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Genesis 30

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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.
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CHAPTER 30
1Forsooth Rachel saw, that she was unfruitful, and she had envy to her sister, and said to her husband, Give thou free children to me, else I shall die.
2To whom Jacob was wroth, and answered, Whether I am for God, which have deprived thee from the fruit of thy womb?
3And she said, I have an handmaid Bilhah; enter thou [in] to her that she child on my knees, and that I have sons of her.
4And she gave to him Bilhah into matrimony; and when her husband had entered [in] to her,
5she conceived, and childed a son.
6And Rachel said, The Lord hath deemed to me, and hath heard my prayer, and gave a son to me; and therefore she called his name Dan.
7And again Bilhah conceived, and childed another son,
8for whom Rachel said, The Lord hath made me like my sister, and I [have] waxed strong; and she called him Naphtali.
9Leah feeled that she ceased to bear child, and she gave Zilpah, her handmaid, to her husband.
10And when Zilpah, after conceiving, childed a son,
11Leah said, Blessedly; and therefore she called his name Gad.
12Also Zilpah childed another son,
13and Leah said, This is for my bliss, for all women shall say me blessed; therefore she called him Asher.
14Forsooth Reuben went out into the field in the time of wheat harvest, and found mandrakes, which he brought to Leah, his mother. And Rachel said, Give thou to me a part of the mandrakes of thy son.
15Leah answered, Whether it seemeth little to thee, that thou hast ravished my husband from me, no but thou take also the mandrakes of my son? Rachel said, The husband sleep with thee in this night for the mandrakes of thy son.
16And when Jacob came again from the field at the eventide, Leah went out into his meeting, and said, Thou shalt enter [in] to me, for I have hired thee with hire for the mandrakes of my son. He slept with her in that night;
17and God heard her prayers, and she conceived, and childed the fifth son;
18and said, God hath given meed to me, for I gave mine handmaid to mine husband; and she called his name Issachar.
19Again Leah conceived, and childed the sixth son,
20and said, The Lord hath made me rich with a good dower; also in this time mine husband shall be with me, for I have engendered six sons to him; and therefore she called his name Zebulun.
21After whom she childed a daughter, Dinah by name.
22Also the Lord had mind on Rachel, and he heard her, and opened her womb.
23And she conceived, and childed a son, and said, God hath taken away my shame;
24and she called his name Joseph, and said, The Lord give to me another son.
25Soothly when Joseph was born, Jacob said to his wife’s father, Deliver thou me, that I turn again to my country, and to my land.
26Give thou to me my wives, and my free children, for which I have served thee, that I go; forsooth thou knowest the service by which I have served thee.
27Laban said to him, Find I grace in thy sight; I have learned by experience, that God hath blessed me for thee;
28ordain thou the meed which I shall give to thee.
29And Jacob answered, Thou knowest how I have served thee, and how great thy possession was in mine hands;
30thou haddest little before that I came to thee, and now thou art made rich, and the Lord [hath] blessed thee at mine entering; therefore it is just that I purvey sometime also for mine house.
31And Laban said, What shall I give to thee? And Jacob said, I will or desire nothing, that is, of thy gift, but if thou doest that that I ask, again I shall feed and keep thy sheep.
32Go about all thy flocks, and separate thou all diversely-coloured sheep, and of spotted fleeces, and whatever thing shall be of dun hue, and spotted, and diverse of colour, as well in sheep as in goats; that shall be my meed.
33And my rightfulness [or rightwise-ness] shall answer to me tomorrow, when the time of covenant shall come before thee; and all that be not diverse, and spotted, and dunned, as well in sheep as in goats, be found at me thou shalt reprove me of theft.
34And Laban said, I have it acceptable that that thou askest.
35And Laban separated in that day [the] goats, and sheep, goat bucks, and rams, diverse and spotted. Soothly he betook all the flock of one colour, that is, of white, and of black fleece, into the hands of his sons;
36and he set the space of a way of three days betwixt his sons, and the husband of his daughters, that fed his other flocks.
37Therefore Jacob took green rods of poplars, and of almonds, and of planes, and in part he did away the rind of them; and when the rinds were drawn away, either shaved, whiteness appeared in these that were made bare; soothly those that were whole dwelled green, and by this manner the colour was made diverse.
38And Jacob put those rods in the troughs, where the water was poured out, that when the flocks should come to drink,
39they should have the rods before their eyes, and they should conceive in [the] sight of the rods. And it was done that in that heat of riding, or engendering, the sheep should behold those rods, and that they should bring forth spotted beasts, and diverse, and besprinkled with diverse colour.
40And Jacob separated the flock, and put the rods in the [water] troughs, before the eyes of the rams. Soothly all the white and [the] black were Laban’s; soothly all the others were Jacob’s; for the flocks were separated betwixt themselves.
41Therefore when the sheep were ridden in the first time, Jacob put the rods in the water troughs before the eyes of rams, and of ewe sheep, that they should conceive in the sight of the rods.
42Forsooth when the late mixing, or engendering, and the last conceivings were, Jacob put not those rods; and those that were late engendered, were made Laban’s, and those that were of the first time engendered, were Jacob’s.
43And Jacob was made full rich, and had many flocks, handmaids, and menservants, camels, and asses.