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Genesis 30

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1Rachel saw that she was not giving birth to children for Jacob. So she envied her sister Leah. Rachel said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I’ll die!”
2Jacob became angry with her. He said, “Can I do what only God can do? He is the one who has kept you from having children.”
3Then Rachel said, “Here is my slave girl Bilhah. Have physical relations with her so she can give birth to a child for me. Then I can have my own family through her.”
4So Rachel gave Bilhah, her slave girl, to Jacob as a wife. And he had physical relations with her. 5She became pregnant and gave Jacob a son. 6Rachel said, “God has declared me innocent. He has listened to my prayer and has given me a son.” So Rachel named this son Dan.# This name means “he has declared innocent.”
7Bilhah became pregnant again and gave Jacob a second son. 8Rachel said, “I have struggled hard with my sister. And I have won.” So she named that son Naphtali.# This name sounds like the Hebrew word for “my struggle.”
9Leah saw that she had stopped having children. So she gave her slave girl Zilpah to Jacob as a wife. 10Then Zilpah had a son. 11Leah said, “I am lucky.” So she named her son Gad.# This name may mean “lucky.” 12Zilpah gave birth to another son. 13Leah said, “I am very happy! Now women will call me happy.” So she named that son Asher.# This name may mean “happy.”
14During the wheat harvest Reuben went into the field and found some mandrake# A plant which was believed to cause a woman to become pregnant. plants. He brought them to his mother Leah. But Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.”
15Leah answered, “You have already taken away my husband. Now you are trying to take away my son’s mandrakes.”
But Rachel answered, “If you will give me your son’s mandrakes, you may sleep with Jacob tonight.”
16When Jacob came in from the field that night, Leah went out to meet him. She said, “You will have intimate relations with me tonight. I have paid for you with my son’s mandrakes.” So Jacob slept with her that night.
17Then God answered Leah’s prayer, and she became pregnant again. She gave birth to a fifth son. 18Leah said, “God has given me what I paid for, because I gave my slave girl to my husband.” So Leah named her son Issachar.# This name sounds like the Hebrew word for “paid for.”
19Leah became pregnant again and gave birth to a sixth son. 20She said, “God has given me a fine gift. Now surely Jacob will honor me, because I have given him six sons.” So Leah named the son Zebulun.# This name sounds like the Hebrew word for “honor.”
21Later Leah gave birth to a daughter. She named her Dinah.
22Then God remembered Rachel and answered her prayer. God made it possible for her to have children. 23She became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She said, “God has taken away my shame.” 24She named him Joseph.# This name sounds like the Hebrew word for “he adds.” Rachel said, “I wish the Lord would give me another son.”
Jacob Tricks Laban
25After the birth of Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Now let me go to my own home and country. 26Give me my wives and my children, and let me go. I have earned them by working for you. You know that I served you well.”
27Laban said to him, “If I have pleased you, please stay. I know 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 while I cared for them. 30When I came, you had little. Now you have much. Every time I did something for you, the Lord blessed you. But when will I be able to do something for my own family?”
31Laban asked, “Then what should I give you?”
Jacob answered, “I don’t want you to give me anything. Just do this one thing. Then I will come back and take care of your flocks. 32Today let me go through all your flocks of white sheep and black goats. I will take every spotted or speckled lamb. I will take every black lamb and every spotted or speckled goat. 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 speckled or spotted or any sheep that isn’t black, you will know I stole it.”
34Laban answered, “Agreed! We will do what you ask.” 35But that day Laban took away all the male goats that had streaks or spots. And he took all the speckled and spotted female goats (all those that had white on them). And he took all the black sheep. He told his sons to watch over them. 36Laban took these animals to a place that was three days’ journey away from Jacob. Jacob took care of all the animals that were left.
37So Jacob cut green branches from poplar, almond and plane trees. He peeled 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 there. 39So the goats mated in front of the branches. Then the young that were born were streaked, speckled or spotted. 40Jacob separated the young animals from the others. And he made them face the streaked and dark animals in Laban’s flock. Jacob kept his animals separate from Laban’s. 41When the stronger animals in the flock were mating, Jacob put the branches before their eyes. This was so the animals would mate near the branches. 42But when the weaker animals mated, Jacob did not put the branches there. So the animals born from the weaker animals were Laban’s. And the animals born from the stronger animals were Jacob’s. 43In this way Jacob became very rich. He had large flocks, many male and female servants, camels and donkeys.
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The Sons of Jacob
1Now when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she became jealous of her sister; and she said to Jacob, “Give me children, or else I 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?” 3She said, “Here is my maid Bilhah, go in to her that she may bear on my knees, that through her I too may have children.” 4So she gave him her maid Bilhah as a wife, and Jacob went in to her. 5Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son. 6Then Rachel said, “God has vindicated me, and has indeed heard my voice and has given me a son.” Therefore she named him Dan. 7Rachel’s maid Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. 8So Rachel said, “With mighty wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister, and I have indeed prevailed.” And she named him Naphtali.
9When Leah saw that she had stopped bearing, she took her maid Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife. 10Leah’s maid Zilpah bore Jacob a son. 11Then Leah said, “How fortunate!” So she named him Gad. 12Leah’s maid Zilpah bore Jacob a second son. 13Then Leah said, “Happy am I! For women will call me happy.” So she named him Asher.
14Now in the days of 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.” 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 lie with you tonight in return for your son’s mandrakes.” 16When Jacob came in from the field in the evening, then 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.” So he lay with her that night. 17God gave heed to Leah, and she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18Then Leah said, “God has given me my wages because I gave my maid to my husband.” So she named him Issachar. 19Leah conceived again and bore a sixth son to Jacob. 20Then Leah said, “God has endowed me with a good gift; now my husband will dwell with me, because I have borne him six sons.” So she named him Zebulun. 21Afterward she bore a daughter and named her Dinah.
22Then God remembered Rachel, and God gave heed to her and opened her womb. 23So she conceived and bore a son and said, “God has taken away my reproach.” 24She named him Joseph, saying, “May the Lord give me another son.”
Jacob Prospers
25Now it came about when Rachel had borne Joseph, that Jacob said to Laban, “Send me away, 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 depart; for you yourself know my service which I have rendered you.” 27But Laban said to him, “If now #Lit I have found favor in your eyesit pleases you, stay with me; I have divined that the Lord has blessed me on your account.” 28He continued, “Name me your wages, and I will give it.” 29But he said to him, “You yourself know how I have served you and how your cattle have fared with me. 30For you had little before I came and it has increased to a multitude, and the Lord has blessed you wherever 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 and spotted sheep and every black one among the lambs and the spotted and speckled among the goats; and such shall be my wages. 33So my honesty will answer for me later, when you come concerning my wages. Every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats and black among the lambs, if found with me, will be considered stolen.” 34Laban said, “Good, let it be according to your word.” 35So he removed on that day the striped and spotted male goats and all the speckled and spotted female goats, every one with white in it, and all the black ones among the sheep, and gave them into the care 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 took fresh rods of poplar and almond and plane trees, and peeled white stripes in them, exposing the white which was in the rods. 38He set the rods which he had peeled in front of the flocks in the gutters, even in the watering troughs, where the flocks came to drink; and they mated when they came to drink. 39So the flocks mated by the rods, and the flocks brought forth striped, speckled, and spotted. 40Jacob separated the lambs, and made 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 gutters, so that they might mate by the rods; 42but when the flock was feeble, he did not put them in; so the feebler were Laban’s and the stronger Jacob’s. 43So the man became exceedingly prosperous, and had large flocks and female and male servants and camels and donkeys.