1Rachel saw that she could not have children for Jacob, and she became jealous of her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I’ll die!”
2Jacob became angry with Rachel and asked, “Can I take the place of God, who has kept you from having children?”
3She said, “Here’s my servant Bilhah. Sleep with her. She can have children for me, and I can build a family for myself through her.” 4So she gave him her slave Bilhah as his wife, and Jacob slept with her. 5Bilhah became pregnant, and she gave birth to a son for Jacob. 6Rachel said, “Now God has judged in my favor. He has heard my prayer and has given me a son.” So she named him Dan [He Judges].
7Rachel’s slave Bilhah became pregnant again and gave birth to a second son for Jacob. 8Rachel said, “I have had a great struggle #30:8 Or “I have struggled the struggles of God.” with my sister, and I have won!” So she named him Naphtali [My Struggle].
9When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she took her slave Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as his wife. 10Leah’s slave Zilpah gave birth to a son for Jacob. 11Leah said, “I’ve been lucky!” So she called him Gad [Luck].
12Leah’s slave Zilpah gave birth to her second son for Jacob. 13Leah said, “I’ve been blessed! Women will call me blessed.” So she named him Asher [Blessing].
14During the wheat harvest Reuben went out into the fields and found some mandrakes.#30:14 Mandrakes were considered a source of fertility for women. He brought them to his mother Leah. Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.”
15Leah replied, “Isn’t it enough that you took my husband? Are you also going to take my son’s mandrakes?”
Rachel said, “Very well, Jacob can go to bed with you tonight in return for your son’s mandrakes.”
16As Jacob was coming in from the fields that evening, Leah went out to meet him. “You are to sleep with me,” she said. “You are my reward for my son’s mandrakes.” So he went to bed with her that night. 17God answered Leah’s prayer. She became pregnant and gave birth to her fifth son for Jacob. 18Leah said, “God has given me my reward because I gave my slave to my husband.” So she named him Issachar [Reward].
19She became pregnant again and gave birth to her sixth son for Jacob. 20Leah said, “God has presented me with a beautiful present. This time my husband will honor me because I have given him six sons.” So she named him Zebulun [Honor].
21Later she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.
22Then God remembered Rachel. God answered her prayer and made it possible for her to have children. 23So she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. Then she said, “God has taken away my disgrace.” 24She named him Joseph [May He Give Another] and said, “May the Lord give me another son.”
Jacob’s Flocks Prosper
25After Rachel gave birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Let me go home to my own country. 26Give me my wives and my children for whom I’ve worked, and let me go. You know how much work I’ve done for you.”
27Laban replied, “Listen to me. I’ve learned from the signs I’ve seen that the Lord has blessed me because of you.” 28So he offered, “Name your wages, and I’ll pay them.”
29Jacob responded, “You know how much work I’ve done for you and what has happened to your livestock under my care. 30The little that you had before I came has grown to a large amount. The Lord has blessed you wherever I’ve been. When can I do something for my own family?”
31Laban asked, “What should I give you?”
“Don’t give me anything,” Jacob answered. “Instead, do something for me, then I’ll go back to taking care of and watching your flocks again. 32Let me go through all of your flocks today and take every speckled or spotted sheep, every black lamb, and every spotted or speckled goat. They will be my wages. 33My honesty will speak for itself whenever you come to check on my wages. Any goat I have that isn’t speckled or spotted or any lamb that isn’t black will be considered stolen.”
34Laban answered, “Agreed. We’ll do as you’ve said.” 35However, that same day Laban took out the striped and spotted male goats, all the speckled and spotted female goats (every one with white on it), and every black lamb. He had his sons take charge of them. 36He traveled three days away from Jacob. Jacob continued to take care of the rest of Laban’s flocks.
37Then Jacob took fresh-cut branches of poplar, almond, and plane trees and peeled the bark on them in strips of white, uncovering the white which was on the branches. 38He placed the peeled branches in the troughs directly in front of the flocks, at the watering places where the flocks came to drink. When they were in heat and came to drink, 39they mated in front of the branches. Then they gave birth to young that were striped, speckled, or spotted.
40Jacob separated the rams from the flock and made the rest of the sheep face any that were striped or black in Laban’s flocks. So he made separate herds for himself and did not add them to Laban’s flocks. 41Whenever the stronger of the flocks were in heat, Jacob would lay the branches in the troughs in front of them so that they would mate by the branches. 42But when the flocks in heat were weak, he didn’t lay down the branches. So the weaker ones belonged to Laban and the stronger ones to Jacob. 43As a result, Jacob became very wealthy. He had large flocks, male and female slaves, camels, and donkeys.
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1 WHEN RACHEL saw that she bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister, and said to Jacob, Give me children, or else I will die!
2 And Jacob became very angry with Rachel and he said, Am I in God's stead, Who has denied you children?
3 And she said, See here, take my maid Bilhah and have intercourse with her; and [when the baby comes] she shall deliver it upon my knees, that I by her may also have children.
4 And she gave him Bilhah her maid as a [secondary] wife, and Jacob had intercourse with her.
5 And Bilhah became pregnant and bore Jacob a son.
6 And Rachel said, God has judged and vindicated me, and has heard my plea and has given me a son; so she named him Dan [judged].
7 And Bilhah, Rachel's maid, conceived again and bore Jacob a second son.
8 And Rachel said, With mighty wrestlings [in prayer to God] I have struggled with my sister and have prevailed; so she named him [this second son Bilhah bore] Naphtali [struggled].
9 When Leah saw that she had ceased to bear, she gave Zilpah her maid to Jacob as a [secondary] wife.
10 And Zilpah, Leah's maid, bore Jacob a son.
11 Then Leah said, Victory and good fortune have come; and she named him Gad [fortune].
12 Zilpah, Leah's maid, bore Jacob [her] second son.
13 And Leah said, I am happy, for women will call me blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied); and she named him Asher [happy].
14 Now Reuben went at the time of wheat harvest and found some mandrakes (love apples) in the field and brought them to his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, Give me, I pray you, some of your son's mandrakes.
15 But [Leah] answered, Is it not enough that you have taken my husband without your taking away my son's mandrakes also? And Rachel said, Jacob shall sleep with you tonight [in exchange] for your son's mandrakes.
16 And Jacob came out of the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him and said, You must sleep with me [tonight], for I have certainly paid your hire with my son's mandrakes. So he slept with her that night.
17 And God heeded Leah's [prayer], and she conceived and bore Jacob [her] fifth son.
18 Leah said, God has given me my hire, because I have given my maid to my husband; and she called his name Issachar [hired].
19 And Leah became pregnant again and bore Jacob [her] sixth son.
20 Then Leah said, God has endowed me with a good marriage gift [for my husband]; now will he dwell with me [and regard me as his wife in reality], because I have borne him six sons; and she named him Zebulun [dwelling].
21 Afterwards she bore a daughter and called her Dinah.
22 Then God remembered Rachel and answered her pleading and made it possible for her to have children.
23 And [now for the first time] she became pregnant and bore a son; and she said, God has taken away my reproach, disgrace, and humiliation.
24 And she called his name Joseph [may he add] and said, May the Lord add to me another son.
25 When Rachel had borne Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, Send me away, that I may go to my own place and country.
26 Give 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.
27 And Laban said to him, If I have found favor in your sight, I pray you [do not go]; for I have learned by experience and from the omens in divination that the Lord has favored me with blessings on your account.
28 He said, State your salary and I will give it.
29 Jacob answered him, You know how I have served you, and how your possessions, your cattle and sheep and goats, have fared with me.
30 For 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 house also?
31 [Laban] said, What shall I give you? And Jacob said, You shall not give me anything, if you will do this one thing for me [of which I am about to tell you], and I will again feed and take care of your flock.
32 Let me pass through all your flock today, removing from it every speckled and spotted animal and every black one among the sheep, and the spotted and speckled among the goats; and such shall be my wages.
33 So later when the matter of my wages is brought before you, my fair dealing will be evident and answer for me. Every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats and black among the sheep, if found with me, shall be counted as stolen.
34 And Laban said, Good; let it be done as you say.
35 But that same day [Laban] removed the he-goats that were streaked and spotted and all the she-goats that were speckled and spotted, every one that had white on it, and every black lamb, and put them in charge of his sons.
36 And he set [a distance of] three days' journey between himself and Jacob; and Jacob was then left in care of the rest of Laban's flock.
37 But Jacob took fresh rods of poplar and almond and plane trees and peeled white streaks in them, exposing the white in the rods.
38 Then he set the rods which he had peeled in front of the flocks in the watering troughs where the flocks came to drink. And since they bred and conceived when they came to drink,
39 The flocks bred and conceived in sight of the rods and brought forth lambs and kids streaked, speckled, and spotted.
40 Jacob separated the lambs, and [as he had done with the peeled rods] he also set the faces of the flocks toward the streaked and all the dark in the [new] flock of Laban; and he put his own droves by themselves and did not let them breed with Laban's flock.
41 And whenever the stronger animals were breeding, Jacob laid the rods in the watering troughs before the eyes of the flock, that they might breed and conceive among the rods.
42 But when the sheep and goats were feeble, he omitted putting the rods there; so the feebler animals were Laban's and the stronger Jacob's.
43 Thus the man increased and became exceedingly rich, and had many sheep and goats, and maidservants, menservants, camels, and donkeys.
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