis 30:24 Lit add to me; Heb Joseph
  14. Genesis 30:26 Lit served
  15. Genesis 30:27 Lit I have found favor in your eyes
  16. Genesis 30:28 Lit said
  17. Genesis 30:29 Lit been
  18. Genesis 30:30 Lit me
  19. Genesis 30:30 Lit broken forth
  20. Genesis 30:30 Lit at my foot
  21. Genesis 30:32 Lit sheep
  22. Genesis 30:33 Lit righteousness
  23. Genesis 30:33 Lit wages which are before you
  24. Genesis 30:34 Lit Behold, would that it might be
  25. Genesis 30:35 Lit hand
  26. Genesis 30:37 Lit took to himself
  27. Genesis 30:37 Lit on
  28. Genesis 30:38 Or conceived
  29. Genesis 30:39 Or conceived
  30. Genesis 30:40 Lit set the faces
  31. Genesis 30:41 Lit bound ones; i.e. firm and compact
  32. Genesis 30:41 Or conceived
  33. Genesis 30:41 Or conceive
  34. Genesis 30:42 Lit bound ones; i.e. firm and compact
  35. Genesis 30:43 Lit broke forth

30 When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children,(A) she became jealous of her sister.(B) So she said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I’ll die!”

Jacob became angry with her and said, “Am I in the place of God,(C) who has kept you from having children?”(D)

Then she said, “Here is Bilhah,(E) my servant.(F) Sleep with her so that she can bear children for me and I too can build a family through her.”(G)

So she gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife.(H) Jacob slept with her,(I) and she became pregnant and bore him a son. Then Rachel said, “God has vindicated me;(J) he has listened to my plea and given me a son.”(K) Because of this she named him Dan.[a](L)

Rachel’s servant Bilhah(M) conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. Then Rachel said, “I have had a great struggle with my sister, and I have won.”(N) So she named him Naphtali.[b](O)

When Leah(P) saw that she had stopped having children,(Q) she took her servant Zilpah(R) and gave her to Jacob as a wife.(S) 10 Leah’s servant Zilpah(T) bore Jacob a son. 11 Then Leah said, “What good fortune!”[c] So she named him Gad.[d](U)

12 Leah’s servant Zilpah bore Jacob a second son. 13 Then Leah said, “How happy I am! The women will call me(V) happy.”(W) So she named him Asher.[e](X)

14 During wheat harvest,(Y) Reuben went out into the fields and found some mandrake plants,(Z) which he brought to his mother Leah. Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.”

15 But she said to her, “Wasn’t it enough(AA) that you took away my husband? Will you take my son’s mandrakes too?”

“Very well,” Rachel said, “he can sleep with you tonight in return for your son’s mandrakes.”(AB)

16 So when Jacob came in from the fields that evening, Leah went out to meet him. “You must sleep with me,” she said. “I have hired you with my son’s mandrakes.”(AC) So he slept with her that night.

17 God listened to Leah,(AD) and she became pregnant and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18 Then Leah said, “God has rewarded me for giving my servant to my husband.”(AE) So she named him Issachar.[f](AF)

19 Leah conceived again and bore Jacob a sixth son. 20 Then Leah said, “God has presented me with a precious gift. This time my husband will treat me with honor,(AG) because I have borne him six sons.” So she named him Zebulun.[g](AH)

21 Some time later she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.(AI)

22 Then God remembered Rachel;(AJ) he listened to her(AK) and enabled her to conceive.(AL) 23 She became pregnant and gave birth to a son(AM) and said, “God has taken away my disgrace.”(AN) 24 She named him Joseph,[h](AO) and said, “May the Lord add to me another son.”(AP)

Jacob’s Flocks Increase

25 After Rachel gave birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send me on my way(AQ) so I can go back to my own homeland.(AR) 26 Give me my wives and children, for whom I have served you,(AS) and I will be on my way. You know how much work I’ve done for you.”

27 But Laban said to him, “If I have found favor in your eyes,(AT) please stay. I have learned by divination(AU) that the Lord has blessed me because of you.”(AV) 28 He added, “Name your wages,(AW) and I will pay them.”

29 Jacob said to him, “You know how I have worked for you(AX) and how your livestock has fared under my care.(AY) 30 The little you had before I came has increased greatly, and the Lord has blessed you wherever I have been.(AZ) But now, when may I do something for my own household?(BA)

31 “What shall I give you?” he asked.

“Don’t give me anything,” Jacob replied. “But if you will do this one thing for me, I will go on tending your flocks and watching over them: 32 Let me go through all your flocks today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark-colored lamb and every spotted or speckled goat.(BB) They will be my wages.(BC) 33 And my honesty will testify for me in the future, whenever you check on the wages you have paid me. Any goat in my possession that is not speckled or spotted, or any lamb that is not dark-colored,(BD) will be considered stolen.(BE)

34 “Agreed,” said Laban. “Let it be as you have said.” 35 That same day he removed all the male goats that were streaked or spotted, and all the speckled or spotted female goats (all that had white on them) and all the dark-colored lambs,(BF) and he placed them in the care of his sons.(BG) 36 Then he put a three-day journey(BH) between himself and Jacob, while Jacob continued to tend the rest of Laban’s flocks.

37 Jacob, however, took fresh-cut branches from poplar, almond(BI) and plane trees(BJ) and made white stripes on them by peeling the bark and exposing the white inner wood of the branches.(BK) 38 Then he placed the peeled branches(BL) in all the watering troughs,(BM) so that they would be directly in front of the flocks when they came to drink. When the flocks were in heat(BN) and came to drink, 39 they mated in front of the branches.(BO) And they bore young that were streaked or speckled or spotted.(BP) 40 Jacob set apart the young of the flock by themselves, but made the rest face the streaked and dark-colored animals(BQ) that belonged to Laban. Thus he made separate flocks for himself and did not put them with Laban’s animals. 41 Whenever the stronger females were in heat,(BR) Jacob would place the branches in the troughs in front of the animals so they would mate near the branches,(BS) 42 but if the animals were weak, he would not place them there. So the weak animals went to Laban and the strong ones to Jacob.(BT) 43 In this way the man grew exceedingly prosperous and came to own large flocks, and female and male servants, and camels and donkeys.(BU)

Footnotes

  1. Genesis 30:6 Dan here means he has vindicated.
  2. Genesis 30:8 Naphtali means my struggle.
  3. Genesis 30:11 Or “A troop is coming!”
  4. Genesis 30:11 Gad can mean good fortune or a troop.
  5. Genesis 30:13 Asher means happy.
  6. Genesis 30:18 Issachar sounds like the Hebrew for reward.
  7. Genesis 30:20 Zebulun probably means honor.
  8. Genesis 30:24 Joseph means may he add.

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