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30 When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister; and she said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I shall die!” Jacob became very angry with Rachel and said, “Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?” Then she said, “Here is my maid Bilhah; go in to her, that she may bear upon my knees and that I too may have children through her.” So she gave him her maid Bilhah as a wife; and Jacob went in to her. And Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son. Then Rachel said, “God has judged me, and has also heard my voice and given me a son”; therefore she named him Dan.[a] Rachel’s maid Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. Then Rachel said, “With mighty wrestlings I have wrestled[b] with my sister, and have prevailed”; so she named him Naphtali.

When Leah saw that she had ceased bearing children, she took her maid Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife. 10 Then Leah’s maid Zilpah bore Jacob a son. 11 And Leah said, “Good fortune!” so she named him Gad.[c] 12 Leah’s maid Zilpah bore Jacob a second son. 13 And Leah said, “Happy am I! For the women will call me happy”; so she named him Asher.[d]

14 In the days of wheat harvest Reuben went and found 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 that you have taken away my husband? Would you take away my son’s mandrakes also?” Rachel said, “Then he may lie with you tonight for your son’s mandrakes.” 16 When Jacob came from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him, and said, “You must come in to me; for I have hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” So he lay with her that night. 17 And God heeded Leah, and she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18 Leah said, “God has given me my hire[e] because I gave my maid to my husband”; so she named him Issachar. 19 And Leah conceived again, and she bore Jacob a sixth son. 20 Then Leah said, “God has endowed me with a good dowry; now my husband will honor[f] me, because I have borne him six sons”; so she named him Zebulun. 21 Afterwards she bore a daughter, and named her Dinah.

22 Then God remembered Rachel, and God heeded her and opened her womb. 23 She conceived and bore a son, and said, “God has taken away my reproach”; 24 and she named him Joseph,[g] saying, “May the Lord add to me another son!”

Jacob Prospers at Laban’s Expense

25 When Rachel had borne Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send me away, that I may go to my own home and country. 26 Give me my wives and my children for whom I have served you, and let me go; for you know very well the service I have given you.” 27 But Laban said to him, “If you will allow me to say so, I have learned by divination that the Lord has blessed me because of you; 28 name your wages, and I will give it.” 29 Jacob said to him, “You yourself know how I have served you, and how your cattle have fared with me. 30 For you had little before I came, and it has increased abundantly; and the Lord has blessed you wherever I turned. But now when shall I provide for my own household also?” 31 He said, “What shall I give you?” Jacob said, “You shall not give me anything; if you will do this for me, I will again feed your flock and keep it: 32 let me pass through all your flock today, removing from it every speckled and spotted sheep and every black lamb, and the spotted and speckled among the goats; and such shall be my wages. 33 So my honesty will answer for me later, when you come to look into my wages with you. Every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats and black among the lambs, if found with me, shall be counted stolen.” 34 Laban said, “Good! Let it be as you have said.” 35 But that day Laban removed the male goats that were striped and spotted, and all the female goats that were speckled and spotted, every one that had white on it, and every lamb that was black, and put them in charge of his sons; 36 and he set a distance of three days’ journey between himself and Jacob, while Jacob was pasturing the rest of Laban’s flock.

37 Then Jacob took fresh rods of poplar and almond and plane, and peeled white streaks in them, exposing the white of the rods. 38 He set the rods that he had peeled in front of the flocks in the troughs, that is, the watering places, where the flocks came to drink. And since they bred when they came to drink, 39 the flocks bred in front of the rods, and so the flocks produced young that were striped, speckled, and spotted. 40 Jacob separated the lambs, and set the faces of the flocks toward the striped and the completely black animals in the flock of Laban; and he put his own droves apart, and did not put them with Laban’s flock. 41 Whenever the stronger of the flock were breeding, Jacob laid the rods in the troughs before the eyes of the flock, that they might breed among the rods, 42 but for the feebler of the flock he did not lay them there; so the feebler were Laban’s, and the stronger Jacob’s. 43 Thus the man grew exceedingly rich, and had large flocks, and male and female slaves, and camels and donkeys.

Footnotes

  1. Genesis 30:6 That is He judged
  2. Genesis 30:8 Heb niphtal
  3. Genesis 30:11 That is Fortune
  4. Genesis 30:13 That is Happy
  5. Genesis 30:18 Heb sakar
  6. Genesis 30:20 Heb zabal
  7. Genesis 30:24 That is He adds

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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