Exit Parallel Mode
 

Genesis 30

30
1When Rachel saw that she had not borne children to Jacob, she became envious of her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children or I shall die!”#Prv 30:16. 2Jacob became angry with Rachel and said, “Can I take the place of God, who has denied you the fruit of the womb?”#2 Kgs 5:7. 3She replied, “Here is my maidservant Bilhah. Have intercourse with her, and let her give birth on my knees,#On my knees: in the ancient Near East, a father would take a newborn child in his lap to signify that he acknowledged it as his own; Rachel uses the ceremony in order to adopt the child and establish her legal rights to it. so that I too may have children through her.”#Gn 16:2–4. 4So she gave him her maidservant Bilhah as wife,#As wife: in 35:22 Bilhah is called a “concubine” (Heb. pilegesh). In v. 9, Zilpah is called “wife,” and in 37:2 both women are called wives. The basic difference between a wife and a concubine was that no bride price was paid for the latter. The interchange of terminology shows that there was some blurring in social status between the wife and the concubine. and Jacob had intercourse with her. 5When Bilhah conceived and bore a son for Jacob, 6Rachel said, “God has vindicated me; indeed he has heeded my plea and given me a son.” Therefore she named him Dan.#Dan: explained by the term dannanni, “he has vindicated me.” 7Rachel’s maidservant Bilhah conceived again and bore a second son for Jacob, 8and Rachel said, “I have wrestled strenuously with my sister, and I have prevailed.” So she named him Naphtali.#Naphtali: explained by the Hebrew term naftulim, lit., “contest” or “struggle.”
9When Leah saw that she had ceased to bear children, she took her maidservant Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as wife. 10So Leah’s maidservant Zilpah bore a son for Jacob. 11Leah then said, “What good luck!” So she named him Gad.#Gad: explained by the Hebrew term begad, lit., “in luck,” i.e., “what good luck!” 12Then Leah’s maidservant Zilpah bore a second son to Jacob; 13and Leah said, “What good fortune, because women will call me fortunate!” So she named him Asher.#Asher: explained by the term be’oshri, lit., “in my good fortune,” i.e., “what good fortune,” and by the term ye’ashsheruni, “they call me fortunate.”
14One day, during the wheat harvest, Reuben went out and came upon some mandrakes#Mandrakes: an herb whose root was thought to promote conception. The Hebrew word for mandrakes, duda’im, has erotic connotations, since it sounds like the words daddayim (“breasts”) and dodim (“sexual pleasure”). in the field which he brought home to his mother Leah. Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.” 15Leah replied, “Was it not enough for you to take away my husband, that you must now take my son’s mandrakes too?” Rachel answered, “In that case Jacob may lie with you tonight in exchange for your son’s mandrakes.” 16That evening, when Jacob came in from the field, Leah went out to meet him. She said, “You must have intercourse with me, because I have hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” So that night he lay with her, 17and God listened to Leah; she conceived and bore a fifth son to Jacob. 18Leah then said, “God has given me my wages for giving my maidservant to my husband”; so she named him Issachar.#Issachar: explained by the terms, sekari, “my reward,” and in v. 16, sakor sekartika, “I have hired you.” 19Leah conceived again and bore a sixth son to Jacob; 20and Leah said, “God has brought me a precious gift. This time my husband will honor me, because I have borne him six sons”; so she named him Zebulun.#Zebulun: explained by the terms, zebadani…zebed tob, “he has brought me a precious gift,” and yizbeleni, “he will honor me.” 21Afterwards she gave birth to a daughter, and she named her Dinah.
22Then God remembered Rachel. God listened to her and made her fruitful. 23She conceived and bore a son, and she said, “God has removed my disgrace.”#Lk 1:25. 24She named him Joseph,#Joseph: explained by the words yosep, “may he add,” and in v. 23, ’asap, “he has removed.” saying, “May the Lord add another son for me!”
Jacob Outwits Laban.#Jacob’s deception of Laban. Jacob has been living in Laban’s household as an indentured worker paying off the bride price. Having paid off all his obligations, he wants to settle his accounts with Laban. His many children attest to the fulfillment of the Lord’s promise of numerous progeny; the birth of Joseph to his beloved Rachel signals the fulfillment in a special way. To enter into the Lord’s second promise, the land, he must now return to Canaan. 25After Rachel gave birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban: “Allow me to go to my own region and land. 26Give me my wives and my children for whom I served you and let me go, for you know the service that I rendered you.” 27Laban answered him: “If you will please! I have learned through divination that the Lord has blessed me because of you.” 28He continued, “State the wages I owe you, and I will pay them.” 29Jacob replied: “You know what work I did for you and how well your livestock fared under my care; 30the little you had before I came has grown into an abundance, since the Lord has blessed you in my company. Now, when can I do something for my own household as well?” 31Laban asked, “What should I give you?” Jacob answered: “You do not have to give me anything. If you do this thing for me, I will again pasture and tend your sheep. 32Let me go through your whole flock today and remove from it every dark animal among the lambs and every spotted or speckled one among the goats.#Dark…lambs…spotted or speckled…goats: in the Near East the normal color of sheep is light gray, whereas that of goats is dark brown or black. A minority of sheep in that part of the world have dark patches, and a minority of goats, white markings. Laban is quick to agree to the offer, for Jacob would have received only a few animals. But Jacob gets the better of him, using two different means: (1) he separates out the weaker animals and then provides visual impressions to the stronger animals at mating time (a folkloric belief); (2) in 31:8–12, he transmits the preferred characteristics through controlled propagation. It should be noted that Jacob has been told what to do in a dream (31:10) and that God is behind the increase in his flocks. These will be my wages. 33In the future, whenever you check on my wages, my honesty will testify for me: any animal that is not speckled or spotted among the goats, or dark among the lambs, got into my possession by theft!” 34Laban said, “Very well. Let it be as you say.”
35That same day Laban removed the streaked and spotted he-goats and all the speckled and spotted she-goats, all those with some white on them, as well as every dark lamb, and he put them in the care of his sons.#By giving the abnormally colored animals to his sons, Laban not only deprived Jacob of his first small wages, but he also schemed to prevent the future breeding of such animals in the flock entrusted to Jacob. 36Then he put a three days’ journey between himself and Jacob, while Jacob was pasturing the rest of Laban’s flock.
37Jacob, however, got some fresh shoots of poplar, almond and plane#Plane: also called the Oriental Plane, a deciduous tree found in riverine forests and marshes. trees, and he peeled white stripes in them by laying bare the white core of the shoots. 38The shoots that he had peeled he then set upright in the watering troughs where the animals came to drink, so that they would be in front of them. When the animals were in heat as they came to drink, 39the goats mated by the shoots, and so they gave birth to streaked, speckled and spotted young. 40The sheep, on the other hand, Jacob kept apart, and he made these animals face the streaked or completely dark animals of Laban. Thus he produced flocks of his own, which he did not put with Laban’s flock. 41Whenever the hardier animals were in heat, Jacob would set the shoots in the troughs in full view of these animals, so that they mated by the shoots; 42but with the weaker animals he would not put the shoots there. So the feeble animals would go to Laban, but the hardy ones to Jacob. 43So the man grew exceedingly prosperous, and he owned large flocks, male and female servants, camels, and donkeys.
30
1And Rachel seeth that she hath not borne to Jacob, and Rachel is envious of her sister, and saith unto Jacob, ‘Give me sons, and if there is none — I die.’
2And Jacob's anger burneth against Rachel, and he saith, ‘Am I instead of God who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?’
3And she saith, ‘Lo, my handmaid Bilhah, go in unto her, and she doth bear on my knees, and I am built up, even I, from her;’
4and she giveth to him Bilhah her maid-servant for a wife, and Jacob goeth in unto her;
5and Bilhah conceiveth, and beareth to Jacob a son,
6and Rachel saith, ‘God hath decided for me, and also hath hearkened to my voice, and giveth to me a son;’ therefore hath she called his name Dan.
7And Bilhah, Rachel's maid-servant, conceiveth again, and beareth a second son to Jacob,
8and Rachel saith, ‘With wrestlings of God I have wrestled with my sister, yea, I have prevailed;’ and she calleth his name Napthali.
9And Leah seeth that she hath ceased from bearing, and she taketh Zilpah her maidservant, and giveth her to Jacob for a wife;
10and Zilpah, Leah's maid-servant, beareth to Jacob a son,
11and Leah saith, ‘A troop is coming;’ and she calleth his name Gad.
12And Zilpah, Leah's maid-servant, beareth a second son to Jacob,
13and Leah saith, ‘Because of my happiness, for daughters have pronounced me happy;’ and she calleth his name Asher.
14And Reuben goeth in the days of wheat-harvest, and findeth love-apples in the field, and bringeth them in unto Leah, his mother, and Rachel saith unto Leah, ‘Give to me, I pray thee, of the love-apples of thy son.’
15And she saith to her, ‘Is thy taking my husband a little thing, that thou hast taken also the love-apples of my son?’ and Rachel saith, ‘Therefore doth he lie with thee to-night, for thy son's love-apples.’
16And Jacob cometh in from the field at evening; and Leah goeth to meet him, and saith, ‘Unto me dost thou come in, for hiring I have hired thee with my son's love-apples;’ and he lieth with her during that night.
17And God hearkeneth unto Leah, and she conceiveth, and beareth to Jacob a son, a fifth,
18and Leah saith, ‘God hath given my hire, because I have given my maid-servant to my husband;’ and she calleth his name Issachar.
19And conceive again doth Leah, and she beareth a sixth son to Jacob,
20and Leah saith, ‘God hath endowed me — a good dowry; this time doth my husband dwell with me, for I have borne to him six sons;’ and she calleth his name Zebulun;
21and afterwards hath she born a daughter, and calleth her name Dinah.
22And God remembereth Rachel, and God hearkeneth unto her, and openeth her womb,
23and she conceiveth and beareth a son, and saith, ‘God hath gathered up my reproach;’
24and she calleth his name Joseph, saying, ‘Jehovah is adding to me another son.’
25And it cometh to pass, when Rachel hath borne Joseph, that Jacob saith unto Laban, ‘Send me away, and I go unto my place, and to my land;
26give up my wives and my children, for whom I have served thee, and I go; for thou — thou hast known my service which I have served thee.’
27And Laban saith unto him, ‘If, I pray thee, I have found grace in thine eyes — I have observed diligently that Jehovah doth bless me for thy sake.’
28He saith also, ‘Define thy hire to me, and I give.’
29And he saith unto him, ‘Thou — thou hast known that which I have served thee [in], and that which thy substance was with me;
30for [it is] little which thou hast had at my appearance, and it breaketh forth into a multitude, and Jehovah blesseth thee at my coming; and now, when do I make, I also, for mine own house?’
31And he saith, ‘What do I give to thee?’ And Jacob saith, ‘Thou dost not give me anything; if thou do for me this thing, I turn back; I have delight; thy flock I watch;
32I pass through all thy flock to-day to turn aside from thence every sheep speckled and spotted, and every brown sheep among the lambs, and speckled and spotted among the goats — and it hath been my hire;
33and my righteousness hath answered for me in the day to come, when it cometh in for my hire before thy face; — every one which is not speckled and spotted among [my] goats, and brown among [my] lambs — it is stolen with me.’
34And Laban saith, ‘Lo, O that it were according to thy word;’
35and he turneth aside during that day the ring-streaked and the spotted he-goats, and all the speckled and the spotted she-goats, every one that [hath] white in it, and every brown one among the lambs, and he giveth into the hand of his sons,
36and setteth a journey of three days between himself and Jacob; and Jacob is feeding the rest of the flock of Laban.
37And Jacob taketh to himself a rod of fresh poplar, and of the hazel and chesnut, and doth peel in them white peelings, making bare the white that [is] on the rods,
38and setteth up the rods which he hath peeled in the gutters in the watering troughs (when the flock cometh in to drink), over-against the flock, that they may conceive in their coming in to drink;
39and the flocks conceive at the rods, and the flock beareth ring-streaked, speckled, and spotted ones.
40And the lambs hath Jacob parted, and he putteth the face of the flock towards the ring-streaked, also all the brown in the flock of Laban, and he setteth his own droves by themselves, and hath not set them near Laban's flock.
41And it hath come to pass whenever the strong ones of the flock conceive, that Jacob set the rods before the eyes of the flock in the gutters, to cause them to conceive by the rods,
42and when the flock is feeble, he doth not set [them]; and the feeble ones have been Laban's, and the strong ones Jacob's.
43And the man increaseth very exceedingly, and hath many flocks, and maid-servants, and men-servants, and camels, and asses.