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Genesis 30

Battle of the Brides
1When Rachel saw that she could not give Jacob children, her jealousy toward her sister simmered. So, she said to Jacob, “Give me sons, or I’ll die!” # 30:1 Ironically, Rachel died while giving birth to her second son (see Gen. 35:16–19).
2Jacob became furious with Rachel and said, “Am I God? He’s the one keeping you from bearing children!” 3She replied, “Here’s my servant Bilhah. Sleep with her. She can be my surrogate; then I can have children through her # 30:3 Literally, “that she may bear upon my knees,” a Hebrew figurative expression that refers to the practice of obtaining children through the service of another woman and legally adopting the child as one’s own. See Gen. 50:23 and footnote; Job 3:12. and build a family.” # 30:3 Or “I will be built up through her.”
4So Rachel gave her servant Bilhah to Jacob as another wife, and Jacob slept with her. 5And Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son, 6and Rachel named him Dan, saying, “God has vindicated me. # 30:6 Or “judged me [decided in my favor].” The name Dan sounds like the Hebrew verb meaning “to judge.” The Hebrew contains a wordplay on his name—“God has vindicated [dananni] me.” He heard my voice and gave me a son.” 7Then her servant Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. 8Rachel named him Naphtali, saying, “I have wrestled mightily # 30:8 The name Naphtali means “wrestle,” “contest,” “struggle,” or “fight.” The Hebrew reads “with wrestling of ’elohim,” posing an interpretive problem. There are three ways to understand this phrase: (1) Many scholars see ’elohim as a descriptive term of intensity meaning “great” or “might.” (2) Some interpret this statement as Rachel wrestling with God for his favor. (3) Some see it as describing a mysterious struggle or “fateful contest [of God]” or “playing a trick on her sister.” In any case, this was one troubled home. As Jacob had struggled with his older brother, Rachel now struggled with her older sister. with my sister, and I won!”
9Meanwhile, when Leah saw that she had ceased bearing children, she took her servant Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as another wife. 10-11Zilpah bore Jacob a son, and Leah named him Gad, saying, “What good fortune!” # 30:10–11 The name Gad means “good fortune” or “good luck has come.” 12Zilpah bore Jacob a second son, 13and Leah named him Asher, saying, “Oh happy day! # 30:13 The name Asher means “happy.” All the women will say, ‘She’s happy now!’ ”
14One day, during wheat harvest, Reuben found some mandrake plants # 30:14 Mandrakes, or “love apples,” had an erotic connotation and were considered in that culture to have aphrodisiac properties. Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, beauty, and sex, was known as the “Lady of the Mandrake.” The Hebrew root for “mandrake” is similar to the word for “love.” in the field and brought them to his mother Leah. Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.”
15Leah replied, “You already took away the affection of my husband, so now you’re going to take my son’s mandrakes, too?”
Rachel said, “All right then, I’ll let him sleep with you tonight in exchange for some of your son’s mandrakes.”
16That evening, when Jacob was coming home from the field, Leah went out to meet him and said, “You must sleep with me tonight, for I’ve paid for your services with my son’s mandrakes.” So Jacob slept with Leah that night. 17God listened compassionately to Leah’s cry, she became pregnant, and bore Jacob a fifth son, 18whom she named Issachar, saying, “God rewarded # 30:18 The name Issachar comes from the Hebrew word for “reward.” me for giving my maidservant to my husband.”
19Once again, Leah conceived and bore Jacob a sixth son, 20whom she named Zebulun, saying, “God has given me good gifts for my husband! Now he will accept # 30:20 The name Zebulun sounds like the Hebrew word for “honor,” “raise up,” or “accept.” me, for I’ve given him six sons.” 21Lastly, Leah gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah. # 30:21 Dinah means “judgment” or “vindication.”
22God listened to Rachel’s heart-cry, and had compassion # 30:22 Or “God remembered.” on her, and made her fertile.
23-24She conceived, and bore a son, and named him Joseph, saying, “God has taken away my disgrace. May Yahweh add # 30:23–24 The name Joseph means “he adds [another].” to me another son.”
Jacob Makes a Deal with Laban
25After Rachel gave birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Release me to go back home to my homeland. 26You know how hard I’ve worked for you these many years to finish paying for my two wives. Give them to me along with my children, and I’ll be on my way.”
27Laban countered, “If you please, I have learned by divine inquiry # 30:27 Or “by divination [omens, astrology, fortune-tellers].” God forbid divination among his people (see Lev. 19:26; Deut. 18:10, 14.) that I have become prosperous because of you and the blessing of Yahweh that’s on your life. 28Just name your price, and I’ll give it to you.”
29Jacob replied, “You know how hard I’ve worked for you and how your livestock has increased under my care. 30The little you had before I came has multiplied greatly, for Yahweh has blessed you wonderfully because I am here. # 30:30 Literally, “according to my foot,” a figure of speech for “because I am here [working for you].” But now, I need to provide for my own family, too.”
31So Laban asked, “What should I give you?”
“Nothing,” Jacob replied, “You don’t need to give me a thing. If you will do but one thing for me, I will continue to care for your flocks: 32Just let me pass through all your flocks today and take out every speckled and spotted sheep or goat, and every black lamb. That’s all the payment I ask. 33And in the future, when you review my wages, the integrity of my dealings with you will be obvious. If you find any animal among mine that is not speckled, spotted, or black, then you will know that I stole it.”
34“Agreed!” Laban said. “We’ll do what you’ve suggested.” 35But that same day, Laban secretly removed all the male and female goats that were speckled or spotted (all that had white on them) and all the black lambs and left them under the care of his sons. 36He set a distance of a three-day journey between himself and Jacob, while Jacob continued to tend the rest of Laban’s flocks.
37Jacob, however, cut green branches of poplar, almond, and plane trees and peeled back part of their bark, to expose the white inner wood of the branches. 38Then he set the partially peeled branches inside the water troughs where the goats would see them when they came to drink. 39For they mated when they came to the water troughs, and as they lowered their heads to drink, they saw the stripped branches in front of their eyes. Miraculously # 30:39 These were not simply principles of animal husbandry, but a divine miracle revealed to Jacob through a dream (see Gen. 31:10–13). God always uses unique and puzzling methods to perform a miracle. He may require bathing seven times in the Jordan River (see 2 Kings 5:10), parting the Red Sea (see Ex. 14), or having the sun stand still (see Josh. 10:13–14). God displayed his creative power through the birth of these multicolored young goats. Perhaps the miracle teaches us that what we see or gaze upon can impregnate us with the object of our vision, for you can determine what you conceive by what you behold. What you set your gaze upon is what you will give birth to. they gave birth to streaked, speckled, and spotted young. 40But with the mating ewes, on the other hand, he made them face the streaked or completely black animals in Laban’s flock. By doing this, he produced his own special flocks, which he didn’t allow to mingle with Laban’s. 41Moreover, every time the stronger females were in heat, Jacob laid the partially peeled branches in the water troughs in front of the flock, so that they would mate among the branches. 42But he didn’t place the branches in front of the scrawny goats when they mated, leaving the feeble animals for Laban and the stronger for himself. 43In this way, Jacob quickly grew very wealthy and owned large flocks, a great number of camels and donkeys, and many male and female servants.

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Genesis 30: TPT





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