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Genesis 30

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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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The Sons of Jacob
1Now when Rachel saw that she had not borne Jacob any children, #Lit Rachelshe became jealous of her sister; and she said to Jacob, “Give me children, or else I am going to die.” 2Then Jacob’s anger burned against Rachel, and he said, “Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?” 3Then she said, “Here is my female slave Bilhah: have relations with her that she may give birth #I.e., Prob. referring to a ritual of adoptionon my knees, so that #Lit from her I too may be builtby her I too may obtain a child.” 4So she gave him her slave Bilhah as a wife, and Jacob had relations with her. 5Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son. 6Then Rachel said, “God has #Lit judgedvindicated me, and has indeed heard my voice and has given me a son.” Therefore she named him #I.e., He judgedDan. 7And Rachel’s slave Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. 8So Rachel said, “With #Lit wrestlings of Godmighty wrestling I have #Heb niphtal, related to Naphtaliwrestled with my sister, and I have indeed prevailed.” And she named him Naphtali.
9When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she took her slave Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife. 10And Leah’s slave Zilpah bore Jacob a son. 11Then Leah said, “#Lit With fortune! Some ancient versions Fortune has comeHow fortunate!” So she named him #I.e., FortuneGad. 12And Leah’s slave Zilpah bore Jacob a second son. 13Then Leah said, “#Lit With my happiness!Happy am I! For women will call me happy.” So she named him #I.e., happyAsher.
14Now in the days of wheat harvest Reuben went and found mandrake fruits in the field, and brought them to his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.” 15But 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 sleep with you tonight in return for your son’s mandrakes.” 16When Jacob came in from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, “You must have relations with me, for I have indeed hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” So he slept with her that night. 17God listened to Leah, and she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18Then Leah said, “God has given me my #Heb sachar, related to Issacharreward, because I gave my slave to my husband.” So she named him Issachar. 19And Leah conceived again and bore a sixth son to Jacob. 20Then Leah said, “God has endowed me with a good gift; finally my husband #Heb zabal, related to Zebulunwill acknowledge me as his wife, because I have borne him six sons.” So she named him Zebulun. 21Afterward she gave birth to a daughter, and named her Dinah.
22Then God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her and opened her womb. 23So she conceived and gave birth to a son, and said, “God has taken away my disgrace.” 24And she named him Joseph, saying, “May the Lord #Lit add to me; Heb Josephgive me another son.”
Jacob Prospers
25Now it came about, when Rachel had given birth to Joseph, that Jacob said to Laban, “Send me away, so that I may go to my own place and to my own country. 26Give me my wives and my children for whom I have served you, and let me go; for you yourself know my service which I have #Lit servedrendered you.” 27But Laban said to him, “If #Lit I have found favor in your eyesit pleases you at all, stay with me; I have determined by divination that the Lord has blessed me on your account.” 28He #Lit saidcontinued, “Name me your wages, and I will give them.” 29But Jacob said to him, “You yourself know how I have served you and how your livestock have #Lit beenfared with me. 30For you had little before #Lit meI came, and it has #Lit broken forthincreased to a multitude, and the Lord has blessed you #Lit at my footwherever I turned. But now, when shall I provide for my own household also?” 31So 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: 32let me pass through your entire flock today, removing from there every speckled or spotted sheep and every black sheep among the lambs, and the spotted or speckled among the goats; and those shall be my wages. 33So my #Lit righteousnesshonesty will answer for me later, when you come concerning my #Lit wages which are before youwages. Every one that is not speckled or spotted among the goats, or black among the lambs, if found with me, will be considered stolen.” 34Laban said, “#Lit Behold, would that it might beGood, let it be according to your word.” 35So he removed on that day the striped or spotted male goats, and all the speckled or spotted female goats, every one with white on it, and all the black ones among the sheep, and put them in the #Lit handcare of his sons. 36And he put a distance of three days’ journey between himself and Jacob, and Jacob fed the rest of Laban’s flocks.
37Then Jacob #Lit took to himselftook fresh rods of poplar, almond, and plane trees, and peeled white stripes in them, exposing the white that was #Lit onin the rods. 38He set the rods which he had peeled in front of the flocks in the drinking troughs, that is, in the watering channels where the flocks came to drink; and they mated when they came to drink. 39So the flocks mated by the rods, and the flocks delivered striped, speckled, and spotted offspring. 40Then Jacob separated the lambs, and #Lit set the facesmade 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. 41Moreover, whenever the stronger of the flock were mating, Jacob would place the rods in the sight of the flock in the drinking troughs, so that they would mate by the rods; 42but when the flock was sickly, he did not put them in; so the sickly were Laban’s, and the stronger were Jacob’s. 43So the man #Lit broke forthbecame exceedingly prosperous, and had large flocks, and female and male servants, and camels and donkeys.