1 When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children, or else I will die.”
2 Jacob’s anger burned against Rachel, and he said, “Am I in God’s place, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?”
3 She said, “Behold, my maid Bilhah. Go in to her, that she may bear on my knees, and I also may obtain children by her.” 4She gave him Bilhah her servant as wife, and Jacob went in to her. 5Bilhah conceived, and bore Jacob a son. 6Rachel said, “God has judged me, and has also heard my voice, and has given me a son.” Therefore she called his name Dan. 7Bilhah, Rachel’s servant, conceived again, and bore Jacob a second son. 8Rachel said, “I have wrestled with my sister with mighty wrestlings, and have prevailed.” She named him Naphtali.
9 When Leah saw that she had finished bearing, she took Zilpah, her servant, and gave her to Jacob as a wife. 10Zilpah, Leah’s servant, bore Jacob a son. 11Leah said, “How fortunate!” She named him Gad. 12Zilpah, Leah’s servant, bore Jacob a second son. 13Leah said, “Happy am I, for the daughters will call me happy.” She named him Asher.
14 Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest, and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them to his mother, Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.”
15 Leah 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, “Therefore he will lie with you tonight for your son’s mandrakes.”
16 Jacob came from the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and said, “You must come in to me; for I have surely hired you with my son’s mandrakes.”
He lay with her that night. 17God listened to Leah, and she conceived, and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18Leah said, “God has given me my hire, because I gave my servant to my husband.” She named him Issachar. 19Leah conceived again, and bore a sixth son to Jacob. 20Leah said, “God has endowed me with a good dowry. Now my husband will live with me, because I have borne him six sons.” She named him Zebulun. 21Afterwards, she bore a daughter, and named her Dinah.
22 God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her, and opened her womb. 23She conceived, bore a son, and said, “God has taken away my reproach.” 24She named him Joseph,#30:24 Joseph means “may he add”. saying, “May the LORD add another son to me.”
25 When Rachel had borne Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send me away, that I may go to my own place, and to my country. 26Give me my wives and my children for whom I have served you, and let me go; for you know my service with which I have served you.”
27 Laban said to him, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, stay here, for I have divined that the LORD has blessed me for your sake.” 28He said, “Appoint me your wages, and I will give it.”
29 Jacob said to him, “You know how I have served you, and how your livestock have fared with me. 30For it was little which you had before I came, and it has increased to a multitude. The LORD has blessed you wherever I turned. Now when will I provide for my own house also?”
31 Laban said, “What shall I give you?”
Jacob said, “You shall not give me anything. If you will do this thing for me, I will again feed your flock and keep it. 32I will pass through all your flock today, removing from there every speckled and spotted one, and every black one among the sheep, and the spotted and speckled among the goats. This will be my hire. 33So my righteousness will answer for me hereafter, when you come concerning my hire that is before you. Every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats, and black among the sheep, that might be with me, will be considered stolen.”
34 Laban said, “Behold, let it be according to your word.”
35 That day, he removed the male goats that were streaked and spotted, and all the female goats that were speckled and spotted, every one that had white in it, and all the black ones among the sheep, and gave them into the hand of his sons. 36He set three days’ journey between himself and Jacob, and Jacob fed the rest of Laban’s flocks.
37 Jacob took to himself rods of fresh poplar, almond, and plane tree, peeled white streaks in them, and made the white appear which was in the rods. 38He set the rods which he had peeled opposite the flocks in the watering troughs where the flocks came to drink. They conceived when they came to drink. 39The flocks conceived before the rods, and the flocks produced streaked, speckled, and spotted. 40Jacob separated the lambs, and set the faces of the flocks toward the streaked and all the black in Laban’s flock. He put his own droves apart, and didn’t put them into Laban’s flock. 41Whenever the stronger of the flock conceived, Jacob laid the rods in front of the eyes of the flock in the watering troughs, that they might conceive among the rods; 42but when the flock were feeble, he didn’t put them in. So the feebler were Laban’s, and the stronger Jacob’s. 43The man increased exceedingly, and had large flocks, female servants and male servants, and camels and donkeys.
Learn More About World Messianic Bible
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 At the time of the Old Testament 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 Sarah had said the same thing to Abraham about Hagar. See Genesis 16:2
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 for the harvest of wheat. 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 mandrakes that your son gave to you.’ #30:14 A mandrake is a plant that people eat. Its root has a shape like a human body. People thought that it helped them to enjoy sex. Rachel thought that the mandrake plants would help her to give birth to a child. That is why she wanted them. 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.
21After some time, 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 longer, because God has given me a son.’ 24Rachel called her son Joseph. She said, ‘I pray that the Lord will give me another son.’
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 them. #30:35 Laban deceived Jacob. He took all the animals that were Jacob's. He gave them to his own sons. He sent them away before Jacob knew what he had done. 36He sent those animals a long way away. It would take Jacob three 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.
Learn More About EasyEnglish Bible 2018