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Genesis 30

30
1When Rachel saw that she wasn’t having any children for Jacob, she became jealous of her sister. She pleaded with Jacob, “Give me children, or I’ll die!”
2Then Jacob became furious with Rachel. “Am I God?” he asked. “He’s the one who has kept you from having children!”
3Then Rachel told him, “Take my maid, Bilhah, and sleep with her. She will bear children for me,#30:3 Hebrew bear children on my knees. and through her I can have a family, too.” 4So Rachel gave her servant, Bilhah, to Jacob as a wife, and he slept with her. 5Bilhah became pregnant and presented him with a son. 6Rachel named him Dan,#30:6 Dan means “he judged” or “he vindicated.” for she said, “God has vindicated me! He has heard my request and given me a son.” 7Then Bilhah became pregnant again and gave Jacob a second son. 8Rachel named him Naphtali,#30:8 Naphtali means “my struggle.” for she said, “I have struggled hard with my sister, and I’m winning!”
9Meanwhile, Leah realized that she wasn’t getting pregnant anymore, so she took her servant, Zilpah, and gave her to Jacob as a wife. 10Soon Zilpah presented him with a son. 11Leah named him Gad,#30:11 Gad means “good fortune.” for she said, “How fortunate I am!” 12Then Zilpah gave Jacob a second son. 13And Leah named him Asher,#30:13 Asher means “happy.” for she said, “What joy is mine! Now the other women will celebrate with me.”
14One day during the wheat harvest, Reuben found some mandrakes growing in a field and brought them to his mother, Leah. Rachel begged Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.”
15But Leah angrily replied, “Wasn’t it enough that you stole my husband? Now will you steal my son’s mandrakes, too?”
Rachel answered, “I will let Jacob sleep with you tonight if you give me some of the mandrakes.”
16So that evening, as Jacob was coming home from the fields, Leah went out to meet him. “You must come and sleep with me tonight!” she said. “I have paid for you with some mandrakes that my son found.” So that night he slept with Leah. 17And God answered Leah’s prayers. She became pregnant again and gave birth to a fifth son for Jacob. 18She named him Issachar,#30:18 Issachar sounds like a Hebrew term that means “reward.” for she said, “God has rewarded me for giving my servant to my husband as a wife.” 19Then Leah became pregnant again and gave birth to a sixth son for Jacob. 20She named him Zebulun,#30:20 Zebulun probably means “honor.” for she said, “God has given me a good reward. Now my husband will treat me with respect, for I have given him six sons.” 21Later she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.
22Then God remembered Rachel’s plight and answered her prayers by enabling her to have children. 23She became pregnant and gave birth to a son. “God has removed my disgrace,” she said. 24And she named him Joseph,#30:24 Joseph means “may he add.” for she said, “May the Lord add yet another son to my family.”
Jacob’s Wealth Increases
25Soon after Rachel had given birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Please release me so I can go home to my own country. 26Let me take my wives and children, for I have earned them by serving you, and let me be on my way. You certainly know how hard I have worked for you.”
27“Please listen to me,” Laban replied. “I have become wealthy, for#30:27 Or I have learned by divination that. the Lord has blessed me because of you. 28Tell me how much I owe you. Whatever it is, I’ll pay it.”
29Jacob replied, “You know how hard I’ve worked for you, and how your flocks and herds have grown under my care. 30You had little indeed before I came, but your wealth has increased enormously. The Lord has blessed you through everything I’ve done. But now, what about me? When can I start providing for my own family?”
31“What wages do you want?” Laban asked again.
Jacob replied, “Don’t give me anything. Just do this one thing, and I’ll continue to tend and watch over your flocks. 32Let me inspect your flocks today and remove all the sheep and goats that are speckled or spotted, along with all the black sheep. Give these to me as my wages. 33In the future, when you check on the animals you have given me as my wages, you’ll see that I have been honest. If you find in my flock any goats without speckles or spots, or any sheep that are not black, you will know that I have stolen them from you.”
34“All right,” Laban replied. “It will be as you say.” 35But that very day Laban went out and removed the male goats that were streaked and spotted, all the female goats that were speckled and spotted or had white patches, and all the black sheep. He placed them in the care of his own sons, 36who took them a three-days’ journey from where Jacob was. Meanwhile, Jacob stayed and cared for the rest of Laban’s flock.
37Then Jacob took some fresh branches from poplar, almond, and plane trees and peeled off strips of bark, making white streaks on them. 38Then he placed these peeled branches in the watering troughs where the flocks came to drink, for that was where they mated. 39And when they mated in front of the white-streaked branches, they gave birth to young that were streaked, speckled, and spotted. 40Jacob separated those lambs from Laban’s flock. And at mating time he turned the flock to face Laban’s animals that were streaked or black. This is how he built his own flock instead of increasing Laban’s.
41Whenever the stronger females were ready to mate, Jacob would place the peeled branches in the watering troughs in front of them. Then they would mate in front of the branches. 42But he didn’t do this with the weaker ones, so the weaker lambs belonged to Laban, and the stronger ones were Jacob’s. 43As a result, Jacob became very wealthy, with large flocks of sheep and goats, female and male servants, and many camels and donkeys.
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1When Rachel saw that she was not bearing children for Ya‘akov, she envied her sister and said to Ya‘akov, “Give me children, or I will die!” 2This made Ya‘akov angry at Rachel; he answered, “Am I in God’s place? He’s the one who is denying you children.” 3She said, “Here is my maid Bilhah. Go, sleep with her, and let her give birth to a child that will be laid on my knees, so that through her I too can build a family.” 4So she gave him Bilhah her slave-girl as his wife, and Ya‘akov went in and slept with her. 5Bilhah conceived and bore Ya‘akov a son. 6Rachel said, “God has judged in my favor; indeed he has heard me and given me a son.” Therefore she called him Dan [he judged].
7Bilhah Rachel’s slave-girl conceived again and bore Ya‘akov a second son. 8Rachel said, “I have wrestled mightily with my sister and won,” and called him Naftali [my wrestling].
9When Le’ah saw that she had stopped having children, she took Zilpah her slave-girl and gave her to Ya‘akov as his wife. 10Zilpah Le’ah’s slave-girl bore Ya‘akov a son; 11and Le’ah said, “Good fortune has come,” calling him Gad [good fortune].
12Zilpah Le’ah’s slave-girl bore Ya‘akov a second son; 13and Le’ah said, “How happy I am! Women will say I am happy!” and called him Asher [happy].
(iv) 14During the wheat harvest season Re’uven went and found mandrakes in the field and brought them to his mother Le’ah. Rachel said to Le’ah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes [so that I can be fertile].” 15She answered, “Isn’t it enough that you have taken away my husband? Do you have to take my son’s mandrakes too?” Rachel said, “Very well; in exchange for your son’s mandrakes, sleep with him tonight.” 16When Ya‘akov came in from the field in the evening, Le’ah went out to meet him and said, “You have to come and sleep with me, because I’ve hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” So Ya‘akov slept with her that night. 17God listened to Le’ah, and she conceived and bore Ya‘akov a fifth son. 18Le’ah said, “God has given me my hire, because I gave my slave-girl to my husband.” So she called him Yissakhar [hire, reward].
19Le’ah conceived again and bore a sixth son to Ya‘akov. 20Le’ah said, “God has given me a wonderful gift. Now at last my husband will live with me, since I have borne him six sons.” And she called him Z’vulun [living together].
21After this, she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah [controversy over rights].
22Then God took note of Rachel, heeded her prayer and made her fertile. 23She conceived, had a son and said, “God has taken away my disgrace.” 24She called him Yosef [may he add], saying, “May Adonai add to me another son.”
25After Rachel had given birth to Yosef, Ya‘akov said to Lavan, “Send me on my way, so that I can return to my own place, to my own country. 26Let me take my wives, for whom I have served you, and my children; and let me go. You know very well how faithfully I have served you.” 27Lavan answered him, “If you regard me favorably, then please listen: I have observed the signs that Adonai has blessed me on account of you. (v) 28Name your wages,” he said; “I will pay them.” 29Ya‘akov replied, “You know how faithfully I have served you and how your livestock have prospered under my care. 30The few you had before I came have increased substantially; Adonai has blessed you wherever I went. But now, when will I provide for my own household?” 31Lavan said, “What should I give you?” “Nothing,” answered Ya‘akov, “just do this one thing for me: once more I will pasture your flock and take care of it. 32I will also go through the flock and pick out every speckled, spotted or brown sheep, and every speckled or spotted goat; these and their offspring will be my wages. 33And I will let my integrity stand as witness against me in the future: when you come to look over the animals constituting my wages, every goat that isn’t speckled or spotted and every sheep that isn’t brown will count as stolen by me.” 34Lavan replied, “As you have said, so be it.”
35That day Lavan removed the male goats that were streaked or spotted and all the female goats that were speckled or spotted, every one with white on it, and all the brown sheep; turned them over to his sons; 36and put three days’ distance between himself and Ya‘akov. Ya‘akov fed the rest of Lavan’s flocks.
37Ya‘akov took fresh-cut branches from poplar, almond and plane trees and made white streaks on them by peeling off the bark. 38Then he set the rods he had peeled upright in the watering troughs, so that the animals would see them when they came to drink. And since they bred when they came to drink, 39the animals mated in sight of the rods and gave birth to streaked, speckled and spotted young. 40Ya‘akov divided the lambs and had the animals mate with the streaked and the brown in the flock of Lavan. He also kept his own livestock separate and did not have them mix with Lavan’s flock. 41Whenever the hardier animals came into heat, Ya‘akov would set up the rods in the watering troughs; so that the animals would see them and conceive in front of them; 42but he didn’t set up the rods in front of the weaker animals. Thus the more feeble were Lavan’s and the stronger Ya‘akov’s. 43In this way the man became very rich and had large flocks, along with male and female slaves, camels and donkeys.