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Genesis 30

30
1 Then Rachel, discerning that she was infertile, envied her sister, and so she said to her husband, "Give me children, otherwise I will die."
2 Jacob, being angry, responded to her, "Am I in the place of God, who has deprived you of the fruit of your womb?"
3 But she said: "I have a handmaid Bilhah. Go in to her, so that she may give birth upon my knees, and I may have sons by her."
4 And she gave him Bilhah in marriage.
5 And when her husband had gone in to her, she conceived and bore a son.
6 And Rachel said, "The Lord has judged for me, and he has heeded my voice, giving me a son." And because of this, she called his name Dan.
7 And conceiving again, Bilhah bore another,
8 about whom Rachel said, "God has compared me with my sister, and I have prevailed." And she called him Naphtali.
9 Leah, perceiving that she had desisted from child-bearing, delivered Zilpah, her handmaid, to her husband.
10 And she, after having borne a son with difficulty,
11 said: "Happiness!" And for this reason, she called his name Gad.
12 Likewise, Zilpah bore another.
13 And Leah said, "This one is for my happiness. Indeed, women will call me blessed." Because of this, she called him Asher.
14 Then Reuben, going out into the field at the time of the wheat harvest, found mandrakes. These he brought to his mother Leah. And Rachel said, "Give me a portion of your son's mandrakes."
15 She responded, "Does it seem like such a small matter to you, that you have usurped from me my husband, unless you will also take my son's mandrakes?" Rachel said, "He will sleep with you this night because of your son's mandrakes."
16 And when Jacob returned from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him, and she said, "You will enter to me, because I have hired you for the reward of my son's mandrakes." And he slept with her that night.
17 And God heard her prayers. And she conceived and bore a fifth son.
18 And she said, "God has given a reward to me, because I gave my handmaid to my husband." And she called his name Issachar.
19 Conceiving again, Leah bore a sixth son.
20 And she said: "God has endowed me with a good dowry. And now, at this turn, my husband will be with me, because I have conceived six sons for him." And therefore she called his name Zebulun.
21 After him, she bore a daughter, named Dinah.
22 The Lord, likewise remembering Rachel, heeded her and opened her womb.
23 And she conceived and bore a son, saying, "God has taken away my reproach."
24 And she called his name Joseph, saying, "The Lord has added to me another son."
25 But when Joseph was born, Jacob said to his father-in-law: "Release me, so that I may return to my native country and to my land.
26 Give me my wives, and my children, for whom I have served you, so that I may depart. You know the servitude with which I have served you."
27 Laban said to him: "May I find grace in your sight. I have learned by experience that God has blessed me because of you.
28 Choose your wages, which I will give you."
29 But he responded: "You know how I have served you, and how great your possession became in my hands.
30 You had little before I came to you, and now you have achieved riches. And the Lord has blessed you since my arrival. It is just, therefore, that at sometime I also should provide for my own house."
31 And Laban said, "What shall I give to you?" But he said, "I want nothing. But if you will do what I ask, I will feed and guard your sheep again.
32 Go around through all your flocks and separate all the sheep of variegated or spotted fleece; and whatever will be darkened or blemished or variegated, as much among the sheep as among the goats, will be my wages.
33 And my justice will answer on my behalf tomorrow, when the time of settlement arrives before you. And all that is not variegated or blemished or darkened, as much among the sheep as among the goats, these will prove me to be a thief."
34 And Laban said, "I hold favor for this request."
35 And on that day he separated the she-goats, and the sheep, and the he-goats, and the rams with variegations or with blemishes. But every one of the flock which was of one color, that is, of white or of black fleece, he delivered into the hands of his sons.
36 And he established a distance of three days journey between himself and his son-in-law, who pastured the remainder of his flock.
37 Then Jacob, taking green branches of poplar, and almond, and sycamore trees, debarked them in part. And when the bark was pulled off, in the parts that were stripped, there appeared whiteness, yet the parts that were left whole, remained green. And so, in this way the color was made variegated.
38 And he placed them in the troughs, where the water was poured out, so that when the flocks had arrived to drink, they would have the branches before their eyes, and in their sight they might conceive.
39 And it happened that, in the very heat of joining together, the sheep looked upon the branches, and they bore the blemished and the variegated, those speckled with diverse color.
40 And Jacob divided the flock, and he set the branches in the troughs before the eyes of the rams. Now whatever was white or black belonged to Laban, but, in truth, the others belonged to Jacob, for the flocks were dispersed among one another.
41 Therefore, when the first to arrive were climbing on the ewes, Jacob placed the branches in the troughs of water before the eyes of the rams and the sheep, so that they might conceive while they were gazing upon them.
42 Yet when the late arrivals and the last to conceive were let in, he did not place these. And so those that arrived late became Laban's, and those that arrived first became Jacob's.
43 And the man was enriched beyond limit, and he had many flocks, women servants and men 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.