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Berĕshith (Genesis) 30

30
1And when Raḥĕl saw that she bore Ya‛aqoḇ no children, Raḥĕl envied her sister, and said to Ya‛aqoḇ, “Give me children, or else I am going to die!”
2And Ya‛aqoḇ’s displeasure burned against Raḥĕl, and he said, “Am I in the place of Elohim, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?”
3And she said, “See, my female servant Bilhah; go in to her, and let her bear for me, and let me be built up from her as well.”
4So she gave him Bilhah her female servant as wife, and Ya‛aqoḇ went in to her.
5And Bilhah conceived and bore Ya‛aqoḇ a son.
6And Raḥĕl said, “Elohim has rightly ruled my case, and has also heard my voice and given me a son.” So she called his name Dan.
7And Raḥĕl’s female servant Bilhah conceived again and bore Ya‛aqoḇ a second son.
8And Raḥĕl said, “With great wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister, and I have overcome.” So she called his name Naphtali.
9And Lĕ’ah saw that she had ceased bearing, and she took Zilpah her female servant and gave her to Ya‛aqoḇ as wife.
10And Lĕ’ah’s female servant Zilpah bore Ya‛aqoḇ a son.
11And Lĕ’ah said, “Fortune comes!” So she called his name Gaḏ.#Heb. Gaḏ, meaning fortune.
12And Lĕ’ah’s female servant Zilpah bore Ya‛aqoḇ a second son.
13And Lĕ’ah said, “I am happy, for the daughters shall call me happy.” So she called his name Ashĕr.#Heb. - Ashĕr, meaning happy.
14And Re’uḇĕn went in the days of wheat harvest and found love-apples in the field, and brought them to his mother Lĕ’ah. And Raḥĕl said to Lĕ’ah, “Please give me some of your son’s love-apples.”
15But she said to her, “Is it a small matter that you have taken away my husband? Would you take away my son’s love-apples too?” And Raḥĕl said, “Therefore let him lie with you tonight for your son’s love-apples.”
16And when Ya‛aqoḇ came out of the field in the evening, Lĕ’ah went out to meet him and said, “Do come in to me, for indeed, I have hired you with my son’s love-apples.” And he lay with her that night.
17And Elohim listened to Lĕ’ah, and she conceived and bore Ya‛aqoḇ a fifth son.
18And Lĕ’ah said, “Elohim has given me my hire, because I have given my female servant to my husband.” So she called his name Yissasḵar.
19And Lĕ’ah conceived again and bore Ya‛aqoḇ a sixth son.
20And Lĕ’ah said, “Elohim has presented me with a good present. Now my husband is going to dwell with me, because I have borne him six sons.” So she called his name Zeḇulun.
21And afterward she bore a daughter, and called her name Dinah.
22And Elohim remembered Raḥĕl, and Elohim listened to her and opened her womb.
23And she conceived, and bore a son, and said, “Elohim has taken away my reproach.”
24So she called his name Yosĕph, and said, “יהוה has added to me another son.”
25And it came to be, when Raḥĕl had borne Yosĕph, that Ya‛aqoḇ said to Laḇan, “Send me on my way, to go to my own place and to my land.
26Give my wives and my children for whom I have served you, and let me go, for you yourself know my service which I have done for you.
27And Laḇan said to him, “If please I have found favour in your eyes, stay, for I have divined that יהוה has blessed me for your sake.”
28And he said, “Name me your wages, and I give it.”
29So he said to him, “You know how I have served you and how your livestock has been with me.
30For the little you had before I came has increased greatly, and יהוה has blessed you since my coming. But now, when am I to provide for my own house too?
31And he said, “What do I give you?” And Ya‛aqoḇ said, “Give me naught! If you do this for me, I shall again feed and guard your flocks:
32“Let me pass through all your flock today, removing from there all the speckled and spotted sheep, and all the black ones among the lambs, and the spotted and speckled among the goats. And these shall be my wages.
33“And my righteousness shall answer for me in time to come, when you come concerning my wages: every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats, and black among the lambs, it is stolen if it is with me.”
34And Laḇan said, “See, let it be according to your word!”
35And on that day he set aside the male goats that were speckled and spotted, and all the female goats that were speckled and spotted, every one that had some white in it, and all the black ones among the lambs, and gave them into the hand of his sons.
36And he put three days’ journey between himself and Ya‛aqoḇ, and Ya‛aqoḇ fed the rest of Laḇan’s flocks.
37And Ya‛aqoḇ took for himself rods of green poplar and of the almond and chestnut trees, peeled white strips in them, and exposed the white which was in the rods.
38And he set the rods which he had peeled before the flocks in the gutters, in the watering troughs where the flocks came to drink, and they conceived when they came to drink.
39So the flocks conceived before the rods, and the flocks brought forth streaked, speckled, and spotted.
40And Ya‛aqoḇ separated the lambs, and made the flocks face toward the streaked and all the black in the flock of Laḇan, but he put his own flocks by themselves and did not put them with Laḇan’s flock.
41And it came to be, whenever the strong ones of the flock conceived, that Ya‛aqoḇ placed the rods before the eyes of the flock in the gutters, so they would conceive among the rods.
42But when the flocks were weak, he did not put them in, so the weak ones were Laḇan’s and the strong ones Ya‛aqoḇ’s.
43Thus the man increased very much, and had many flocks, and female and male servants, and camels and donkeys.
30
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.