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Genesis 30

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1And when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister, and said to Jacob, Give me children, or else I die. 2And Jacob's anger was kindled against Rachel, and he said, Am I in God's#GodHebrew: Elohim stead, who has withheld from thee the fruit of the womb? 3And she said, Behold, there is my maid, Bilhah: go in to her, in order that she may bear on my knees, and I may also be built up by her. 4And she gave him Bilhah her maidservant as wife, and Jacob went in to her. 5And Bilhah conceived, and bore Jacob a son. 6And Rachel said, God#GodHebrew: Elohim has done me justice, and has also heard my voice, and given me a son; therefore she called his name Dan. 7And Bilhah Rachel's maidservant again conceived, and bore Jacob a second son. 8And Rachel said, Wrestlings of God#GodHebrew: Elohim have I wrestled with my sister, and have prevailed; and she called his name Naphtali. 9And when Leah saw that she had ceased to bear, she took Zilpah her maidservant and gave her to Jacob as wife. 10And Zilpah Leah's maidservant bore Jacob a son. 11And Leah said, Fortunately! and she called his name Gad. 12And Zilpah Leah's maidservant bore Jacob a second son. 13And Leah said, Happy am I; for the daughters will call me blessed! and she called his name Asher.
14And Reuben went out in the days of wheat-harvest, and found mandrakes in the fields; and he brought them to his mother Leah. And Rachel said to Leah, Give me, I pray thee, of thy son's mandrakes. 15And she said to her, Is it too little that thou hast taken my husband, that thou wilt take my son's mandrakes also? And Rachel said, Therefore he shall lie with thee to-night for thy son's mandrakes. 16And when Jacob came from the fields in the evening, Leah went out to meet him, and said, Thou must come in to me, for indeed I have hired thee with my son's mandrakes. And he lay with her that night. 17And God#GodHebrew: Elohim hearkened to Leah, and she conceived, and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18And Leah said, God#GodHebrew: Elohim has given me my hire, because I have given my maidservant to my husband; and she called his name Issachar. 19And Leah again conceived, and bore Jacob a sixth son; 20and Leah said, God#GodHebrew: Elohim has endowed me with a good dowry; this time will my husband dwell with me, because I have borne him six sons. And she called his name Zebulun. 21And afterwards she bore a daughter, and called her name Dinah. 22And God#GodHebrew: Elohim remembered Rachel, and God#GodHebrew: Elohim listened to her, and opened her womb. 23And she conceived, and bore a son, and said, God#GodHebrew: Elohim has taken away my reproach. 24And she called his name Joseph; and said, Jehovah will add to me another son.
25And it came to pass when Rachel had borne Joseph, that Jacob said to Laban, Send me away, that I may go to my place and to my country. 26Give me my wives for whom I have served thee, and my children; that I may go away, for thou knowest my service which I have served thee. 27And Laban said to him, I pray thee, if I have found favour in thine eyes — I have discovered that Jehovah has blessed me for thy sake. 28And he said, Appoint to me thy wages, and I will give it. 29And he said to him, Thou knowest how I have served thee, and what thy cattle has become with me. 30For it was little that thou hadst before me, and it is increased to a multitude, and Jehovah has blessed thee from the time I came; and now, when shall I also provide for my house? 31And he said, What shall I give thee? And Jacob said, Thou shalt not give me anything. If thou doest this for me, I will again feed and keep thy flock: 32I will pass through all thy flock to-day, to remove thence all the speckled and spotted sheep, and all the brown lambs, and the spotted and speckled among the goats; and that shall be my hire. 33And my righteousness shall answer for me hereafter, when thou comest about my hire, before thy face: all that is not speckled and spotted among the goats, and brown among the lambs, let that be stolen with me. 34And Laban said, Well, let it be according to thy word. 35And he removed that day the he-goats that were ringstraked and spotted, and all the she-goats that were speckled and spotted, every one that had white in it, and all the brown among the lambs, and gave them into the hand of his sons. 36And he put three days' journey between himself and Jacob. And Jacob fed the rest of Laban's flock.
37And Jacob took fresh rods of white poplar, almond-tree, and maple; and peeled off white stripes in them, uncovering the white which was on the rods. 38And he set the rods which he had peeled before the flock, in the troughs at the watering-places where the flock came to drink, and they were ardent when they came to drink. 39And the flock was ardent before the rods; and the flock brought forth ringstraked, speckled, and spotted. 40And Jacob separated the lambs, and set the faces of the flock toward the ringstraked, and all the brown in the flock of Laban; and he made himself separate flocks, and did not put them with Laban's flock. 41And it came to pass whensoever the strong cattle were ardent, that Jacob laid the rods before the eyes of the flock in the gutters, that they might become ardent among the rods; 42but when the sheep were feeble, he put them not in; so the feeble were Laban's, and the strong Jacob's. 43And the man increased very, very much, and had much cattle, and bondwomen, and bondmen, and camels, and asses.
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Problems between Rachel and Leah
1Rachel was very jealous of Leah for having children, and she said to Jacob, “I'll die if you don't give me some children!”
2But Jacob became upset with Rachel and answered, “Don't blame me! I'm not God.”
3“Here, take my servant Bilhah,” Rachel told him. “Have children by her, and I'll let them be born on my knees to show that they are mine.”
4Then Rachel let Jacob marry Bilhah, 5and they had a son. 6Rachel named him Dan,#30.6 Dan: In Hebrew “Dan” means “judge”. because she said, “God has answered my prayers. He has judged me and given me a son.” 7When Bilhah and Jacob had a second son, 8Rachel said, “I've struggled hard with my sister, and I've won!” So she named the boy Naphtali.#30.8 Naphtali: In Hebrew “Naphtali” means “struggle” or “contest”.
9When Leah realized she could not have any more children, she let Jacob marry her servant Zilpah, 10and they had a son. 11“I'm really lucky,” Leah said, and she named the boy Gad.#30.11 Gad: In Hebrew “Gad” means “lucky”. 12When they had another son, 13Leah exclaimed, “I'm happy now, and all the women will say how happy I am.” So she named him Asher.#30.13 Asher: In Hebrew “Asher” means “happy”.
Love flowers
14During the time of the wheat harvest, Reuben found some love flowers#30.14 love flowers: Also called “mandrakes”, a flowering plant that was thought to give sexual powers. and took them to his mother Leah. Rachel asked Leah for some of them, 15but Leah said, “It's bad enough that you stole my husband! Now you want my son's love flowers too.”
“All right,” Rachel answered. “Let me have the flowers, and you can sleep with Jacob tonight.”
16That evening when Jacob came in from the fields, Leah told him, “You're sleeping with me tonight. I hired you with my son's love flowers.”
They slept together that night, 17and God answered Leah's prayers by giving her a fifth son. 18Leah shouted, “God has rewarded me for letting Jacob marry my servant,” and she named the boy Issachar.#30.18 Issachar: In Hebrew “Issachar” sounds like “reward”.
19When Leah had another son, 20she exclaimed, “God has given me a wonderful gift, and my husband will praise me for giving him six sons.” So she named the boy Zebulun.#30.20 Zebulun: In Hebrew “Zebulun” sounds like “give” and “praise”. 21Later, Leah had a daughter and named her Dinah.
22-23Finally, God remembered Rachel—he answered her prayer by giving her a son. “God has taken away my disgrace,” she said. 24“I'll name the boy Joseph,#30.24 Joseph: In Hebrew “Joseph” sounds like “take away” and “add”. and I'll pray that the LORD will give me another son.”
Jacob and Laban
25After Joseph was born, Jacob said to Laban, “Release me from our agreement#30.25 Release…agreement: Jacob had agreed to work seven years for each of Laban's two daughters (see 29.18). and let me return to my own country. 26You know how hard I've worked for you, so let me take my wives and children and leave.”
27-28But Laban told him, “If you really are my friend, stay on, and I'll pay whatever you ask. I'm sure#30.27,28 I'm sure: The Hebrew text means to find out by some kind of magic, such as fortune-telling. the LORD has blessed me because of you.”
29Jacob answered:
You've seen how hard I've worked for you, and you know how your flocks and herds have grown under my care. 30You didn't have much before I came, but the LORD has blessed everything I have ever done for you. Now it's time for me to start looking after my own family.
31“How much do you want me to pay you?” Laban asked.
Then Jacob told him:
I don't want you to pay me anything. Just do one thing, and I'll take care of your sheep and goats. 32Let me go through your flocks and herds and take the sheep and goats that are either spotted or speckled#30.32 spotted or speckled: In ancient times sheep were usually white, and goats were usually black or dark brown; only a few sheep would have black spots, and only a few goats would have white spots. and the black lambs. That's all you need to give me. 33In the future you can easily find out if I've been honest. Just look and see if my animals are either spotted or speckled, or if the lambs are black. If they aren't, they've been stolen from you.
34“I agree to that,” was Laban's response. 35Before the end of the day, Laban had separated his spotted and speckled animals and the black lambs from the others and had put his sons in charge of them. 36Then Laban made Jacob keep the rest of the sheep and goats at a distance of three days' journey.
37Jacob cut branches from some poplar trees and from some almond and evergreen trees. He peeled off part of the bark and made the branches look spotted and speckled. 38Then he put the branches where the sheep and goats would see them#30.38 would see them: It was believed by some that what sheep and goats saw at the time of breeding would determine the colour of their young. while they were drinking from the water trough. The goats mated there 39in front of the branches, and their young were spotted and speckled.
40Some of the sheep that Jacob was keeping for Laban were already spotted. And when the others were ready to mate, he made sure that they faced in the direction of the spotted and black ones. In this way, Jacob built up a flock of sheep for himself and did not put them with the other sheep.
41When the stronger sheep were mating near the drinking place, Jacob made sure that the spotted branches were there. 42But he would not put out the branches when the weaker animals were mating. So Jacob got all the healthy animals, and Laban got what was left. 43Jacob soon became rich and successful. He owned many sheep, goats, camels, and donkeys, as well as a lot of slaves.