Genesis 30 | BSB Bible | YouVersion
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Genesis 30

30
Dan and Naphtali
1When Rachel saw that she was not bearing any children for Jacob, she envied her sister. “Give me children, or I will die!” she said to Jacob.
2Jacob became angry with Rachel and said, “Am I in the place of God, who has withheld children from you?”
3Then she said, “Here is my maidservant Bilhah. Sleep with her, that she may bear children for me,#30:3 Literally bear children on my knees so that through her I too can build a family.”
4So Rachel gave Jacob her servant Bilhah as a wife, and he slept with her, 5and Bilhah conceived and bore him a son. 6Then Rachel said, “God has vindicated me; He has heard my plea and given me a son.” So she named him Dan.#30:6 Dan means He has judged or He has vindicated.
7And Rachel’s servant Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. 8Then Rachel said, “In my great struggles, I have wrestled with my sister and won.” So she named him Naphtali.#30:8 Naphtali sounds like the Hebrew for wrestling.
Gad and Asher
9When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she gave her servant Zilpah to Jacob as a wife. 10And Leah’s servant Zilpah bore Jacob a son. 11Then Leah said, “How fortunate!”#30:11 Alternate MT reading (see also LXX); the other alternate reads “A troop is coming!” So she named him Gad.#30:11 Gad sounds like the Hebrew for good fortune, or alternately for band of raiders.
12When Leah’s servant Zilpah bore Jacob a second son, 13Leah said, “How happy I am! For the women call me happy.” So she named him Asher.#30:13 Asher means happy.
14Now during the wheat harvest, Reuben went out and found some mandrakes in the field. When he brought them to his mother, Rachel begged Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.”
15But Leah replied, “Is it not enough that you have taken away my husband? Now you want to take my son’s mandrakes as well?”
“Very well,” said Rachel, “he may 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 he slept with her that night.
Issachar, Zebulun, and Dinah
17And God listened to Leah, and she conceived and bore a fifth son to Jacob. 18Then Leah said, “God has rewarded me for giving my maidservant to my husband.” So she named him Issachar.#30:18 Issachar sounds like the Hebrew for wages or reward.
19Again Leah conceived and bore a sixth son to Jacob. 20“God has given me a good gift,” she said. “This time my husband will honor me, because I have borne him six sons.” And she named him Zebulun.#30:20 Zebulun sounds like the Hebrew for honor.
21After that, Leah gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.
Joseph
22Then God remembered Rachel. He listened to her and opened her womb, 23and she conceived and gave birth to a son. “God has taken away my shame,” she said. 24She named him Joseph,#30:24 Joseph means may He add. and said, “May the Lord add to me another son.”
Jacob Prospers
25Now after Rachel had given birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send me on my way so I can return to my homeland. 26Give me my wives and children for whom I have served you, that I may go on my way. You know how hard I have worked for you.”
27But Laban replied, “If I have found favor in your eyes, please stay. I have learned by divination that the Lord has blessed me because of you.” 28And he added, “Name your wages, and I will pay them.”
29Then Jacob answered, “You know how I have served you and how your livestock have thrived under my care. 30Indeed, you had very little before my arrival, but now your wealth has increased many times over. The Lord has blessed you wherever I set foot. But now, when may I also provide for my own household?”
31“What can I give you?” Laban asked.
“You do not need to give me anything,” Jacob replied. “If you do this one thing for me, I will keep on shepherding and keeping your flocks. 32Let me go through all your flocks today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark-colored lamb, and every spotted or speckled goat. These will be my wages. 33So my honesty will testify for me when you come to check on my wages in the future. If I have any goats that are not speckled or spotted, or any lambs that are not dark-colored, they will be considered stolen.”
34“Agreed,” said Laban. “Let it be as you have said.”
35That very day Laban removed all the streaked or spotted male goats and every speckled or spotted female goat—every one that had any white on it—and every dark-colored lamb, and he placed them under the care of his sons. 36Then he put a three-day journey between himself and Jacob, while Jacob was shepherding the rest of Laban’s flocks.
37Jacob, however, took fresh branches of poplar, almond, and plane trees, and peeled the bark, exposing the white inner wood of the branches. 38Then he set the peeled branches in the watering troughs in front of the flocks coming in to drink. So when the flocks were in heat and came to drink, 39they mated in front of the branches. And they bore young that were streaked or speckled or spotted. 40Jacob set apart the young, but made the rest face the streaked dark-colored sheep in Laban’s flocks. Then he set his own stock apart and did not put them with Laban’s animals.
41Whenever the stronger females of the flock were in heat, Jacob would place the branches in the troughs, in full view of the animals, so that they would breed in front of the branches. 42But if the animals were weak, he did not set out the branches. So the weaker animals went to Laban and the stronger ones to Jacob.
43Thus Jacob became exceedingly prosperous. He owned large flocks, maidservants and menservants, and camels and donkeys.

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.