The Sons of Jacob
1When Rachel saw that she conceived no children for Jacob, she envied her sister, and said to Jacob, “Give me children, or else I will die.” 2Then Jacob became furious with Rachel, and he said, “Am I in the place of God, who has denied you children?” 3She said, “Here, take my maid Bilhah and go in to her; and [when the baby comes] she shall #This ritual symbolized that the wife was providing the child for her husband through a surrogate mother.deliver it [while sitting] on my knees, so that by her I may also have children [to count as my own].” 4So she gave him Bilhah her maid as a [#I.e. concubine (see note 22:24).secondary] wife, and Jacob went in to her. 5Bilhah conceived and gave birth to a son for Jacob. 6Then Rachel said, “God has judged and vindicated me, and has heard my plea and has given me a son [through my maid].” So she named him Dan (He judged). 7Bilhah, Rachel’s maid, conceived again and gave birth to a second son for Jacob. 8So Rachel said, “With mighty wrestlings [in prayer to God] I have struggled with my sister and have prevailed.” So she named him Naphtali (my wrestlings).
9When Leah saw that she had stopped bearing [children], she took Zilpah her maid and gave her to Jacob as a [#I.e. concubine (see note 22:24).secondary] wife. 10Zilpah, Leah’s maid, gave birth to a son for Jacob. 11Then Leah said, “How fortunate!” So she named him Gad (good fortune). 12Zilpah, Leah’s maid, gave birth to a second son for Jacob. 13Then Leah said, “I am happy! For women will call me happy.” So she named him Asher (happy).
14Now at the time of wheat harvest Reuben [the eldest child] went and found some #A narcotic plant thought by ancient peoples to be an aphrodisiac or cure for infertility.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.” 15But Leah answered, “Is it a small thing that you have taken my husband? Would you take away my son’s mandrakes also?” So Rachel said, “Jacob shall sleep with you tonight in exchange for your son’s mandrakes.” 16When Jacob came in from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, “You must sleep with me [tonight], for I have in fact hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” So he slept with her that night. 17God listened and answered [the prayer of] Leah, and she conceived and gave birth to a fifth son for Jacob. 18Then Leah said, “God has given me my reward because I have given my maid to my husband.” So she named him #Related to Hebrew for “reward.”Issachar. 19Leah conceived again and gave birth to a sixth son for Jacob. 20Then Leah said, “God has endowed me with a good [marriage] gift [for my husband]; now he will live with me [regarding me with honor as his wife], because I have given birth to six sons.” So she named him #Possibly related to Hebrew for “home” or “elevated place.”Zebulun. 21Afterward she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.
22Then God remembered [the prayers of] Rachel, and God thought of her and opened her womb [so that she would conceive]. 23So she conceived and gave birth to a son; and she said, “God has taken away my disgrace and humiliation.” 24She named him Joseph (may He add) and said, “May the Lord add to me another son.”
25Now when Rachel had given birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send me away, that I may go back to my own place and to my own country. 26Give me my wives and my children for whom I have served you, and let me go; for you know the work which I have done for you.” 27But Laban said to him, “If I have found favor in your sight, stay with me; for I have learned [from the omens in divination and by experience] that the Lord has blessed me because of you.” 28He said, “Name your wages, and I will give it [to you].” 29Jacob answered him, “You know how I have served you and how your possessions, your cattle and sheep and goats, have fared with me. 30For you had little before I came and it has increased and multiplied abundantly, and the Lord has favored you with blessings wherever I turned. But now, when shall I provide for my own household?” 31Laban asked, “What shall I give you?” Jacob replied, “You shall not give me anything. But if you will do this one thing for me [which I now propose], I will again pasture and keep your flock: 32Let me pass through your entire flock today, removing from it every speckled and spotted sheep and every dark or black one among the lambs and the spotted and speckled among the goats; and those shall be my wages. 33So my honesty will be evident for me later, when you come [for an accounting] concerning my wages. Every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats and dark among the young lambs, if found with me, shall be considered stolen.” 34And Laban said, “Good! Let it be done as you say.” 35So on that same day Laban [secretly] removed the male goats that were streaked and spotted and all the female goats that were speckled and spotted, every one with white on it, and all the dark ones among the sheep, and put them in the care of his sons. 36And he put [a distance of] three days’ journey between himself and Jacob, and Jacob was then left in care of the rest of Laban’s flock.
37Then Jacob took branches of fresh poplar and almond and plane trees, and peeled white stripes in them, exposing the white in the branches. 38Then he set the branches which he had peeled in front of the flocks in the watering troughs, where the flocks came to drink; and they mated and conceived when they came to drink. 39So the flocks mated and conceived by the branches, and the flocks #The success of Jacob’s action was undoubtedly the answer to an unrecorded prayer. Later (31:7-12), Jacob gives God the credit for what happened, citing a special dream that he had from God.gave birth to streaked, speckled, and spotted offspring. 40Jacob separated the lambs, and [as he had done with the peeled branches] he made the flocks face toward the streaked and all the dark or black in the [new] flock of Laban; and he put his own herds apart by themselves and did not put them [where they could breed] with Laban’s flock. 41Furthermore, whenever the stronger [animals] of the flocks were breeding, Jacob would place the branches in the sight of the flock in the watering troughs, so that they would mate and conceive among the branches; 42but when the flock was sickly, he did not put the branches there; so the sicker [animals] were Laban’s and the stronger Jacob’s. 43So Jacob became exceedingly prosperous, and had large flocks [of sheep and goats], and female and male servants, and camels and donkeys.
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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.
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