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Genesis 30

30
1When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children, or else I will die.”
2Jacob’s anger burned against Rachel, and he said, “Am I in God’s place, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?”
3She said, “Behold, my maid Bilhah. Go in to her, that she may bear on my knees, and I also may obtain children by her.” 4She gave him Bilhah her servant as wife, and Jacob went in to her. 5Bilhah conceived, and bore Jacob a son. 6Rachel said, “God has judged me, and has also heard my voice, and has given me a son.” Therefore called she his name Dan. 7Bilhah, Rachel’s servant, conceived again, and bore Jacob a second son. 8Rachel said, “I have wrestled with my sister with mighty wrestlings, and have prevailed.” She named him Naphtali.
9When Leah saw that she had finished bearing, she took Zilpah, her servant, and gave her to Jacob as a wife. 10Zilpah, Leah’s servant, bore Jacob a son. 11Leah said, “How fortunate!” She named him Gad. 12Zilpah, Leah’s servant, bore Jacob a second son. 13Leah said, “Happy am I, for the daughters will call me happy.” She named him Asher.
14Reuben 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, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.”
15She said to her, “Is it a small matter that you have taken away my husband? Would you take away my son’s mandrakes, also?”
Rachel said, “Therefore he will lie with you tonight for your son’s mandrakes.”
16Jacob came from the field in the evening, and 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.”
He lay with her that night. 17God listened to Leah, and she conceived, and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18Leah said, “God has given me my hire, because I gave my servant to my husband.” She named him Issachar. 19Leah conceived again, and bore a sixth son to Jacob. 20Leah said, “God has endowed me with a good dowry. Now my husband will live with me, because I have borne him six sons.” She named him Zebulun. 21Afterwards, she bore a daughter, and named her Dinah.
22God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her, and opened her womb. 23She conceived, bore a son, and said, “God has taken away my reproach.” 24She named him Joseph,#Joseph means “may he add”. saying, “May Yahweh add another son to me.”
25When Rachel had borne Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send me away, that I may go to my own place, and to my country. 26Give me my wives and my children for whom I have served you, and let me go; for you know my service with which I have served you.”
27Laban said to him, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, stay here, for I have divined that Yahweh has blessed me for your sake.” 28He said, “Appoint me your wages, and I will give it.”
29He said to him, “You know how I have served you, and how your livestock have fared with me. 30For it was little which you had before I came, and it has increased to a multitude. Yahweh has blessed you wherever I turned. Now when will I provide for my own house also?”
31He said, “What shall I give you?”
Jacob said, “You shall not give me anything. If you will do this thing for me, I will again feed your flock and keep it. 32I will pass through all your flock today, removing from there every speckled and spotted one, and every black one among the sheep, and the spotted and speckled among the goats. This will be my hire. 33So my righteousness will answer for me hereafter, when you come concerning my hire that is before you. Every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats, and black among the sheep, that might be with me, will be considered stolen.”
34Laban said, “Behold, let it be according to your word.”
35That day, he removed the male goats that were streaked and spotted, and all the female goats that were speckled and spotted, every one that had white in it, and all the black ones among the sheep, and gave them into the hand of his sons. 36He set three days’ journey between himself and Jacob, and Jacob fed the rest of Laban’s flocks.
37Jacob took to himself rods of fresh poplar, almond, plane tree, peeled white streaks in them, and made the white appear which was in the rods. 38He set the rods which he had peeled opposite the flocks in the gutters in the watering-troughs where the flocks came to drink. They conceived when they came to drink. 39The flocks conceived before the rods, and the flocks produced streaked, speckled, and spotted. 40Jacob separated the lambs, and set the faces of the flocks toward the streaked and all the black in the flock of Laban: and he put his own droves apart, and didn’t put them into Laban’s flock. 41Whenever the stronger of the flock conceived, Jacob laid the rods in front of the eyes of the flock in the gutters, that they might conceive among the rods; 42but when the flock were feeble, he didn’t put them in. So the feebler were Laban’s, and the stronger Jacob’s. 43The man increased exceedingly, and had large flocks, female servants and male servants, and camels and donkeys.
30
1But Rachel had not borne Jacob any children, and so she became jealous of her sister and said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I will die.”
2Jacob became angry with Rachel and said, “I can't take the place of God. He is the one who keeps you from having children.”
3She said, “Here is my slave Bilhah; sleep with her, so that she can have a child for me. In this way I can become a mother through her.” 4So she gave Bilhah to her husband, and he had intercourse with her. 5Bilhah became pregnant and bore Jacob a son. 6Rachel said, “God has judged in my favour. He has heard my prayer and has given me a son”; so she named him Dan.#30.6 Dan: This name sounds like the Hebrew for “judge in favour”. 7Bilhah became pregnant again and bore Jacob a second son. 8Rachel said, “I have fought a hard fight with my sister, but I have won”; so she named him Naphtali.#30.8 Naphtali: This name sounds like the Hebrew for “fight”.
9When Leah realized that she had stopped having children, she gave her slave Zilpah to Jacob as his wife. 10Then Zilpah bore Jacob a son. 11Leah said, “I have been lucky”; so she named him Gad.#30.11 Gad: This name in Hebrew means “luck”. 12Zilpah bore Jacob another son, 13and Leah said, “How happy I am! Now women will call me happy”; so she named him Asher.#30.13 Asher: This name in Hebrew means “happy”.
14During the wheat harvest Reuben went into the fields and found mandrakes,#30.14 mandrakes: Plants which were believed to produce fertility and were used as love-charms. which he brought to his mother Leah. Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son's mandrakes.”
15Leah answered, “Isn't it enough that you have taken away my husband? Now you are even trying to take away my son's mandrakes.”
Rachel said, “If you will give me your son's mandrakes, you can sleep with Jacob tonight.”
16When Jacob came in from the fields in the evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, “You are going to sleep with me tonight, because I have paid for you with my son's mandrakes.” So he had intercourse with her that night.
17God answered Leah's prayer, and she became pregnant and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18Leah said, “God has given me my reward, because I gave my slave to my husband”; so she named her son Issachar.#30.18 Issachar: This name sounds like the Hebrew for “a man is hired” and “there is reward”. 19Leah became pregnant again and bore Jacob a sixth son. 20She said, “God has given me a fine gift. Now my husband will accept me, because I have borne him six sons”; so she named him Zebulun.#30.20 Zebulun: This name sounds like the Hebrew for “accept” and “gift”. 21Later she bore a daughter, whom she named Dinah.
22Then God remembered Rachel; he answered her prayer and made it possible for her to have children. 23She became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She said, “God has taken away my disgrace by giving me a son. 24May the LORD give me another son”; so she named him Joseph.#30.24 Joseph: This name sounds like the Hebrew for “may he give another” and “he has taken away”.
Jacob's Bargain with Laban
25After the birth of Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Let me go, so that I can return home. 26Give me my wives and children that I have earned by working for you, and I will leave. You know how well I have served you.”
27Laban said to him, “Let me say this: I have learnt by divination that the LORD has blessed me because of you. 28Name your wages, and I will pay them.”
29Jacob answered, “You know how I have worked for you and how your flocks have prospered under my care. 30The little you had before I came has grown enormously, and the LORD has blessed you wherever I went.#30.30 wherever I went; or because of me. Now it is time for me to look out for my own interests.”
31“What shall I pay you?” Laban asked.
Jacob answered, “I don't want any wages. I will continue to take care of your flocks if you agree to this suggestion: 32Let me go through all your flocks today and take every black lamb#30.32 One ancient translation every black lamb; Hebrew every spotted and speckled lamb, and every black lamb. and every spotted or speckled young goat. That is all the wages I want. 33In the future you can easily find out if I have been honest. When you come to check up on my wages, if I have any goat that isn't speckled or spotted or any sheep that isn't black, you will know that it has been stolen.”
34Laban answered, “Agreed. We will do as you suggest.” 35But that day Laban removed the male goats that had stripes or spots and all the females that were speckled and spotted or which had white on them; he also removed all the black sheep. He put his sons in charge of them, 36and then went away from Jacob with this flock as far as he could travel in three days. Jacob took care of the rest of Laban's flocks.
37Jacob got green branches of poplar, almond, and plane trees and stripped off some of the bark so that the branches had white stripes on them. 38He placed these branches in front of the flocks at their drinking troughs. He put them there, because the animals mated when they came to drink. 39So when the goats bred in front of the branches, they produced young that were streaked, speckled, and spotted.
40Jacob kept the sheep separate from the goats and made them face in the direction of the streaked and black animals of Laban's flock. In this way he built up his own flock and kept it apart from Laban's.
41When the healthy animals were mating, Jacob put the branches in front of them at the drinking troughs, so that they would breed among the branches. 42But he did not put the branches in front of the weak animals. Soon Laban had all the weak animals, and Jacob all the healthy ones. 43In this way Jacob became very wealthy. He had many flocks, slaves, camels, and donkeys.