1When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children, she envied her sister. “Give me sons, or I will die!” #1Sm 1:5–6 she said to Jacob.
2Jacob became angry with Rachel and said, “Am I in the place of God? He has withheld offspring#30:2 Lit the fruit of the womb from you!”
3Then she said, “Here is my maid Bilhah. Go sleep with her, and she’ll bear children for me#30:3 Lit bear on my knees#Gn 50:23 so that through her I too can build a family.” 4So Rachel gave her slave Bilhah to Jacob as a wife, and he slept with her. 5Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son. 6Rachel said, “God has vindicated me; yes, he has heard me and given me a son,” so she named him Dan.#30:6 In Hb, the name Dan sounds like “has vindicated,” or “has judged.”
7Rachel’s slave Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. 8Rachel said, “In my wrestlings with God,#30:8 Or “With mighty wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister and won,” and she named him Naphtali.#30:8 In Hb, the name Naphtali sounds like “my wrestling.”
9When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she took her slave Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife. 10Leah’s slave Zilpah bore Jacob a son. 11Then Leah said, “What good fortune!” #30:11 Alt Hb tradition, LXX, Vg read “Good fortune has come!” and she named him Gad.#30:11 = Good Fortune
12When Leah’s slave Zilpah bore Jacob a second son, 13Leah said, “I am happy that the women call me happy,”#Lk 1:48 so she named him Asher.#30:13 = Happy
14Reuben went out during the wheat harvest and found some mandrakes in the field.#Sg 7:13 When he brought them to his mother Leah, Rachel asked, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.”
15But Leah replied to her, “Isn’t it enough that you have taken my husband? Now you also want to take my son’s mandrakes?”
“Well then,” Rachel said, “he can sleep with you tonight in exchange for your son’s mandrakes.”
16When Jacob came in from the field that evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, “You must come with me, for I have hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” So Jacob slept with her that night.
17God listened to Leah, and she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18Leah said, “God has rewarded me for giving my slave to my husband,” and she named him Issachar.#30:18 In Hb, the name Issachar sounds like “reward.”
19Then Leah conceived again and bore Jacob a sixth son. 20“God has given me a good gift,” Leah said. “This time my husband will honor me because I have borne six sons for him,” and she named him Zebulun.#30:20 In Hb, the name Zebulun sounds like “honored.” 21Later, Leah bore a daughter and named her Dinah.
22Then God remembered Rachel. He listened to her and opened her womb.#Gn 29:31 23She conceived and bore a son, and she said, “God has taken away my disgrace.”#Is 4:1; Lk 1:25 24She named him Joseph#30:24 = He Adds and said, “May the Lord add another son to me.”#Gn 35:17
Jacob’s Flocks Multiply
25After Rachel gave birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send me on my way so that I can return to my homeland. 26Give me my wives and my children that I have worked for, and let me go.#Gn 29:18,20,27; Hs 12:12 You know how hard I have worked for you.”
27But Laban said to him, “If I have found favor with you, stay. I have learned by divination that the Lord has blessed me because of you.” 28Then Laban said, “Name your wages, and I will pay them.”#Gn 29:15; 31:7,41
29So Jacob said to him, “You know how I have served you and how your herds have fared with me.#Gn 31:6,38–40 30For you had very little before I came, but now your wealth has increased. The Lord has blessed you because of me. And now, when will I also do something for my own family?”
31Laban asked, “What should I give you?”
And Jacob said, “You don’t need to give me anything. If you do this one thing for me, I will continue to shepherd and keep your flock. 32Let me go through all your sheep today and remove every sheep that is speckled or spotted, every dark-colored sheep among the lambs, and the spotted and speckled among the female goats. Such will be my wages. 33In the future when you come to check on my wages, my honesty will testify for me. If I have any female goats that are not speckled or spotted, or any lambs that are not black, they will be considered stolen.”
34“Good,” said Laban. “Let it be as you have said.”
35That day Laban removed the streaked and spotted male goats and all the speckled and spotted female goats — every one that had any white on it — and every dark-colored one among the lambs, and he placed his sons in charge of them. 36He put a three-day journey between himself and Jacob. Jacob, meanwhile, was shepherding the rest of Laban’s flock.
37Jacob then took branches of fresh poplar, almond, and plane wood, and peeled the bark, exposing white stripes on the branches. 38He set the peeled branches in the troughs in front of the sheep — in the water channels where the sheep came to drink. And the sheep bred when they came to drink. 39The flocks bred in front of the branches and bore streaked, speckled, and spotted young.#Gn 31:10–12 40Jacob separated the lambs and made the flocks face the streaked sheep and the completely dark sheep in Laban’s flocks. Then he set his own stock apart and didn’t put them with Laban’s sheep.
41Whenever the stronger of the flock were breeding, Jacob placed the branches in the troughs, in full view of the flocks, and they would breed in front of the branches. 42As for the weaklings of the flocks, he did not put out the branches. So it turned out that the weak sheep belonged to Laban and the stronger ones to Jacob. 43And the man became very rich.#30:43 Lit The man spread out very much, very much He had many flocks, female and male slaves, and camels and donkeys.#Gn 12:16; 13:2; 24:35; 26:13–14; 30:30
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The Sons of Jacob
1Now when Rachel saw that she had not borne Jacob any children, #30:1 Lit Rachelshe became jealous of her sister; and she said to Jacob, “Give me children, or else I am going to die.” 2Then Jacob’s anger burned against Rachel, and he said, “Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?” 3Then she said, “Here is my female slave Bilhah: have relations with her that she may give birth #30:3 I.e., prob. referring to a ritual of adoptionon my knees, so that #30:3 Lit from her I too may be builtby her I too may obtain a child.” 4So she gave him her slave Bilhah as a wife, and Jacob had relations with her. 5Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son. 6Then Rachel said, “God has #30:6 Lit judgedvindicated me, and has indeed heard my voice and has given me a son.” Therefore she named him #30:6 I.e., He judgedDan. 7And Rachel’s slave Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. 8So Rachel said, “With #30:8 Lit wrestlings of Godmighty wrestling I have #30:8 Heb niphtal, related to Naphtaliwrestled with my sister, and I have indeed prevailed.” And she named him Naphtali.
9When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she took her slave Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife. 10And Leah’s slave Zilpah bore Jacob a son. 11Then Leah said, “#30:11 Lit With fortune! Some ancient versions Fortune has comeHow fortunate!” So she named him #30:11 I.e., FortuneGad. 12And Leah’s slave Zilpah bore Jacob a second son. 13Then Leah said, “#30:13 Lit With my happiness!Happy am I! For women will call me happy.” So she named him #30:13 I.e., happyAsher.
14Now in the days of wheat harvest Reuben went and found mandrake fruits 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 for you to take my husband? And would you take my son’s mandrakes also?” So Rachel said, “Therefore he may sleep with you tonight in return 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 have relations with me, for I have indeed hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” So he slept with her that night. 17God listened to Leah, and she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18Then Leah said, “God has given me my #30:18 Heb sachar, related to Issacharreward, because I gave my slave to my husband.” So she named him Issachar. 19And Leah conceived again and bore a sixth son to Jacob. 20Then Leah said, “God has endowed me with a good gift; finally my husband #30:20 Heb zabal, related to Zebulunwill acknowledge me as his wife, because I have borne him six sons.” So she named him Zebulun. 21Afterward she gave birth to a daughter, and named her Dinah.
22Then God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her and opened her womb. 23So she conceived and gave birth to a son, and said, “God has taken away my disgrace.” 24And she named him Joseph, saying, “May the Lord #30:24 Lit add to me; Heb Josephgive me another son.”
25Now it came about, when Rachel had given birth to Joseph, that Jacob said to Laban, “Send me away, so that I may go 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 yourself know my service which I have #30:26 Lit servedrendered you.” 27But Laban said to him, “If #30:27 Lit I have found favor in your eyesit pleases you at all, stay with me; I have determined by divination that the Lord has blessed me on your account.” 28He #30:28 Lit saidcontinued, “Name me your wages, and I will give them.” 29But Jacob said to him, “You yourself know how I have served you and how your livestock have #30:29 Lit beenfared with me. 30For you had little before #30:30 Lit meI came, and it has #30:30 Lit broken forthincreased to a multitude, and the Lord has blessed you #30:30 Lit at my footwherever I turned. But now, when shall I provide for my own household also?” 31So he said, “What shall I give you?” And Jacob said, “You shall not give me anything. If you will do this one thing for me, I will again pasture and keep your flock: 32let me pass through your entire flock today, removing from there every speckled or spotted sheep and every black sheep among the lambs, and the spotted or speckled among the goats; and those shall be my wages. 33So my #30:33 Lit righteousnesshonesty will answer for me later, when you come concerning my #30:33 Lit wages which are before youwages. Every one that is not speckled or spotted among the goats, or black among the lambs, if found with me, will be considered stolen.” 34Laban said, “#30:34 Lit Behold, would that it might beGood, let it be according to your word.” 35So he removed on that day the striped or spotted male goats, and all the speckled or spotted female goats, every one with white on it, and all the black ones among the sheep, and put them in the #30:35 Lit handcare of his sons. 36And he put a distance of three days’ journey between himself and Jacob, and Jacob fed the rest of Laban’s flocks.
37Then Jacob #30:37 Lit took to himselftook fresh rods of poplar, almond, and plane trees, and peeled white stripes in them, exposing the white that was #30:37 Lit onin the rods. 38He set the rods which he had peeled in front of the flocks in the drinking troughs, that is, in the watering channels where the flocks came to drink; and they mated when they came to drink. 39So the flocks mated by the rods, and the flocks delivered striped, speckled, and spotted offspring. 40Then Jacob separated the lambs, and #30:40 Lit set the facesmade the flocks face toward the striped and all the black in the flock of Laban; and he put his own herds apart, and did not put them with Laban’s flock. 41Moreover, whenever the stronger of the flock were mating, Jacob would place the rods in the sight of the flock in the drinking troughs, so that they would mate by the rods; 42but when the flock was sickly, he did not put them in; so the sickly were Laban’s, and the stronger were Jacob’s. 43So the man #30:43 Lit broke forthbecame exceedingly prosperous, and had large flocks, and female and male servants, and camels and donkeys.
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