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Genesis 30

30
The Sons of Jacob
1When Rachel saw that she conceived no children for Jacob, she envied her sister, and said to Jacob, “Give me children, or else I will die.” 2Then Jacob became furious with Rachel, and he said, “Am I in the place of God, who has denied you children?” 3She said, “Here, take my maid Bilhah and go in to her; and [when the baby comes] she shall #This ritual symbolized that the wife was providing the child for her husband through a surrogate mother.deliver it [while sitting] on my knees, so that by her I may also have children [to count as my own].” 4So she gave him Bilhah her maid as a [#I.e. concubine (see note 22:24).secondary] wife, and Jacob went in to her. 5Bilhah conceived and gave birth to a son for Jacob. 6Then Rachel said, “God has judged and vindicated me, and has heard my plea and has given me a son [through my maid].” So she named him Dan (He judged). 7Bilhah, Rachel’s maid, conceived again and gave birth to a second son for Jacob. 8So Rachel said, “With mighty wrestlings [in prayer to God] I have struggled with my sister and have prevailed.” So she named him Naphtali (my wrestlings).
9When Leah saw that she had stopped bearing [children], she took Zilpah her maid and gave her to Jacob as a [#I.e. concubine (see note 22:24).secondary] wife. 10Zilpah, Leah’s maid, gave birth to a son for Jacob. 11Then Leah said, “How fortunate!” So she named him Gad (good fortune). 12Zilpah, Leah’s maid, gave birth to a second son for Jacob. 13Then Leah said, “I am happy! For women will call me happy.” So she named him Asher (happy).
14Now at the time of wheat harvest Reuben [the eldest child] went and found some #A narcotic plant thought by ancient peoples to be an aphrodisiac or cure for infertility.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 Leah answered, “Is it a small thing that you have taken my husband? Would you take away my son’s mandrakes also?” So Rachel said, “Jacob shall sleep with you tonight in exchange 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 sleep with me [tonight], for I have in fact hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” So he slept with her that night. 17God listened and answered [the prayer of] Leah, and she conceived and gave birth to a fifth son for Jacob. 18Then Leah said, “God has given me my reward because I have given my maid to my husband.” So she named him #Related to Hebrew for “reward.”Issachar. 19Leah conceived again and gave birth to a sixth son for Jacob. 20Then Leah said, “God has endowed me with a good [marriage] gift [for my husband]; now he will live with me [regarding me with honor as his wife], because I have given birth to six sons.” So she named him #Possibly related to Hebrew for “home” or “elevated place.”Zebulun. 21Afterward she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.
22Then God remembered [the prayers of] Rachel, and God thought of her and opened her womb [so that she would conceive]. 23So she conceived and gave birth to a son; and she said, “God has taken away my disgrace and humiliation.” 24She named him Joseph (may He add) and said, “May the Lord add to me another son.”
Jacob Prospers
25Now when Rachel had given birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send me away, that I may go back 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 know the work which I have done for you.” 27But Laban said to him, “If I have found favor in your sight, stay with me; for I have learned [from the omens in divination and by experience] that the Lord has blessed me because of you.” 28He said, “Name your wages, and I will give it [to you].” 29Jacob answered him, “You know how I have served you and how your possessions, your cattle and sheep and goats, have fared with me. 30For you had little before I came and it has increased and multiplied abundantly, and the Lord has favored you with blessings wherever I turned. But now, when shall I provide for my own household?” 31Laban asked, “What shall I give you?” Jacob replied, “You shall not give me anything. But if you will do this one thing for me [which I now propose], I will again pasture and keep your flock: 32Let me pass through your entire flock today, removing from it every speckled and spotted sheep and every dark or black one among the lambs and the spotted and speckled among the goats; and those shall be my wages. 33So my honesty will be evident for me later, when you come [for an accounting] concerning my wages. Every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats and dark among the young lambs, if found with me, shall be considered stolen.” 34And Laban said, “Good! Let it be done as you say.” 35So on that same day Laban [secretly] removed the male goats that were streaked and spotted and all the female goats that were speckled and spotted, every one with white on it, and all the dark ones among the sheep, and put them in the care of his sons. 36And he put [a distance of] three days’ journey between himself and Jacob, and Jacob was then left in care of the rest of Laban’s flock.
37Then Jacob took branches of fresh poplar and almond and plane trees, and peeled white stripes in them, exposing the white in the branches. 38Then he set the branches which he had peeled in front of the flocks in the watering troughs, where the flocks came to drink; and they mated and conceived when they came to drink. 39So the flocks mated and conceived by the branches, and the flocks #The success of Jacob’s action was undoubtedly the answer to an unrecorded prayer. Later (31:7-12), Jacob gives God the credit for what happened, citing a special dream that he had from God.gave birth to streaked, speckled, and spotted offspring. 40Jacob separated the lambs, and [as he had done with the peeled branches] he made the flocks face toward the streaked and all the dark or black in the [new] flock of Laban; and he put his own herds apart by themselves and did not put them [where they could breed] with Laban’s flock. 41Furthermore, whenever the stronger [animals] of the flocks were breeding, Jacob would place the branches in the sight of the flock in the watering troughs, so that they would mate and conceive among the branches; 42but when the flock was sickly, he did not put the branches there; so the sicker [animals] were Laban’s and the stronger Jacob’s. 43So Jacob became exceedingly prosperous, and had large flocks [of sheep and goats], and female and male servants, and camels and donkeys.
30
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.