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Genesis 30

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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.
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1 WHEN RACHEL saw that she bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister, and said to Jacob, Give me children, or else I will die!
2 And Jacob became very angry with Rachel and he said, Am I in God's stead, Who has denied you children?
3 And she said, See here, take my maid Bilhah and have intercourse with her; and [when the baby comes] she shall deliver it upon my knees, that I by her may also have children.
4 And she gave him Bilhah her maid as a [secondary] wife, and Jacob had intercourse with her.
5 And Bilhah became pregnant and bore Jacob a son.
6 And Rachel said, God has judged and vindicated me, and has heard my plea and has given me a son; so she named him Dan [judged].
7 And Bilhah, Rachel's maid, conceived again and bore Jacob a second son.
8 And Rachel said, With mighty wrestlings [in prayer to God] I have struggled with my sister and have prevailed; so she named him [this second son Bilhah bore] Naphtali [struggled].
9 When Leah saw that she had ceased to bear, she gave Zilpah her maid to Jacob as a [secondary] wife.
10 And Zilpah, Leah's maid, bore Jacob a son.
11 Then Leah said, Victory and good fortune have come; and she named him Gad [fortune].
12 Zilpah, Leah's maid, bore Jacob [her] second son.
13 And Leah said, I am happy, for women will call me blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied); and she named him Asher [happy].
14 Now Reuben went at the time of wheat harvest and found some mandrakes (love apples) in the field and brought them to his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, Give me, I pray you, some of your son's mandrakes.
15 But [Leah] answered, Is it not enough that you have taken my husband without your taking away my son's mandrakes also? And Rachel said, Jacob shall sleep with you tonight [in exchange] for your son's mandrakes.
16 And Jacob came out of the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him and said, You must sleep with me [tonight], for I have certainly paid your hire with my son's mandrakes. So he slept with her that night.
17 And God heeded Leah's [prayer], and she conceived and bore Jacob [her] fifth son.
18 Leah said, God has given me my hire, because I have given my maid to my husband; and she called his name Issachar [hired].
19 And Leah became pregnant again and bore Jacob [her] sixth son.
20 Then Leah said, God has endowed me with a good marriage gift [for my husband]; now will he dwell with me [and regard me as his wife in reality], because I have borne him six sons; and she named him Zebulun [dwelling].
21 Afterwards she bore a daughter and called her Dinah.
22 Then God remembered Rachel and answered her pleading and made it possible for her to have children.
23 And [now for the first time] she became pregnant and bore a son; and she said, God has taken away my reproach, disgrace, and humiliation.
24 And she called his name Joseph [may he add] and said, May the Lord add to me another son.
25 When Rachel had borne Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, Send me away, that I may go to my own place and country.
26 Give me my wives and my children, for whom I have served you, and let me go; for you know the work which I have done for you.
27 And Laban said to him, If I have found favor in your sight, I pray you [do not go]; for I have learned by experience and from the omens in divination that the Lord has favored me with blessings on your account.
28 He said, State your salary and I will give it.
29 Jacob answered him, You know how I have served you, and how your possessions, your cattle and sheep and goats, have fared with me.
30 For you had little before I came, and it has increased and multiplied abundantly; and the Lord has favored you with blessings wherever I turned. But now, when shall I provide for my own house also?
31 [Laban] said, What shall I give you? And Jacob said, You shall not give me anything, if you will do this one thing for me [of which I am about to tell you], and I will again feed and take care of your flock.
32 Let me pass through all your flock today, removing from it every speckled and spotted animal and every black one among the sheep, and the spotted and speckled among the goats; and such shall be my wages.
33 So later when the matter of my wages is brought before you, my fair dealing will be evident and answer for me. Every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats and black among the sheep, if found with me, shall be counted as stolen.
34 And Laban said, Good; let it be done as you say.
35 But that same day [Laban] removed the he-goats that were streaked and spotted and all the she-goats that were speckled and spotted, every one that had white on it, and every black lamb, and put them in charge of his sons.
36 And he set [a distance of] three days' journey between himself and Jacob; and Jacob was then left in care of the rest of Laban's flock.
37 But Jacob took fresh rods of poplar and almond and plane trees and peeled white streaks in them, exposing the white in the rods.
38 Then he set the rods which he had peeled in front of the flocks in the watering troughs where the flocks came to drink. And since they bred and conceived when they came to drink,
39 The flocks bred and conceived in sight of the rods and brought forth lambs and kids streaked, speckled, and spotted.
40 Jacob separated the lambs, and [as he had done with the peeled rods] he also set the faces of the flocks toward the streaked and all the dark in the [new] flock of Laban; and he put his own droves by themselves and did not let them breed with Laban's flock.
41 And whenever the stronger animals were breeding, Jacob laid the rods in the watering troughs before the eyes of the flock, that they might breed and conceive among the rods.
42 But when the sheep and goats were feeble, he omitted putting the rods there; so the feebler animals were Laban's and the stronger Jacob's.
43 Thus the man increased and became exceedingly rich, and had many sheep and goats, and maidservants, menservants, camels, and donkeys.