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Genesis 30

30
1When Rachel realized she was unable to give Jacob any children she was jealous of her sister. She complained to Jacob, “I'll die if you don't give me children!”
2Jacob became angry with Rachel and told her, “Am I God? Do you think I'm the one stopping you having children?”
3“Here's my personal maid Bilhah,” Rachel replied. “Sleep with her and she can have children for me so I'll have a family too.” 4She gave her personal maid Bilhah to him as a wife and Jacob slept with her. 5Bilhah became pregnant and had a son for Jacob. 6Rachel said, “God has judged in my favor! He listened to me and gave me a son.” So she named him Dan.#30:6. Dan means “judge.” 7Rachel's personal maid Bilhah became pregnant again and had second son for Jacob. 8Rachel said, “I've had a hard struggle with my sister, but I've won.” So she named him Naphtali.#30:8. Naphtali means “struggle.”
9Leah realized she wasn't having any more children, so she gave her personal maid Zilpah to Jacob as a wife. 10Zilpah had a son for Jacob. 11Leah said, “I'm really fortunate!” So she named him Gad.#30:11. Gad means “fortunate.” 12Leah's personal maid Zilpah became pregnant again and had a second son for Jacob. 13Leah said, “I'm so happy, and the other women will say I'm happy too!” So she named him Asher.#30:13. Asher means “happy.”
14At the time of the wheat harvest Reuben found some mandrake plants when he was out in the fields. He took them back to his mother Leah. Rachel asked Leah, “Please give me some of the mandrakes your son found.”
15“Aren't you satisfied with stealing my husband?” Leah replied. “Are you going to take my son's mandrakes too?”
“Fine, he can sleep with you tonight if you give me some mandrakes in return,” Rachel responded.
16When Jacob came in from the fields that evening, Leah went out to meet him. “You have to sleep with me because I've paid for you with my son's mandrakes,” she told him. So he slept with her that night. 17God heard Leah's request, and she became pregnant and had a fifth son for Jacob. 18Leah said, “The Lord has rewarded me for giving my personal maid to my husband.” So she named him Issachar.#30:18. Issachar means “reward.” 19Then Leah became pregnant again and had a sixth son for Jacob. 20Leah said, “God has given me a good gift. Now my husband will honor me because I've given him six sons.” So she named him Zebulun.#30:20. Zebulun is related to both the words for “gift” and “honor.” 21Later she had a daughter she named Dinah.
22Then God paid attention to Rachel and listened to her appeals, and helped her to have children. 23She became pregnant and had a son. “God has removed my disgrace,” she said. 24She named him Joseph,#30:24. Joseph may mean both “may he add,” and “he takes away,” referring to Rachel's “disgrace.” saying, “May the Lord give me an additional son.”
25Once Rachel had given birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Let me leave so I can return to my home and my own country. 26Give me my wives and children because I worked for you to have them. Let me go now because you know very well how much work I've done for you.”
27“Please be so kind as to stay,” Laban replied, “because I have discovered#30:27. “Discovered”: or “learned by divination.” that the Lord has blessed me because of you.” 28Then Laban continued, “Tell me how much to pay you and I'll give it to you.”
29“You certainly know how much work I've done for you, and how well your flocks have done under my care. 30You hardly had anything before I arrived, but now you have so much! The Lord has blessed you through what I've done. When am I going to be able to provide for my own family?”
31“Well, what do you propose I give you?” Laban asked again.
“You don't have to give me anything,” Jacob replied. “If you want to do something for me, then how about this: I'll go on looking after your flocks, making sure they're fed. 32Let me go through your flocks today and take all the sheep that are speckled or spotted, and all the dark ones, as well as all the speckled and spotted goats. They'll be my wages. 33In the future you'll be able to prove that I've been honest. When you check my flock, any goats that don't have speckles or spots, or any sheep that aren't dark will be considered stolen from you.”
34“Very good,” Laban agreed. “We'll do as you say.” 35However, the same day Laban went and removed all the striped and spotted male goats, all the speckled and spotted female goats, and all the dark sheep. He had his sons look after them and sent them away— 36a three day journey between them and Jacob, while Jacob was looking after the rest of Laban's flocks.
37Then Jacob cut some sticks from poplar, almond, and plane trees that had white wood under the bark. He peeled off some of the bark, making the sticks look streaked with white. 38He put the sticks he'd peeled in the water troughs where the flocks came to drink because that's where they mated. 39The flocks mated in front of the sticks and gave birth to young that were streaked, speckled, and spotted. 40Jacob separated all these ones out. Then he made his flock face towards those in Laban's flock that were streaked and dark. This is the way he kept his flocks apart from Laban's flock.
41When the strong females were ready to breed, Jacob put the sticks in the troughs where the flocks could see them when they mated. 42He didn't do this for the weaker females. The weaker ones went to Laban, and the strong ones went to Jacob. 43In this way Jacob became an extremely rich man with large flocks, and many male and female slaves, camels, and donkeys.
30
1Rachel saw that she was not giving Jacob any children. She became jealous of her sister Leah. So Rachel said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I will die!”
2Jacob became angry with Rachel and said, “I am not God. He is the one who has caused you to not have children.”
3Then Rachel said, “You can have my maid Bilhah. Sleep with her, and she will have a child for me.#30:3 she will have a child for me Literally, “she will give birth on my knees, and I, too, will have a son through her.” Then I can be a mother through her.”
4So Rachel gave Bilhah to her husband Jacob. He had sexual relations with Bilhah. 5She became pregnant and gave birth to a son for Jacob.
6Rachel said, “God has listened to my prayer. He decided to give me a son.” So she named this son Dan.#30:6 Dan This is like the Hebrew word meaning “to decide” or “to judge.”
7Bilhah became pregnant again and gave Jacob a second son. 8Rachel said, “I have fought hard to compete with my sister, and I have won.” So she named that son Naphtali.#30:8 Naphtali This is like the Hebrew word meaning “my struggle.”
9Leah saw that she could have no more children. So she gave her slave girl Zilpah to Jacob. 10Then Zilpah had a son. 11Leah said, “I am lucky.” So she named the son Gad.#30:11 Gad This is like the Hebrew word meaning “lucky” or “fortunate.” 12Zilpah gave birth to another son. 13Leah said, “I am very happy! Now women will call me happy.” So she named that son Asher.#30:13 Asher This is like the Hebrew word meaning “blessed” or “happy.”
14During the wheat harvest Reuben went into the fields and found some special flowers.#30:14 special flowers Or “mandrakes.” The Hebrew word means “love plant.” People thought these plants could help women have babies. He brought them to his mother Leah. But Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s flowers.”
15Leah answered, “You have already taken away my husband. Now you are trying to take away my son’s flowers.”
But Rachel answered, “If you will give me your son’s flowers, you can sleep with Jacob tonight.”
16Jacob came in from the fields that night. Leah saw him and went out to meet him. She said, “You will sleep with me tonight. I have paid for you with my son’s flowers.” So Jacob slept with Leah that night.
17Then God allowed Leah to become pregnant again. She gave birth to a fifth son. 18She said, “God has given me a reward because I gave my slave to my husband.” So she named her son Issachar.#30:18 Issachar This is like the Hebrew word meaning “reward” or “salary.”
19Leah became pregnant again and gave birth to a sixth son. 20She said, “God has given me a fine gift. Now surely Jacob will accept me, because I have given him six sons.” So she named this son Zebulun.#30:20 Zebulun This is like the Hebrew word meaning “praise” or “honor.”
21Later, Leah gave birth to a daughter. She named her Dinah.
22Then God heard Rachel’s prayer and made it possible for Rachel to have children. 23She became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She said, “God has taken away my shame.” 24Rachel named the son Joseph,#30:23-24 Joseph This is like the Hebrew word meaning “to add.” saying, “May the Lord give me another son.”
Jacob Tricks Laban
25After the birth of Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Now let me go back to my own homeland. 26Give me my wives and my children. I have earned them by working for you. You know that I served you well.”
27Laban said to him, “Please, let me say something. I know#30:27 know Or “guessed,” “divined,” or “concluded.” that 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 and been well while I cared for them. 30When I came, you had little. Now you have much, much more. Every time I did something for you, the Lord blessed you. Now it is time for me to work for myself—it is time to do things for my family.”
31Laban asked, “Then what should I give you?”
Jacob answered, “I don’t want you to give me anything! I only want you to let me do this one thing: I will go back and take care of your sheep. 32But let me go through all your flocks today and take every lamb with spots or stripes. Let me take every black young goat and every female goat with stripes or spots. 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 spotted or any sheep that isn’t black, you will know that I stole it.”
34Laban answered, “I agree to that. We will do what you ask.” 35But that day Laban hid all the male goats that had spots. And he hid all the female goats that had spots on them. He also hid all the black sheep. Laban told his sons to watch these sheep. 36So the sons took all the spotted animals and led them to another place. They traveled for three days. Jacob stayed and took care of all the animals that were left.
37Then Jacob cut green branches from poplar and almond trees. He stripped 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 in that place. 39Then when the goats mated in front of the branches, the young that were born were spotted, striped, or black.
40Jacob separated the spotted and the black animals from the other animals in the flock. He kept his animals separate from Laban’s. 41Any time the stronger animals in the flock were mating, Jacob put the branches before their eyes. The animals mated near those branches. 42But when the weaker animals mated, Jacob did not put the branches there. So the young animals born from the weak animals were Laban’s. And the young animals born from the stronger animals were Jacob’s. 43In this way Jacob became very rich. He had large flocks, many servants, camels, and donkeys.