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Genesis 30

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Chapter 30
Jacob's family
1Rachel now knew that she could not give birth to any children for Jacob. So, she became jealous of her sister. Rachel said to Jacob, ‘Please give me children. If not, I will die.’ #30:1 In Old Testament times, it was very important for women to have children. 2Jacob became angry with Rachel. He said, ‘Am I God? God has stopped you from giving birth to children!’ 3Rachel said, ‘Take my servant Bilhah and have sex with her. Then she can have children on my behalf. Through her, I can have a family.’ #30:3 This is like what Sarah did with Hagar.
4So Rachel gave her servant Bilhah to Jacob to become his wife. 5Bilhah became pregnant and she gave birth to a son for Jacob. 6Rachel said, ‘God has shown that I am right. He has listened to me and he has given a son to me.’ Because of this, she called the boy Dan. 7Rachel's servant Bilhah became pregnant again. She gave birth to another son for Jacob. 8Rachel said, ‘I have fought with my sister and I have won.’ She called this son Naphtali.
9Leah saw that she had stopped having children. So she gave her servant Zilpah to Jacob as a wife. 10Zilpah became pregnant and she gave birth to a son for Jacob. 11Leah said, ‘This is very good.’ She called the boy Gad. 12Leah's servant Zilpah gave Jacob another son. 13Leah said, ‘I am very happy! Women will call me happy.’ So she called this boy Asher.
14It was the time to get the wheat in from the fields. Reuben went out and he found some mandrake plants in a field. He took them to his mother, Leah. Rachel said to Leah, ‘Please give me some of the mandrake plants that your son gave to you.’ #30:14 Rachel thought that the mandrake plants would help her to have a child. That is why she wanted them. But only God could give her a child. 15But Leah said to Rachel, ‘You took my husband from me. That was bad enough! Now you want to take my son's mandrakes too!’ Rachel said, ‘OK. If you give me some of your son's mandrakes, Jacob can sleep with you tonight.’
16In the evening, Jacob came in from the fields. Leah went out to meet him. She said, ‘You must sleep with me tonight. I have paid for you with my son's mandrakes.’ So Jacob slept with Leah that night. 17God listened to Leah and she became pregnant again. She gave birth to a fifth son for Jacob. 18Leah said, ‘God has helped me because I gave my servant to Jacob as a wife.’ She called her son Issachar.
19Leah became pregnant again and she gave Jacob a sixth son. 20Leah said, ‘God has given me this valuable gift. Now my husband will respect me because I have given him six sons.’ She called this son Zebulun.
21Some time passed and Leah became pregnant again. She gave birth to a daughter. She called her daughter Dinah.
22Then God decided to help Rachel. He listened to her and he let her become pregnant. 23She became pregnant and she gave birth to a son. Rachel said, ‘I am not ashamed any more because God has given me a son.’ 24Rachel called her son Joseph. She said, ‘I pray that the Lord will give me another son.’
Jacob's sheep
25After Rachel gave birth to Joseph, Jacob spoke to Laban. He said, ‘Let me go away now. I want to go home to my own land. 26Let me take my wives and my children with me. I have worked for you so that I could have them. You must let me leave, because you know how much I have worked for you.’
27Laban said to Jacob, ‘If you are happy with me then please stay here. I know that the Lord has blessed me because you are here with me. I have used magic to know that.’ 28Laban also said to Jacob, ‘Tell me how much I should pay you for your work. I will pay whatever you want.’
29Jacob replied, ‘You know how much I have worked for you. You know that you have many more animals now, because I have taken care of them. 30Before I came, you had only a few sheep and goats. Now you have many more valuable things. Wherever I have worked for you, the Lord has blessed you. But now I want to work to help my own family. I must do that soon.’
31Laban asked, ‘What must I give to you?’ Jacob replied, ‘You do not need to give me anything. But just do one thing for me. Then I will still take care of your animals. I will make sure that nothing bad happens to them. 32Do this: Let me go among all your animals today. Let me remove any animal that has a mark on it or that has more than one colour on its skin. I will also take any black lambs. That is what you will give me for my work. 33In the future, this will show that I am honest. You can check on my animals whenever you want to. I will only have sheep or goats that have marks on their skin, or black lambs. If I have any other animals, you may call me a robber.’ 34Laban said, ‘I agree to this. It will be as you have said.’
35On that same day, Laban went to his animals. He quickly removed all the goats that had marks, both male and female goats. He also removed all the black lambs. He gave these animals to his sons to take care of. #30:35 Laban has deceived Jacob. He has taken all the animals that should be Jacob's. He has given them to his own sons to take care of. He sends them away before Jacob knows what he has done. 36He sent those animals a long way away. It would take Jacob 3 days to reach them. While this was happening, Jacob was taking care of Laban's other animals.
37Jacob took branches that he had cut from trees. He took them from poplar trees, almond trees and plane trees. He cut white lines on the branches. He stripped off the outside part of the wood to show white lines. 38Then he put the branches in the place where there were big bowls of water for the animals to drink. They were in front of the animals when they came to drink. The animals could see the branches when it was the right time for them to have sex together. 39When they had sex in front of the branches, they gave birth to babies that had skin with marks. 40Jacob kept these lambs separate from Laban's animals. He took the rest of Laban's female animals to join with the animals that had marks or were black. In that way he got more animals that would belong to him. He kept them separate from Laban's animals.
41Jacob waited until the stronger female animals were ready to have sex. Then he put the special branches in front of them, near the big bowls of water. Then these animals would see the branches when they had sex together. 42But if the female animals were weak, he did not put the branches in front of them when they had sex. As a result, the weak animals would belong to Laban, but Jacob would keep the strong animals.
43In this way, Jacob became very rich. Many sheep and goats belonged to him. He also had female servants and male servants, as well as 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.