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Genesis 30

30
Problems between Rachel and Leah
1Rachel was very jealous of Leah for having children, and she said to Jacob, “I'll die if you don't give me some children!”
2But Jacob became upset with Rachel and answered, “Don't blame me! I'm not God.”
3“Here, take my servant Bilhah,” Rachel told him. “Have children by her, and I'll let them be born on my knees to show that they are mine.”
4Then Rachel let Jacob marry Bilhah, 5and they had a son. 6Rachel named him Dan,#30.6 Dan: In Hebrew “Dan” means “judge”. because she said, “God has answered my prayers. He has judged me and given me a son.” 7When Bilhah and Jacob had a second son, 8Rachel said, “I've struggled hard with my sister, and I've won!” So she named the boy Naphtali.#30.8 Naphtali: In Hebrew “Naphtali” means “struggle” or “contest”.
9When Leah realized she could not have any more children, she let Jacob marry her servant Zilpah, 10and they had a son. 11“I'm really lucky,” Leah said, and she named the boy Gad.#30.11 Gad: In Hebrew “Gad” means “lucky”. 12When they had another son, 13Leah exclaimed, “I'm happy now, and all the women will say how happy I am.” So she named him Asher.#30.13 Asher: In Hebrew “Asher” means “happy”.
Love flowers
14During the time of the wheat harvest, Reuben found some love flowers#30.14 love flowers: Also called “mandrakes”, a flowering plant that was thought to give sexual powers. and took them to his mother Leah. Rachel asked Leah for some of them, 15but Leah said, “It's bad enough that you stole my husband! Now you want my son's love flowers too.”
“All right,” Rachel answered. “Let me have the flowers, and you can sleep with Jacob tonight.”
16That evening when Jacob came in from the fields, Leah told him, “You're sleeping with me tonight. I hired you with my son's love flowers.”
They slept together that night, 17and God answered Leah's prayers by giving her a fifth son. 18Leah shouted, “God has rewarded me for letting Jacob marry my servant,” and she named the boy Issachar.#30.18 Issachar: In Hebrew “Issachar” sounds like “reward”.
19When Leah had another son, 20she exclaimed, “God has given me a wonderful gift, and my husband will praise me for giving him six sons.” So she named the boy Zebulun.#30.20 Zebulun: In Hebrew “Zebulun” sounds like “give” and “praise”. 21Later, Leah had a daughter and named her Dinah.
22-23Finally, God remembered Rachel—he answered her prayer by giving her a son. “God has taken away my disgrace,” she said. 24“I'll name the boy Joseph,#30.24 Joseph: In Hebrew “Joseph” sounds like “take away” and “add”. and I'll pray that the LORD will give me another son.”
Jacob and Laban
25After Joseph was born, Jacob said to Laban, “Release me from our agreement#30.25 Release…agreement: Jacob had agreed to work seven years for each of Laban's two daughters (see 29.18). and let me return to my own country. 26You know how hard I've worked for you, so let me take my wives and children and leave.”
27-28But Laban told him, “If you really are my friend, stay on, and I'll pay whatever you ask. I'm sure#30.27,28 I'm sure: The Hebrew text means to find out by some kind of magic, such as fortune-telling. the LORD has blessed me because of you.”
29Jacob answered:
You've seen how hard I've worked for you, and you know how your flocks and herds have grown under my care. 30You didn't have much before I came, but the LORD has blessed everything I have ever done for you. Now it's time for me to start looking after my own family.
31“How much do you want me to pay you?” Laban asked.
Then Jacob told him:
I don't want you to pay me anything. Just do one thing, and I'll take care of your sheep and goats. 32Let me go through your flocks and herds and take the sheep and goats that are either spotted or speckled#30.32 spotted or speckled: In ancient times sheep were usually white, and goats were usually black or dark brown; only a few sheep would have black spots, and only a few goats would have white spots. and the black lambs. That's all you need to give me. 33In the future you can easily find out if I've been honest. Just look and see if my animals are either spotted or speckled, or if the lambs are black. If they aren't, they've been stolen from you.
34“I agree to that,” was Laban's response. 35Before the end of the day, Laban had separated his spotted and speckled animals and the black lambs from the others and had put his sons in charge of them. 36Then Laban made Jacob keep the rest of the sheep and goats at a distance of three days' journey.
37Jacob cut branches from some poplar trees and from some almond and evergreen trees. He peeled off part of the bark and made the branches look spotted and speckled. 38Then he put the branches where the sheep and goats would see them#30.38 would see them: It was believed by some that what sheep and goats saw at the time of breeding would determine the colour of their young. while they were drinking from the water trough. The goats mated there 39in front of the branches, and their young were spotted and speckled.
40Some of the sheep that Jacob was keeping for Laban were already spotted. And when the others were ready to mate, he made sure that they faced in the direction of the spotted and black ones. In this way, Jacob built up a flock of sheep for himself and did not put them with the other sheep.
41When the stronger sheep were mating near the drinking place, Jacob made sure that the spotted branches were there. 42But he would not put out the branches when the weaker animals were mating. So Jacob got all the healthy animals, and Laban got what was left. 43Jacob soon became rich and successful. He owned many sheep, goats, camels, and donkeys, as well as a lot of slaves.
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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.