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Genesis 30

30
1When Rachel saw that #ch. 29:31she bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I shall die!” 2Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel, and he said, “Am I in the place of God, #[ch. 16:2; 1 Sam. 1:5]who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?” 3Then she said, “Here is my servant #ch. 29:29 Bilhah; go in to her, so that she may give birth #ch. 50:23on my behalf,#30:3 Hebrew on my knees that even I may have children#30:3 Hebrew be built up, which sounds like the Hebrew for children through her.” 4So she gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife, and Jacob went in to her. 5And Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son. 6Then Rachel said, “God has #[ch. 49:16]judged me, and has also heard my voice and given me a son.” Therefore she called his name Dan.#30:6 Dan sounds like the Hebrew for judged 7Rachel’s servant Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. 8Then Rachel said, “With mighty wrestlings#30:8 Hebrew With wrestlings of God I have wrestled with my sister and have prevailed.” So she called his name #[Matt. 4:13]Naphtali.#30:8 Naphtali sounds like the Hebrew for wrestling
9When Leah saw that she had ceased bearing children, she took her servant Zilpah and #ver. 4; ch. 29:24gave her to Jacob as a wife. 10Then Leah’s servant Zilpah bore Jacob a son. 11And Leah said, #[ch. 49:19]“Good fortune has come!” so she called his name #[ch. 49:19]Gad.#30:11 Gad sounds like the Hebrew for good fortune 12Leah’s servant Zilpah bore Jacob a second son. 13And Leah said, “Happy am I! For women #[Luke 1:48]have called me happy.” So she called his name Asher.#30:13 Asher sounds like the Hebrew for happy
14In the days of wheat harvest Reuben went and found #Song 7:13mandrakes in the field and brought them to his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.” 15But she said to her, “Is it a small matter that you have taken away my husband? Would you take away my son’s mandrakes also?” Rachel said, “Then he may lie with you tonight in exchange for your son’s mandrakes.” 16When Jacob came from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, “You must come in to me, for I have hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” So he lay with her that night. 17And God listened to Leah, and she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18Leah said, “God has given me my wages because I gave my servant to my husband.” So she called his name Issachar.#30:18 Issachar sounds like the Hebrew for wages, or hire
19And Leah conceived again, and she bore Jacob a sixth son. 20Then Leah said, “God has endowed me with a good endowment; now my husband will honor me, because I have borne him six sons.” So she called his name #[Matt. 4:13]Zebulun.#30:20 Zebulun sounds like the Hebrew for honor 21Afterward she bore a daughter and called her name Dinah.
22Then God #See ch. 8:1 remembered Rachel, and God listened to her and #ch. 29:31; [Ps. 127:3]opened her womb. 23She conceived and bore a son and said, “God has taken away #Luke 1:25; [1 Sam. 1:6; Isa. 4:1]my reproach.” 24And she called his name Joseph,#30:24 Joseph means May he add, and sounds like the Hebrew for taken away saying, #ch. 35:17“May the Lord add to me another son!”
Jacob’s Prosperity
25As soon as Rachel had borne Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send me away, that I may go to my own home and country. 26Give me my wives and my children #ch. 29:20, 30for whom I have served you, that I may go, for you know the service that I have given you.” 27But Laban said to him, “If I have found favor in your sight, I have learned by divination that#30:27 Or have become rich and the Lord has blessed me because of you. 28#ch. 29:15Name your wages, and I will give it.” 29Jacob said to him, #ch. 31:6, 38-40“You yourself know how I have served you, and how your livestock has fared with me. 30For you had little before I came, #ver. 43 and it has increased abundantly, and the Lord has blessed you wherever I turned. But now when shall I #[1 Tim. 5:8]provide for my own household also?” 31He said, “What shall I give you?” Jacob said, “You shall not give me anything. If you will do this for me, I will again pasture your flock and keep it: 32let me pass through all your flock today, removing from it every speckled and spotted sheep and every black lamb, and the spotted and speckled among the goats, and #ch. 31:8they shall be my wages. 33So my honesty will answer for me later, when you come to look into my wages with you. Every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats and black among the lambs, if found with me, shall be counted stolen.” 34Laban said, “Good! Let it be as you have said.” 35But that day Laban removed the male goats that were striped and spotted, and all the female goats that were speckled and spotted, every one that had white on it, and every lamb that was black, and put them in the charge of his sons. 36And he set a distance of three days’ journey between himself and Jacob, and Jacob pastured the rest of Laban’s flock.
37Then #See ch. 31:8-12Jacob took fresh sticks of poplar and almond and plane trees, and peeled white streaks in them, exposing the white of the sticks. 38He set the sticks that he had peeled in front of the flocks in the troughs, that is, the #[Ex. 2:16]watering places, where the flocks came to drink. And since they bred when they came to drink, 39the flocks bred in front of the sticks and so the flocks brought forth striped, speckled, and spotted. 40And Jacob separated the lambs and set the faces of the flocks toward the striped and all the black in the flock of Laban. He put his own droves apart and did not put them with Laban’s flock. 41Whenever the stronger of the flock were breeding, Jacob would lay the sticks in the troughs before the eyes of the flock, that they might breed among the sticks, 42but for the feebler of the flock he would not lay them there. So the feebler would be Laban’s, and the stronger Jacob’s. 43Thus the man #ver. 30 increased greatly and #ch. 24:35; 26:13, 14had large flocks, female servants and male servants, and 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.