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Genesis 30

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.
30
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.