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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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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.