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Genesis 30

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1When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children, she became jealous of her sister. So she said to Jacob, ‘Give me children, or I’ll die!’
2Jacob became angry with her and said, ‘Am I in the place of God, who has kept you from having children?’
3Then 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.’
4So she gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife. Jacob slept with her, 5and she became pregnant and bore him a son. 6Then Rachel said, ‘God has vindicated me; he has listened to my plea and given me a son.’ Because of this she named him Dan.#30:6 Dan here means he has vindicated.
7Rachel’s servant Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. 8Then Rachel said, ‘I have had a great struggle with my sister, and I have won.’ So she named him Naphtali.#30:8 Naphtali means my struggle.
9When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she took her servant Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife. 10Leah’s servant Zilpah bore Jacob a son. 11Then Leah said, ‘What good fortune!’#30:11 Or ‘A troop is coming!’ So she named him Gad.#30:11 Gad can mean good fortune or a troop.
12Leah’s servant Zilpah bore Jacob a second son. 13Then Leah said, ‘How happy I am! The women will call me happy.’ So she named him Asher.#30:13 Asher means happy.
14During wheat harvest, Reuben went out into the fields and found some mandrake plants, which he brought to his mother Leah. Rachel said to Leah, ‘Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.’
15But she said to her, ‘Wasn’t it enough 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.’
16So 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.’ So he slept with her that night.
17God listened to Leah, and she became pregnant and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18Then Leah said, ‘God has rewarded me for giving my servant to my husband.’ So she named him Issachar.#30:18 Issachar sounds like the Hebrew for reward.
19Leah conceived again and bore Jacob a sixth son. 20Then Leah said, ‘God has presented me with a precious gift. This time my husband will treat me with honour, because I have borne him six sons.’ So she named him Zebulun.#30:20 Zebulun probably means honour.
21Some time later she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.
22Then God remembered Rachel; he listened to her and enabled her to conceive. 23She became pregnant and gave birth to a son and said, ‘God has taken away my disgrace.’ 24She named him Joseph,#30:24 Joseph means may he add. and said, ‘May the Lord add to me another son.’
Jacob’s flocks increase
25After Rachel gave birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, ‘Send me on my way so that I can go back to my own homeland. 26Give me my wives and children, for whom I have served you, and I will be on my way. You know how much work I’ve done for you.’
27But Laban said to him, ‘If I have found favour in your eyes, please stay. I have learned by divination that the Lord has blessed me because of you.’ 28He added, ‘Name your wages, and I will pay them.’
29Jacob said to him, ‘You know how I have worked for you and how your livestock has fared under my care. 30The little you had before I came has increased greatly, and the Lord has blessed you wherever I have been. But now, when may I do something for my own household?’
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: 32let me go through all your flocks today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark-coloured lamb and every spotted or speckled goat. They will be my wages. 33And 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-coloured, will be considered stolen.’
34‘Agreed,’ said Laban. ‘Let it be as you have said.’ 35That 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-coloured lambs, and he placed them in the care of his sons. 36Then he put a three-day journey between himself and Jacob, while Jacob continued to tend the rest of Laban’s flocks.
37Jacob, however, took fresh-cut branches from poplar, almond and plane trees and made white stripes on them by peeling the bark and exposing the white inner wood of the branches. 38Then he placed the peeled branches in all the watering troughs, so that they would be directly in front of the flocks when they came to drink. When the flocks were in heat and came to drink, 39they mated in front of the branches. And they bore young that were streaked or speckled or spotted. 40Jacob set apart the young of the flock by themselves, but made the rest face the streaked and dark-coloured animals that belonged to Laban. Thus he made separate flocks for himself and did not put them with Laban’s animals. 41Whenever the stronger females were in heat, Jacob would place the branches in the troughs in front of the animals so that they would mate near the branches, 42but if the animals were weak, he would not place them there. So the weak animals went to Laban and the strong ones to Jacob. 43In this way the man grew exceedingly prosperous and came to own large flocks, and female and male servants, and camels and donkeys.
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1Now when Rachel saw that #Gen. 16:1, 2; 29:31she bore Jacob no children, Rachel #Gen. 37:11envied her sister, and said to Jacob, “Give me children, #1 Sam. 1:5, 6; (Job 5:2)or else I die!”
2And Jacob’s anger was aroused against Rachel, and he said, #Gen. 16:2; 1 Sam. 1:5Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?”
3So she said, “Here is #Gen. 16:2my maid Bilhah; go in to her, #Gen. 50:23; Job 3:12and she will bear a child on my knees, #Gen. 16:2, 3that I also may have children by her.” 4Then she gave him Bilhah her maid #Gen. 16:3, 4as wife, and Jacob went in to her. 5And Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son. 6Then Rachel said, “God has #Gen. 18:25; Ps. 35:24; 43:1; Lam. 3:59judged my case; and He has also heard my voice and given me a son.” Therefore she called his name Dan. 7And Rachel’s maid Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. 8Then Rachel said, “With great wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister, and indeed I have prevailed.” So she called his name Naphtali.
9When Leah saw that she had stopped bearing, she took Zilpah her maid and #Gen. 30:4gave her to Jacob as wife. 10And Leah’s maid Zilpah bore Jacob a son. 11Then Leah said, “A troop comes!” So she called his name Gad. 12And Leah’s maid Zilpah bore Jacob a second son. 13Then Leah said, “I am happy, for the daughters #Prov. 31:28; Luke 1:48will call me blessed.” So she called his name Asher.
14Now Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them to his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, #Gen. 25:30“Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.”
15But she said to her, #(Num. 16:9, 13)Is it a small matter that you have taken away my husband? Would you take away my son’s mandrakes also?”
And Rachel said, “Therefore he will lie with you tonight for your son’s mandrakes.”
16When Jacob came out of the field in the evening, 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.” And he lay with her that night.
17And God listened to Leah, and she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18Leah said, “God has given me my wages, because I have given my maid to my husband.” So she called his name Issachar. 19Then Leah conceived again and bore Jacob a sixth son. 20And Leah said, “God has endowed me with a good endowment; now my husband will dwell with me, because I have borne him six sons.” So she called his name Zebulun. 21Afterward she bore a #Gen. 34:1daughter, and called her name Dinah.
22Then God #Gen. 19:29; 1 Sam. 1:19, 20remembered Rachel, and God listened to her and #Gen. 29:31opened her womb. 23And she conceived and bore a son, and said, “God has taken away #1 Sam. 1:6; Is. 4:1; Luke 1:25my reproach.” 24So she called his name Joseph, and said, #Gen. 35:16–18“The Lord shall add to me another son.”
Jacob’s Agreement with Laban
25And it came to pass, when Rachel had borne Joseph, that Jacob said to Laban, #Gen. 24:54, 56“Send me away, that I may go to #Gen. 18:33my own place and to my country. 26Give me my wives and my children #Gen. 29:18–20, 27, 30; Hos. 12:12for whom I have served you, and let me go; for you know my service which #Gen. 26:24; 39:3; Is. 61:9I have done for you.”
27And Laban said to him, “Please stay, if I have found favor in your eyes, for I have learned by experience that the Lord has blessed me for your sake.” 28Then he said, #Gen. 29:15; 31:7, 41“Name me your wages, and I will give it.
29So Jacob said to him, #Gen. 31:6, 38–40; Matt. 24:45; Titus 2:10“You know how I have served you and how your livestock has been with me. 30For what you had before I came was little, and it has increased to a great amount; the Lord has blessed you since my coming. And now, when shall I also #(1 Tim. 5:8)provide for my own house?”
31So he said, “What shall I give you?”
And Jacob said, “You shall not give me anything. If you will do this thing for me, I will again feed and keep your flocks: 32Let me pass through all your flock today, removing from there all the speckled and spotted sheep, and all the brown ones among the lambs, and the spotted and speckled among the goats; and #Gen. 31:8these shall be my wages. 33So my #Ps. 37:6righteousness will answer for me in time to come, when the subject of my wages comes before you: every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats, and brown among the lambs, will be considered stolen, if it is with me.”
34And Laban said, “Oh, that it were according to your word!” 35So he removed that day the male goats that were #Gen. 31:9–12speckled and spotted, all the female goats that were speckled and spotted, every one that had some white in it, and all the brown ones among the lambs, and gave them into the hand of his sons. 36Then he put three days’ journey between himself and Jacob, and Jacob fed the rest of Laban’s flocks.
37Now #Gen. 31:9–12Jacob took for himself rods of green poplar and of the almond and chestnut trees, peeled white strips in them, and exposed the white which was in the rods. 38And the rods which he had peeled, he set before the flocks in the gutters, in the watering troughs where the flocks came to drink, so that they should conceive when they came to drink. 39So the flocks conceived before the rods, and the flocks brought forth streaked, speckled, and spotted. 40Then Jacob separated the lambs, and made the flocks face toward the streaked and all the brown in the flock of Laban; but he put his own flocks by themselves and did not put them with Laban’s flock.
41And it came to pass, whenever the stronger livestock conceived, that Jacob placed the rods before the eyes of the livestock in the gutters, that they might conceive among the rods. 42But when the flocks were feeble, he did not put them in; so the feebler were Laban’s and the stronger Jacob’s. 43Thus the man #Gen. 12:16; 30:30became exceedingly prosperous, and #Gen. 13:2; 24:35; 26:13, 14had large flocks, female and male servants, and camels and donkeys.