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Genesis 30

30
1When Rachel realized that she could bear Jacob no children, Rachel became jealous of her sister and said to Jacob, “Give me children! If you don’t, I may as well be dead.”
2Jacob was angry at Rachel and said, “Do you think I’m God? God alone has kept you from giving birth!”
3She said, “Here’s my servant Bilhah. Sleep with her, and she will give birth for me. Because of her, I will also have children.” 4So Rachel gave her servant Bilhah to Jacob as his wife, and he slept with her. 5Bilhah became pregnant and gave birth to a son for Jacob. 6Rachel said, “God has judged in my favor, heard my voice, and given me a son.” So she named him Dan.#30.6 Or he judged 7Rachel’s servant Bilhah became pregnant again and gave birth to a second son for Jacob. 8Rachel said, “I’ve competed fiercely with my sister, and now I’ve won.” So she named him Naphtali.#30.8 Or my competition or my wrestling
9When Leah realized that she had stopped bearing children, she took her servant Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as his wife. 10Leah’s servant Zilpah gave birth to a son for Jacob, 11and Leah said, “What good luck!” So she named him Gad.#30.11 Or good fortune 12Leah’s servant Zilpah gave birth to a second son for Jacob, 13and Leah said, “I’m happy now because women call me happy.” So she named him Asher.#30.13 Or happy
14During the wheat harvest, Reuben found some erotic herbs#30.14 Or mandrakes in the field and brought them to his mother Leah. Rachel said to Leah, “Give me your son’s erotic herbs.”
15Leah replied, “Isn’t it enough that you’ve taken my husband? Now you want to take my son’s erotic herbs too?”
Rachel said, “For your son’s erotic herbs, Jacob#30.15 Or he may sleep with you tonight.”
16When Jacob came back from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, “You must sleep with me because I’ve paid for you with my son’s erotic herbs.” So he slept with her that night.
17God responded to Leah. She became pregnant and gave birth to a fifth son for Jacob. 18Leah said, “God gave me what I paid for, what I deserved for giving my servant to my husband.” So she named him Issachar.#30.18 Or there is payment 19Leah became pregnant again and gave birth to a sixth son for Jacob, 20and she said, “God has given me a wonderful gift. Now my husband will honor me since I’ve borne him six sons.” So she named him Zebulun.#30.20 Or honor 21After this, she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.
22Then God remembered Rachel, responded to her, and let her conceive. 23She became pregnant and gave birth to a son and said, “God has taken away my shame.” 24She named him Joseph,#30.24 Or he adds saying to herself, May the LORD give me another son.
God blesses Jacob and Laban
25After Rachel gave birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send me off so that I can go to my own place and my own country. 26Give me my wives and children whom I’ve worked for, and I will go. You know the work I’ve done for you.”
27Laban said to him, “Do me this favor. I’ve discovered by a divine sign that the LORD has blessed me because of you, 28so name your price and I will pay it.”
29Jacob said to him, “You know how I’ve worked for you, and how well your livestock have done with me. 30While in my care, what little you had has multiplied a great deal. The LORD blessed you wherever I took your livestock.#30.30 Or them Now, when will I be able to work for my own household too?”
31Laban said, “What will I pay you?”
Jacob said, “Don’t pay me anything. If you will do this for me, I will take care of your flock again, and keep a portion.#30.31 Heb uncertain 32I will go through the entire flock today, taking out all of the speckled and spotted sheep, all of the black male lambs, and all of the spotted and speckled female goats. That will be my price. 33I will be completely honest with you: when you come to check on our agreement, every female goat with me that isn’t speckled or spotted and every male lamb with me that isn’t black will be considered stolen.”
34Laban said, “All right; let’s do it.” 35However, on that very day Laban took out the striped and spotted male goats and all of the speckled and spotted female goats—any with some white in it—and all of the black male lambs, and gave them to his sons. 36He put a three-day trip between himself and Jacob, while Jacob was watching the rest of Laban’s flock.
37Then Jacob took new branches from poplar, almond, and plane trees; and he peeled white stripes on them, exposing the branches’ white color. 38He set the branches that he had peeled near the watering troughs so that they were in front of the flock when they drank, because they often mated when they came to drink. 39When the flock mated in front of the branches, they gave birth to striped, speckled, and spotted young. 40Jacob sorted out the lambs, turning the flock to face the striped and black ones in Laban’s flock but keeping his flock separate, setting them apart from Laban’s flock. 41Whenever the strongest of the flock mated, Jacob put the branches in front of them near the watering troughs so that they mated near the branches. 42But he didn’t put branches up for the weakest of the flock. So the weakest became Laban’s and the strongest Jacob’s. 43The man Jacob became very, very rich: he owned large flocks, female and male servants, camels, and donkeys.
30
1Rachel saw that she was not giving Jacob any children. She became jealous of her sister Leah. So Rachel said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I will die!”
2Jacob became angry with Rachel and said, “I am not God. He is the one who has caused you to not have children.”
3Then Rachel said, “You can have my maid Bilhah. Sleep with her, and she will have a child for me.#30:3 she will have a child for me Literally, “she will give birth on my knees, and I, too, will have a son through her.” Then I can be a mother through her.”
4So Rachel gave Bilhah to her husband Jacob. He had sexual relations with Bilhah. 5She became pregnant and gave birth to a son for Jacob.
6Rachel said, “God has listened to my prayer. He decided to give me a son.” So she named this son Dan.#30:6 Dan This is like the Hebrew word meaning “to decide” or “to judge.”
7Bilhah became pregnant again and gave Jacob a second son. 8Rachel said, “I have fought hard to compete with my sister, and I have won.” So she named that son Naphtali.#30:8 Naphtali This is like the Hebrew word meaning “my struggle.”
9Leah saw that she could have no more children. So she gave her slave girl Zilpah to Jacob. 10Then Zilpah had a son. 11Leah said, “I am lucky.” So she named the son Gad.#30:11 Gad This is like the Hebrew word meaning “lucky” or “fortunate.” 12Zilpah gave birth to another son. 13Leah said, “I am very happy! Now women will call me happy.” So she named that son Asher.#30:13 Asher This is like the Hebrew word meaning “blessed” or “happy.”
14During the wheat harvest Reuben went into the fields and found some special flowers.#30:14 special flowers Or “mandrakes.” The Hebrew word means “love plant.” People thought these plants could help women have babies. He brought them to his mother Leah. But Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s flowers.”
15Leah answered, “You have already taken away my husband. Now you are trying to take away my son’s flowers.”
But Rachel answered, “If you will give me your son’s flowers, you can sleep with Jacob tonight.”
16Jacob came in from the fields that night. Leah saw him and went out to meet him. She said, “You will sleep with me tonight. I have paid for you with my son’s flowers.” So Jacob slept with Leah that night.
17Then God allowed Leah to become pregnant again. She gave birth to a fifth son. 18She said, “God has given me a reward because I gave my slave to my husband.” So she named her son Issachar.#30:18 Issachar This is like the Hebrew word meaning “reward” or “salary.”
19Leah became pregnant again and gave birth to a sixth son. 20She said, “God has given me a fine gift. Now surely Jacob will accept me, because I have given him six sons.” So she named this son Zebulun.#30:20 Zebulun This is like the Hebrew word meaning “praise” or “honor.”
21Later, Leah gave birth to a daughter. She named her Dinah.
22Then God heard Rachel’s prayer and made it possible for Rachel to have children. 23She became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She said, “God has taken away my shame.” 24Rachel named the son Joseph,#30:23-24 Joseph This is like the Hebrew word meaning “to add.” saying, “May the Lord give me another son.”
Jacob Tricks Laban
25After the birth of Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Now let me go back to my own homeland. 26Give me my wives and my children. I have earned them by working for you. You know that I served you well.”
27Laban said to him, “Please, let me say something. I know#30:27 know Or “guessed,” “divined,” or “concluded.” that the Lord has blessed me because of you. 28Tell me what I should pay you, and I will give it to you.”
29Jacob answered, “You know that I have worked hard for you. Your flocks have grown and been well while I cared for them. 30When I came, you had little. Now you have much, much more. Every time I did something for you, the Lord blessed you. Now it is time for me to work for myself—it is time to do things for my family.”
31Laban asked, “Then what should I give you?”
Jacob answered, “I don’t want you to give me anything! I only want you to let me do this one thing: I will go back and take care of your sheep. 32But let me go through all your flocks today and take every lamb with spots or stripes. Let me take every black young goat and every female goat with stripes or spots. That will be my pay. 33In the future you can easily see if I am honest. You can come to look at my flocks. If I have any goat that isn’t spotted or any sheep that isn’t black, you will know that I stole it.”
34Laban answered, “I agree to that. We will do what you ask.” 35But that day Laban hid all the male goats that had spots. And he hid all the female goats that had spots on them. He also hid all the black sheep. Laban told his sons to watch these sheep. 36So the sons took all the spotted animals and led them to another place. They traveled for three days. Jacob stayed and took care of all the animals that were left.
37Then Jacob cut green branches from poplar and almond trees. He stripped off some of the bark so that the branches had white stripes on them. 38He put the branches in front of the flocks at the watering places. When the animals came to drink, they also mated in that place. 39Then when the goats mated in front of the branches, the young that were born were spotted, striped, or black.
40Jacob separated the spotted and the black animals from the other animals in the flock. He kept his animals separate from Laban’s. 41Any time the stronger animals in the flock were mating, Jacob put the branches before their eyes. The animals mated near those branches. 42But when the weaker animals mated, Jacob did not put the branches there. So the young animals born from the weak animals were Laban’s. And the young animals born from the stronger animals were Jacob’s. 43In this way Jacob became very rich. He had large flocks, many servants, camels, and donkeys.