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Genesis 30

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1#Ge 29:31; 37:11When Rachel saw that she could not give Jacob children, she became jealous of her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I will die.”
2#Ge 16:2; 1Sa 1:5Jacob became angry with Rachel and said, “Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?”
3#Ge 50:23; Job 3:12Then she said, “Here is my maid Bilhah. Have relations with her so that she may bear a child on my knees,#From the Septuagint, a cloak with long sleeves, a full-length cloak, or an embroidered cloak, showing favoritism. so that I may also have children through her.”
4So she gave him Bilhah her maidservant as a wife, and Jacob had relations with her. 5Bilhah conceived and gave Jacob a son. 6#Ps 35:24; 43:1Rachel said, “God has vindicated me, and He has also heard my voice and has given me a son.” Therefore she called his name Dan.
7Bilhah, Rachel’s maid, conceived again and gave Jacob a second son. 8#Ge 49:21; Mt 4:13Then Rachel said, “With great wrestling have I wrestled with my sister, and I have prevailed.” So she called his name Naphtali.
9#Ge 30:4When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she took Zilpah her maid and gave her to Jacob as a wife. 10Zilpah, Leah’s maid, gave Jacob a son. 11#Ge 49:19Then Leah said, “How fortunate!” So she called his name Gad.
12Zilpah, Leah’s maid, gave Jacob a second son. 13#Lk 1:48; Ge 49:20Then Leah said, “Happy am I, for women will call me happy.” So she called his name Asher.
14#SS 7:13At the time of the 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#Nu 16:13Leah said to her, “Is it a small matter that you have taken my husband? Would you take away my son’s mandrakes also?”
So Rachel said, “All right, he may lie with you tonight in exchange 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 sleep with me, because I have paid for you with my son’s mandrakes.” And he slept with her that night.
17God listened to Leah, and she conceived and gave Jacob a fifth son. 18Leah said, “God has given me my reward because I have given my maid to my husband.” So she called his name Issachar.
19Leah conceived again and gave Jacob a sixth son. 20#Mt 4:13; Ge 35:23Leah said, “God has given me a good gift. Now my husband will dwell with me, because I have given him six sons.” So she called his name Zebulun.
21Afterwards she gave birth to a daughter and called her name Dinah.
22#Ge 29:31; 8:1; 1Sa 1:19–20Then God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her and opened her womb. 23#Isa 4:1; Lk 1:25She conceived and gave birth to a son and said, “God has taken away my reproach.” 24#Ge 35:24; 37:2And she called his name Joseph, saying, “The Lord will add to me another son.”
Jacob’s Agreement With Laban
25#Ge 24:54; 24:56When Rachel had given birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send me away, so that I may go to my own place, to my country. 26#Ge 29:30; Hos 12:12Give me my wives and my children, for whom I have served you, and let me go. For you know the service that I have given you.”
27#Ge 26:24; Isa 61:9Laban said to him, “If I have found favor in your eyes, please stay. For I have learned by divination that the Lord has blessed me on account of you.” 28#Ge 29:15He said, “Name me your wages, and I will give it.”
29#Ge 31:6; 31:38–40Jacob said to him, “You know how I have served you, and how your livestock have fared with me. 30#1Ti 5:8For you had little before I came, and it is now increased to a multitude. The Lord has blessed you since I came, and now when may I also provide for my own house?”
31Laban said, “What may I give you?”
And Jacob said, “You may not give me anything, but if you will do this one thing for me, I will continue to feed and keep your flock. 32#Ge 31:8I will pass through all your flock today, removing from it all the speckled and spotted sheep, and every brown sheep from among the lambs, and the spotted and speckled among the goats. These shall be my wages. 33So my integrity will answer for me in time to come. When you come to examine my wages, every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats, and brown among the sheep that are with me will be considered stolen.”
34Laban said, “Agreed. Let it be according to your word.” 35He removed that day the male goats that were striped and spotted and all the female goats that were speckled and spotted, every one that had some white in it, and all the brown ones among the sheep, and gave them into the care of his sons. 36He put three days’ journey between himself and Jacob, and Jacob fed the rest of Laban’s flocks.
37Then Jacob took rods of fresh-cut poplar, almond, and plane trees, and peeled white streaks in them, exposing the white which was in the rods. 38He set the rods which he had peeled before the flocks in the troughs, that is, the watering places, where the flocks came to drink, so that they would mate when they came to drink. 39The flocks mated before the rods and gave birth to young that were striped, speckled, and spotted. 40Jacob separated the lambs and made the flocks face toward the striped and all the brown in the flock of Laban. He put his own flocks by themselves and did not put them with Laban’s sheep. 41Whenever the stronger sheep mated, Jacob laid the rods before the eyes of the sheep in the troughs, so that they might mate among the rods. 42But when the livestock were feeble, he did not put them in. So the weaker were Laban’s and the stronger Jacob’s. 43#Ge 24:35; 26:13–14The man became exceedingly prosperous and had many sheep and female servants and male servants and camels and donkeys.
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Chapter 30
Jacob's family
1Rachel now knew that she could not give birth to any children for Jacob. So, she became jealous of her sister. Rachel said to Jacob, ‘Please give me children. If not, I will die.’ #30:1 In Old Testament times, it was very important for women to have children. 2Jacob became angry with Rachel. He said, ‘Am I God? God has stopped you from giving birth to children!’ 3Rachel said, ‘Take my servant Bilhah and have sex with her. Then she can have children on my behalf. Through her, I can have a family.’ #30:3 This is like what Sarah did with Hagar.
4So Rachel gave her servant Bilhah to Jacob to become his wife. 5Bilhah became pregnant and she gave birth to a son for Jacob. 6Rachel said, ‘God has shown that I am right. He has listened to me and he has given a son to me.’ Because of this, she called the boy Dan. 7Rachel's servant Bilhah became pregnant again. She gave birth to another son for Jacob. 8Rachel said, ‘I have fought with my sister and I have won.’ She called this son Naphtali.
9Leah saw that she had stopped having children. So she gave her servant Zilpah to Jacob as a wife. 10Zilpah became pregnant and she gave birth to a son for Jacob. 11Leah said, ‘This is very good.’ She called the boy Gad. 12Leah's servant Zilpah gave Jacob another son. 13Leah said, ‘I am very happy! Women will call me happy.’ So she called this boy Asher.
14It was the time to get the wheat in from the fields. Reuben went out and he found some mandrake plants in a field. He took them to his mother, Leah. Rachel said to Leah, ‘Please give me some of the mandrake plants that your son gave to you.’ #30:14 Rachel thought that the mandrake plants would help her to have a child. That is why she wanted them. But only God could give her a child. 15But Leah said to Rachel, ‘You took my husband from me. That was bad enough! Now you want to take my son's mandrakes too!’ Rachel said, ‘OK. If you give me some of your son's mandrakes, Jacob can sleep with you tonight.’
16In the evening, Jacob came in from the fields. Leah went out to meet him. She said, ‘You must sleep with me tonight. I have paid for you with my son's mandrakes.’ So Jacob slept with Leah that night. 17God listened to Leah and she became pregnant again. She gave birth to a fifth son for Jacob. 18Leah said, ‘God has helped me because I gave my servant to Jacob as a wife.’ She called her son Issachar.
19Leah became pregnant again and she gave Jacob a sixth son. 20Leah said, ‘God has given me this valuable gift. Now my husband will respect me because I have given him six sons.’ She called this son Zebulun.
21Some time passed and Leah became pregnant again. She gave birth to a daughter. She called her daughter Dinah.
22Then God decided to help Rachel. He listened to her and he let her become pregnant. 23She became pregnant and she gave birth to a son. Rachel said, ‘I am not ashamed any more because God has given me a son.’ 24Rachel called her son Joseph. She said, ‘I pray that the Lord will give me another son.’
Jacob's sheep
25After Rachel gave birth to Joseph, Jacob spoke to Laban. He said, ‘Let me go away now. I want to go home to my own land. 26Let me take my wives and my children with me. I have worked for you so that I could have them. You must let me leave, because you know how much I have worked for you.’
27Laban said to Jacob, ‘If you are happy with me then please stay here. I know that the Lord has blessed me because you are here with me. I have used magic to know that.’ 28Laban also said to Jacob, ‘Tell me how much I should pay you for your work. I will pay whatever you want.’
29Jacob replied, ‘You know how much I have worked for you. You know that you have many more animals now, because I have taken care of them. 30Before I came, you had only a few sheep and goats. Now you have many more valuable things. Wherever I have worked for you, the Lord has blessed you. But now I want to work to help my own family. I must do that soon.’
31Laban asked, ‘What must I give to you?’ Jacob replied, ‘You do not need to give me anything. But just do one thing for me. Then I will still take care of your animals. I will make sure that nothing bad happens to them. 32Do this: Let me go among all your animals today. Let me remove any animal that has a mark on it or that has more than one colour on its skin. I will also take any black lambs. That is what you will give me for my work. 33In the future, this will show that I am honest. You can check on my animals whenever you want to. I will only have sheep or goats that have marks on their skin, or black lambs. If I have any other animals, you may call me a robber.’ 34Laban said, ‘I agree to this. It will be as you have said.’
35On that same day, Laban went to his animals. He quickly removed all the goats that had marks, both male and female goats. He also removed all the black lambs. He gave these animals to his sons to take care of. #30:35 Laban has deceived Jacob. He has taken all the animals that should be Jacob's. He has given them to his own sons to take care of. He sends them away before Jacob knows what he has done. 36He sent those animals a long way away. It would take Jacob 3 days to reach them. While this was happening, Jacob was taking care of Laban's other animals.
37Jacob took branches that he had cut from trees. He took them from poplar trees, almond trees and plane trees. He cut white lines on the branches. He stripped off the outside part of the wood to show white lines. 38Then he put the branches in the place where there were big bowls of water for the animals to drink. They were in front of the animals when they came to drink. The animals could see the branches when it was the right time for them to have sex together. 39When they had sex in front of the branches, they gave birth to babies that had skin with marks. 40Jacob kept these lambs separate from Laban's animals. He took the rest of Laban's female animals to join with the animals that had marks or were black. In that way he got more animals that would belong to him. He kept them separate from Laban's animals.
41Jacob waited until the stronger female animals were ready to have sex. Then he put the special branches in front of them, near the big bowls of water. Then these animals would see the branches when they had sex together. 42But if the female animals were weak, he did not put the branches in front of them when they had sex. As a result, the weak animals would belong to Laban, but Jacob would keep the strong animals.
43In this way, Jacob became very rich. Many sheep and goats belonged to him. He also had female servants and male servants, as well as camels and donkeys.