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Genesis 30

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1When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children, she envied her sister. “Give me sons, or I will die!” #1Sm 1:5–6 she said to Jacob.
2Jacob became angry with Rachel and said, “Am I in the place of God? He has withheld offspring#30:2 Lit the fruit of the womb from you!”
3Then she said, “Here is my maid Bilhah. Go sleep with her, and she’ll bear children for me#30:3 Lit bear on my knees#Gn 50:23 so that through her I too can build a family.” 4So Rachel gave her slave Bilhah to Jacob as a wife, and he slept with her. 5Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son. 6Rachel said, “God has vindicated me; yes, he has heard me and given me a son,” so she named him Dan.#30:6 In Hb, the name Dan sounds like “has vindicated,” or “has judged.”
7Rachel’s slave Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. 8Rachel said, “In my wrestlings with God,#30:8 Or “With mighty wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister and won,” and she named him Naphtali.#30:8 In Hb, the name Naphtali sounds like “my wrestling.”
9When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she took her slave Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife. 10Leah’s slave Zilpah bore Jacob a son. 11Then Leah said, “What good fortune!” #30:11 Alt Hb tradition, LXX, Vg read “Good fortune has come!” and she named him Gad.#30:11 = Good Fortune
12When Leah’s slave Zilpah bore Jacob a second son, 13Leah said, “I am happy that the women call me happy,”#Lk 1:48 so she named him Asher.#30:13 = Happy
14Reuben went out during the wheat harvest and found some mandrakes in the field.#Sg 7:13 When he brought them to his mother Leah, Rachel asked, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.”
15But Leah replied to her, “Isn’t it enough that you have taken my husband? Now you also want to take my son’s mandrakes?”
“Well then,” Rachel said, “he can sleep with you tonight in exchange for your son’s mandrakes.”
16When Jacob came in from the field that evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, “You must come with me, for I have hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” So Jacob slept with her that night.
17God listened to Leah, and she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18Leah said, “God has rewarded me for giving my slave to my husband,” and she named him Issachar.#30:18 In Hb, the name Issachar sounds like “reward.”
19Then Leah conceived again and bore Jacob a sixth son. 20“God has given me a good gift,” Leah said. “This time my husband will honor me because I have borne six sons for him,” and she named him Zebulun.#30:20 In Hb, the name Zebulun sounds like “honored.” 21Later, Leah bore a daughter and named her Dinah.
22Then God remembered Rachel. He listened to her and opened her womb.#Gn 29:31 23She conceived and bore a son, and she said, “God has taken away my disgrace.”#Is 4:1; Lk 1:25 24She named him Joseph#30:24 = He Adds and said, “May the Lord add another son to me.”#Gn 35:17
Jacob’s Flocks Multiply
25After Rachel gave birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send me on my way so that I can return to my homeland. 26Give me my wives and my children that I have worked for, and let me go.#Gn 29:18,20,27; Hs 12:12 You know how hard I have worked for you.”
27But Laban said to him, “If I have found favor with you, stay. I have learned by divination that the Lord has blessed me because of you.” 28Then Laban said, “Name your wages, and I will pay them.”#Gn 29:15; 31:7,41
29So Jacob said to him, “You know how I have served you and how your herds have fared with me.#Gn 31:6,38–40 30For you had very little before I came, but now your wealth has increased. The Lord has blessed you because of me. And now, when will I also do something for my own family?”
31Laban asked, “What should I give you?”
And Jacob said, “You don’t need to give me anything. If you do this one thing for me, I will continue to shepherd and keep your flock. 32Let me go through all your sheep today and remove every sheep that is speckled or spotted, every dark-colored sheep among the lambs, and the spotted and speckled among the female goats. Such will be my wages. 33In the future when you come to check on my wages, my honesty will testify for me. If I have any female goats that are not speckled or spotted, or any lambs that are not black, they will be considered stolen.”
34“Good,” said Laban. “Let it be as you have said.”
35That day Laban removed the streaked and spotted male goats and all the speckled and spotted female goats — every one that had any white on it — and every dark-colored one among the lambs, and he placed his sons in charge of them. 36He put a three-day journey between himself and Jacob. Jacob, meanwhile, was shepherding the rest of Laban’s flock.
37Jacob then took branches of fresh poplar, almond, and plane wood, and peeled the bark, exposing white stripes on the branches. 38He set the peeled branches in the troughs in front of the sheep — in the water channels where the sheep came to drink. And the sheep bred when they came to drink. 39The flocks bred in front of the branches and bore streaked, speckled, and spotted young.#Gn 31:10–12 40Jacob separated the lambs and made the flocks face the streaked sheep and the completely dark sheep in Laban’s flocks. Then he set his own stock apart and didn’t put them with Laban’s sheep.
41Whenever the stronger of the flock were breeding, Jacob placed the branches in the troughs, in full view of the flocks, and they would breed in front of the branches. 42As for the weaklings of the flocks, he did not put out the branches. So it turned out that the weak sheep belonged to Laban and the stronger ones to Jacob. 43And the man became very rich.#30:43 Lit The man spread out very much, very much He had many flocks, female and male slaves, and camels and donkeys.#Gn 12:16; 13:2; 24:35; 26:13–14; 30:30
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Jacob’s Children
1When Rachel saw that she could not bear children to Jacob, Rachel envied her sister. And she said to Jacob, “Give me children—if not, I will die!” 2And Jacob became angry#Literally “became hot of nose” with Rachel. And he said, “Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?” 3Then she said, “Here is my servant girl Bilhah; go in to her that she may bear children as my surrogate.#Literally “upon my knees” Then I will even have children#Literally “be built up” by her.” 4Then she gave him Bilhah, her female servant, as a wife, and Jacob went in to her 5And Bilhah conceived and gave birth to a son for Jacob. 6Then Rachel said, “God has judged me, and has also heard my voice, and has given me a son.” Therefore she called his name Dan. 7And Bilhah, Rachel’s servant, conceived again and bore a second son to Jacob. 8And Rachel said, “I have struggled a mighty struggle with my sister and have prevailed.” And she called his name Naphtali. 9When Leah saw that she had ceased bearing children, she took Zilpah her female servant and gave her to Jacob as a wife. 10And Zilpah, the female slave of Leah, bore a son to Jacob. 11Then Leah said, “Good fortune!” And she called his name Gad. 12And Zilpah, Leah’s female servant, bore a second son to Jacob. 13Then Leah said, “How happy am I! For women have called me happy.” So she called his name Asher.
14And in the days of the wheat harvest, Reuben went and found mandrakes in the field and he brought them to Leah his mother. And Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.” 15And she said to her, “Is your taking my husband such a small thing that you will also take the mandrakes of my son?” Then Rachel said, “Then he may 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 she said, “Come in to me, for I have hired#Literally “I have fully paid for” you with my son’s mandrakes.” And he slept with her that night. 17And God listened to Leah and she conceived and gave birth to a fifth son for Jacob. 18Then Leah said, “God has given me my wage since I gave my servant girl to my husband.” And she called his name Issachar. 19And Leah conceived again and gave birth to a sixth son for Jacob. 20And Leah said, “God has endowed me with a good gift. This time my husband will acknowledge me, because I bore him six sons.” And she called his name Zebulun. 21And afterward she gave birth to a daughter. And she called her name Dinah. 22Then God remembered Rachel and listened to her, and God opened her womb. 23And she conceived and gave birth to a son. And she said, “God has taken away my disgrace.” 24And she called his name Joseph, saying, “Yahweh has added to me another son.”
Jacob’s Prosperity
25And it happened that as soon as Rachel had given birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send me away that I may go to my place and my land. 26Give me my wives and my children for which I have served you, and let me go. For you yourself know my service that I have rendered to you.” 27But Laban said to him, “Please, if I have found favor in your eyes, I have learned by divination that Yahweh has blessed me because of you.” 28And he said, “Name your wage to me and I will give it.” 29Then he said to him, “You yourself know how I have served you and how your livestock have been with me.#I.e., “How well they have done under my care” 30For you had little before me, and it has increased abundantly. And Yahweh has blessed you wherever I turned.#Literally “to my foot” So then, when shall I provide for my own family also?” 31And he said, “What shall I give you?” And Jacob said, “Do not give me anything. If you will do this thing for me, I will again feed your flocks and keep them. 32Let me pass through all your flocks today, removing all the speckled and spotted sheep from them, along with#Or “and” every dark-colored sheep among the sheep, and the spotted and speckled among the goats. That#Or “it” shall be my wages. 33And my righteousness will answer for me later#Literally “on the day tomorrow” when you come concerning my wages before you. Every one that is not speckled or spotted among the goats, or dark-colored among the sheep shall be stolen if it is with me.” 34Then Laban said, “Look! Very well. It shall be according to your word.” 35But that day he#That is, Laban removed the streaked and spotted male goats and all the speckled and spotted female goats, all that had white on it, and every dark-colored ram, and put them in the charge of his sons.#Literally “he gave into the hands of his sons” 36And he put a journey of three days between him and Jacob, and Jacob pastured the remainder of Laban’s flock. 37Then Jacob took fresh branches of poplar, almond, and plane trees and peeled white strips on them, exposing the white which was on the branches. 38And he set the branches that he had peeled in front of the flocks, in the troughs and in the water containers. And they were in heat when they came to drink. 39And the flocks mated by the branches, so the flocks bore streaked, speckled, and spotted. 40And Jacob separated the lambs and turned the faces of the flocks toward the streaked and all the dark-colored in Laban’s flocks. And he put his own herds apart, and did not put them with the flocks of Laban. 41And whenever any of the stronger of the flocks were in heat, Jacob put the branches in full view#Literally “before the eyes of” of the flock in the troughs that they might mate among the branches. 42But with the more feeble of the flock he would not put them there. So the feebler were Laban’s and the stronger were Jacob’s. 43And the man became exceedingly#Literally “very, very” rich and had large flocks, female slaves, male slaves, camels, and donkeys.