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Genesis 30

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1And Rachel, seeing herself without children, envied her sister, and said to her husband: Give me children, otherwise I shall die.
2And Jacob being angry with her answered: Am I as God, who hath deprived thee of the fruit of thy womb?
3But she said: I have here my servant Bala. Go in unto her, that she may bear upon my knees, and I may have children by her.
4And she gave him Bala in marriage: who,
5When her husband had gone in unto her, conceived and bore a son.
6And Rachel said: The Lord hath judged for me, and hath heard my voice, giving me a son. And therefore she called his name Dan.
7And again Bala conceived and bore another,
8For whom Rachel said: God hath compared me with my sister, and I have prevailed. And she called him Nephtali.
9Lia, perceiving that she had left off bearing, gave Zelpha her handmaid to her husband.
10And when she had conceived and brought forth a son,
11She said: Happily. And therefore called his name Gad.
12Zelpha also bore another.
13And Lia said: This is for my happiness: for women will call me blessed. Therefore she called him Aser.
14And Ruben, going out in the time of the wheat harvest into the field, found mandrakes: which he brought to his mother Lia. And Rachel said: Give me part of thy son's mandrakes.
15She answered: Dost thou think it a small matter, that thou hast taken my husband from me, unless thou take also my son's mandrakes? Rachel said: He shall sleep with thee this night, for thy son's mandrakes.
16And when Jacob returned at even from the field, Lia went out to meet him, and said: Thou shalt come in unto me, because I have hired thee for my son's mandrakes. And he slept with her that night.
17And God heard her prayers: and she conceived and bore the fifth son,
18And said: God hath given me a reward, because I gave my handmaid to my husband. And she called his name Issachar.
19And Lia conceived again, and bore the sixth son,
20And said: God hath endowed me with a good dowry: this turn also my husband will be with me, because I have borne him six sons. And therefore she called his name Zabulon.
21After whom she bore a daughter, named Dina.
22The Lord also remembering Rachel heard her, and opened her womb,
23And she conceived, and bore a son, saying: God hath taken away my reproach.
24And she called his name Joseph, saying: The Lord give me also another son.
25And when Joseph was born, Jacob said to his father-in-law: Send me away that I may return into my country, and to my land.
26Give me my wives, and my children, for whom I have served thee, that I may depart: thou knowest the service that I have rendered thee.
27Laban said to him: Let me find favour in thy sight: I have learned by experience, that God hath blessed me for thy sake:
28Appoint thy wages which I shall give thee.
29But he answered: Thou knowest how I have served thee, and how great thy possession hath been in my hands.
30Thou hadst but little before I came to thee, and now thou art become rich: and the Lord hath blessed thee at my coming. It is reasonable therefore that I should now provide also for my own house.
31And Laban said: What shall I give thee? But he said: I require nothing. But if thou wilt do what I demand, I will feed, and keep thy sheep again.
32Go round through all thy flocks, and separate all the sheep of divers colours, and speckled: and all that is brown and spotted, and of divers colours, as well among the sheep, as among the goats, shall be my wages.
33And my justice shall answer for me tomorrow before thee when the time of the bargain shall come: and all that is not of divers colours, and spotted, and brown, as well among the sheep as among the goats, shall accuse me of theft.
34And Laban said: I like well what thou demandest.
35And he separated the same day the she-goats, and the sheep, and the he-goats, and the rams of divers colours, and spotted: and all the flock of one colour, that is, of white and black fleece, he delivered into the hands of his sons.
36And he set the space of three days' journey betwixt himself and his son-in-law, who fed the rest of his flock.
37And Jacob took green rods of poplar, and of almond, and of plane trees, and pilled them in part: so when the bark was taken off, in the parts that were pilled, there appeared whiteness: but the parts that were whole remained green. And by this means the colour was divers.
38And he put them in the troughs, where the water was poured out: that when the flocks should come to drink, they might have the rods before their eyes, and in the sight of them might conceive.
39And it came to pass that in the very heat of coition, the sheep beheld the rods, and brought forth spotted, and of divers colours, and speckled.
40And Jacob separated the flock, and put the rods in the troughs before the eyes of the rams. And all the white and the black were Laban's: and the rest were Jacob's, when the flocks were separated one from the other.
41So when the ewes went first to ram, Jacob put the rods in the troughs of water before the eyes of the rams, and of the ewes, that they might conceive while they were looking upon them.
42But when the latter coming was, and the last conceiving, he did not put them. And those that were lateward, become Laban's: and they of the first time, Jacob's.
43And the man was enriched exceedingly: and he had many flocks, maid-servants and men-servants, camels and asses.
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Chapter 30
Jacob's family
1Rachel now knew that she could not give birth to any children for Jacob. So, she became jealous of her sister. Rachel said to Jacob, ‘Please give me children. If not, I will die.’ #30:1 In Old Testament times, it was very important for women to have children. 2Jacob became angry with Rachel. He said, ‘Am I God? God has stopped you from giving birth to children!’ 3Rachel said, ‘Take my servant Bilhah and have sex with her. Then she can have children on my behalf. Through her, I can have a family.’ #30:3 This is like what Sarah did with Hagar.
4So Rachel gave her servant Bilhah to Jacob to become his wife. 5Bilhah became pregnant and she gave birth to a son for Jacob. 6Rachel said, ‘God has shown that I am right. He has listened to me and he has given a son to me.’ Because of this, she called the boy Dan. 7Rachel's servant Bilhah became pregnant again. She gave birth to another son for Jacob. 8Rachel said, ‘I have fought with my sister and I have won.’ She called this son Naphtali.
9Leah saw that she had stopped having children. So she gave her servant Zilpah to Jacob as a wife. 10Zilpah became pregnant and she gave birth to a son for Jacob. 11Leah said, ‘This is very good.’ She called the boy Gad. 12Leah's servant Zilpah gave Jacob another son. 13Leah said, ‘I am very happy! Women will call me happy.’ So she called this boy Asher.
14It was the time to get the wheat in from the fields. Reuben went out and he found some mandrake plants in a field. He took them to his mother, Leah. Rachel said to Leah, ‘Please give me some of the mandrake plants that your son gave to you.’ #30:14 Rachel thought that the mandrake plants would help her to have a child. That is why she wanted them. But only God could give her a child. 15But Leah said to Rachel, ‘You took my husband from me. That was bad enough! Now you want to take my son's mandrakes too!’ Rachel said, ‘OK. If you give me some of your son's mandrakes, Jacob can sleep with you tonight.’
16In the evening, Jacob came in from the fields. Leah went out to meet him. She said, ‘You must sleep with me tonight. I have paid for you with my son's mandrakes.’ So Jacob slept with Leah that night. 17God listened to Leah and she became pregnant again. She gave birth to a fifth son for Jacob. 18Leah said, ‘God has helped me because I gave my servant to Jacob as a wife.’ She called her son Issachar.
19Leah became pregnant again and she gave Jacob a sixth son. 20Leah said, ‘God has given me this valuable gift. Now my husband will respect me because I have given him six sons.’ She called this son Zebulun.
21Some time passed and Leah became pregnant again. She gave birth to a daughter. She called her daughter Dinah.
22Then God decided to help Rachel. He listened to her and he let her become pregnant. 23She became pregnant and she gave birth to a son. Rachel said, ‘I am not ashamed any more because God has given me a son.’ 24Rachel called her son Joseph. She said, ‘I pray that the Lord will give me another son.’
Jacob's sheep
25After Rachel gave birth to Joseph, Jacob spoke to Laban. He said, ‘Let me go away now. I want to go home to my own land. 26Let me take my wives and my children with me. I have worked for you so that I could have them. You must let me leave, because you know how much I have worked for you.’
27Laban said to Jacob, ‘If you are happy with me then please stay here. I know that the Lord has blessed me because you are here with me. I have used magic to know that.’ 28Laban also said to Jacob, ‘Tell me how much I should pay you for your work. I will pay whatever you want.’
29Jacob replied, ‘You know how much I have worked for you. You know that you have many more animals now, because I have taken care of them. 30Before I came, you had only a few sheep and goats. Now you have many more valuable things. Wherever I have worked for you, the Lord has blessed you. But now I want to work to help my own family. I must do that soon.’
31Laban asked, ‘What must I give to you?’ Jacob replied, ‘You do not need to give me anything. But just do one thing for me. Then I will still take care of your animals. I will make sure that nothing bad happens to them. 32Do this: Let me go among all your animals today. Let me remove any animal that has a mark on it or that has more than one colour on its skin. I will also take any black lambs. That is what you will give me for my work. 33In the future, this will show that I am honest. You can check on my animals whenever you want to. I will only have sheep or goats that have marks on their skin, or black lambs. If I have any other animals, you may call me a robber.’ 34Laban said, ‘I agree to this. It will be as you have said.’
35On that same day, Laban went to his animals. He quickly removed all the goats that had marks, both male and female goats. He also removed all the black lambs. He gave these animals to his sons to take care of. #30:35 Laban has deceived Jacob. He has taken all the animals that should be Jacob's. He has given them to his own sons to take care of. He sends them away before Jacob knows what he has done. 36He sent those animals a long way away. It would take Jacob 3 days to reach them. While this was happening, Jacob was taking care of Laban's other animals.
37Jacob took branches that he had cut from trees. He took them from poplar trees, almond trees and plane trees. He cut white lines on the branches. He stripped off the outside part of the wood to show white lines. 38Then he put the branches in the place where there were big bowls of water for the animals to drink. They were in front of the animals when they came to drink. The animals could see the branches when it was the right time for them to have sex together. 39When they had sex in front of the branches, they gave birth to babies that had skin with marks. 40Jacob kept these lambs separate from Laban's animals. He took the rest of Laban's female animals to join with the animals that had marks or were black. In that way he got more animals that would belong to him. He kept them separate from Laban's animals.
41Jacob waited until the stronger female animals were ready to have sex. Then he put the special branches in front of them, near the big bowls of water. Then these animals would see the branches when they had sex together. 42But if the female animals were weak, he did not put the branches in front of them when they had sex. As a result, the weak animals would belong to Laban, but Jacob would keep the strong animals.
43In this way, Jacob became very rich. Many sheep and goats belonged to him. He also had female servants and male servants, as well as camels and donkeys.