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Genesis 30

30
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.
30
1Rachel saw that she was not giving Jacob any children. She became jealous of her sister Leah. So Rachel said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I will die!”
2Jacob became angry with Rachel and said, “I am not God. He is the one who has caused you to not have children.”
3Then Rachel said, “You can have my maid Bilhah. Sleep with her, and she will have a child for me.#30:3 she will have a child for me Literally, “she will give birth on my knees, and I, too, will have a son through her.” Then I can be a mother through her.”
4So Rachel gave Bilhah to her husband Jacob. He had sexual relations with Bilhah. 5She became pregnant and gave birth to a son for Jacob.
6Rachel said, “God has listened to my prayer. He decided to give me a son.” So she named this son Dan.#30:6 Dan This is like the Hebrew word meaning “to decide” or “to judge.”
7Bilhah became pregnant again and gave Jacob a second son. 8Rachel said, “I have fought hard to compete with my sister, and I have won.” So she named that son Naphtali.#30:8 Naphtali This is like the Hebrew word meaning “my struggle.”
9Leah saw that she could have no more children. So she gave her slave girl Zilpah to Jacob. 10Then Zilpah had a son. 11Leah said, “I am lucky.” So she named the son Gad.#30:11 Gad This is like the Hebrew word meaning “lucky” or “fortunate.” 12Zilpah gave birth to another son. 13Leah said, “I am very happy! Now women will call me happy.” So she named that son Asher.#30:13 Asher This is like the Hebrew word meaning “blessed” or “happy.”
14During the wheat harvest Reuben went into the fields and found some special flowers.#30:14 special flowers Or “mandrakes.” The Hebrew word means “love plant.” People thought these plants could help women have babies. He brought them to his mother Leah. But Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s flowers.”
15Leah answered, “You have already taken away my husband. Now you are trying to take away my son’s flowers.”
But Rachel answered, “If you will give me your son’s flowers, you can sleep with Jacob tonight.”
16Jacob came in from the fields that night. Leah saw him and went out to meet him. She said, “You will sleep with me tonight. I have paid for you with my son’s flowers.” So Jacob slept with Leah that night.
17Then God allowed Leah to become pregnant again. She gave birth to a fifth son. 18She said, “God has given me a reward because I gave my slave to my husband.” So she named her son Issachar.#30:18 Issachar This is like the Hebrew word meaning “reward” or “salary.”
19Leah became pregnant again and gave birth to a sixth son. 20She said, “God has given me a fine gift. Now surely Jacob will accept me, because I have given him six sons.” So she named this son Zebulun.#30:20 Zebulun This is like the Hebrew word meaning “praise” or “honor.”
21Later, Leah gave birth to a daughter. She named her Dinah.
22Then God heard Rachel’s prayer and made it possible for Rachel to have children. 23She became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She said, “God has taken away my shame.” 24Rachel named the son Joseph,#30:23-24 Joseph This is like the Hebrew word meaning “to add.” saying, “May the Lord give me another son.”
Jacob Tricks Laban
25After the birth of Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Now let me go back to my own homeland. 26Give me my wives and my children. I have earned them by working for you. You know that I served you well.”
27Laban said to him, “Please, let me say something. I know#30:27 know Or “guessed,” “divined,” or “concluded.” that the Lord has blessed me because of you. 28Tell me what I should pay you, and I will give it to you.”
29Jacob answered, “You know that I have worked hard for you. Your flocks have grown and been well while I cared for them. 30When I came, you had little. Now you have much, much more. Every time I did something for you, the Lord blessed you. Now it is time for me to work for myself—it is time to do things for my family.”
31Laban asked, “Then what should I give you?”
Jacob answered, “I don’t want you to give me anything! I only want you to let me do this one thing: I will go back and take care of your sheep. 32But let me go through all your flocks today and take every lamb with spots or stripes. Let me take every black young goat and every female goat with stripes or spots. That will be my pay. 33In the future you can easily see if I am honest. You can come to look at my flocks. If I have any goat that isn’t spotted or any sheep that isn’t black, you will know that I stole it.”
34Laban answered, “I agree to that. We will do what you ask.” 35But that day Laban hid all the male goats that had spots. And he hid all the female goats that had spots on them. He also hid all the black sheep. Laban told his sons to watch these sheep. 36So the sons took all the spotted animals and led them to another place. They traveled for three days. Jacob stayed and took care of all the animals that were left.
37Then Jacob cut green branches from poplar and almond trees. He stripped off some of the bark so that the branches had white stripes on them. 38He put the branches in front of the flocks at the watering places. When the animals came to drink, they also mated in that place. 39Then when the goats mated in front of the branches, the young that were born were spotted, striped, or black.
40Jacob separated the spotted and the black animals from the other animals in the flock. He kept his animals separate from Laban’s. 41Any time the stronger animals in the flock were mating, Jacob put the branches before their eyes. The animals mated near those branches. 42But when the weaker animals mated, Jacob did not put the branches there. So the young animals born from the weak animals were Laban’s. And the young animals born from the stronger animals were Jacob’s. 43In this way Jacob became very rich. He had large flocks, many servants, camels, and donkeys.