A A A A A
Bible Book List

Genesis 29-30 New English Translation (NET Bible)

The Marriages of Jacob

29 So Jacob moved on[a] and came to the land of the eastern people.[b] He saw[c] in the field a well with[d] three flocks of sheep lying beside it, because the flocks were watered from that well. Now[e] a large stone covered the mouth of the well. When all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds[f] would roll the stone off the mouth of the well and water the sheep. Then they would put the stone back in its place over the well’s mouth.

Jacob asked them, “My brothers, where are you from?” They replied, “We’re from Haran.” So he said to them, “Do you know Laban, the grandson[g] of Nahor?” “We know him,”[h] they said. “Is he well?”[i] Jacob asked. They replied, “He is well.[j] Now look, here comes his daughter Rachel with the sheep.” Then Jacob[k] said, “Since it is still the middle of the day,[l] it is not time for the flocks to be gathered. You should water the sheep and then go and let them graze some more.”[m] “We can’t,” they said, “until all the flocks are gathered and the stone is rolled off the mouth of the well. Then we water[n] the sheep.”

While he was still speaking with them, Rachel arrived with her father’s sheep, for she was tending them.[o] 10 When Jacob saw Rachel, the daughter of his uncle Laban,[p] and the sheep of his uncle Laban, he[q] went over[r] and rolled the stone off the mouth of the well and watered the sheep of his uncle Laban.[s] 11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel and began to weep loudly.[t] 12 When Jacob explained[u] to Rachel that he was a relative of her father[v] and the son of Rebekah, she ran and told her father. 13 When Laban heard this news about Jacob, his sister’s son, he rushed out to meet him. He embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his house. Jacob[w] told Laban how he was related to him.[x] 14 Then Laban said to him, “You are indeed my own flesh and blood.”[y] So Jacob[z] stayed with him for a month.[aa]

15 Then Laban said to Jacob, “Should you work[ab] for me for nothing because you are my relative?[ac] Tell me what your wages should be.” 16 (Now Laban had two daughters;[ad] the older one was named Leah, and the younger one Rachel. 17 Leah’s eyes were tender,[ae] but Rachel had a lovely figure and beautiful appearance.)[af] 18 Since Jacob had fallen in love with[ag] Rachel, he said, “I’ll serve you seven years in exchange for your younger daughter Rachel.” 19 Laban replied, “I’d rather give her to you than to another man.[ah] Stay with me.” 20 So Jacob worked for seven years to acquire Rachel.[ai] But they seemed like only a few days to him[aj] because his love for her was so great.[ak]

21 Finally Jacob said[al] to Laban, “Give me my wife, for my time of service is up.[am] And I want to sleep with her.”[an] 22 So Laban invited all the people[ao] of that place and prepared a feast. 23 In the evening he brought his daughter Leah[ap] to Jacob,[aq] and he slept with her.[ar] 24 (Laban gave his female servant Zilpah to his daughter Leah to be her servant.)[as]

25 In the morning Jacob discovered it was Leah![at] So Jacob[au] said to Laban, “What in the world have you done to me?[av] Didn’t I work for you in exchange for Rachel? Why have you tricked[aw] me?” 26 “It is not our custom here,”[ax] Laban replied, “to give the younger daughter in marriage[ay] before the firstborn. 27 Complete my older daughter’s bridal week.[az] Then we will give you the younger one[ba] too, in exchange for seven more years of work.”[bb]

28 Jacob did as Laban said.[bc] When Jacob[bd] completed Leah’s bridal week,[be] Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife.[bf] 29 (Laban gave his female servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel to be her servant.)[bg] 30 Jacob[bh] slept with[bi] Rachel as well. He also loved Rachel more than Leah. Then he worked for Laban[bj] for seven more years.

The Family of Jacob

31 When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved,[bk] he enabled her to become pregnant[bl] while Rachel remained childless. 32 So Leah became pregnant[bm] and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben,[bn] for she said, “The Lord has looked with pity on my oppressed condition.[bo] Surely my husband will love me now.”

33 She became pregnant again and had another son. She said, “Because the Lord heard that I was unloved,[bp] he gave me this one too.” So she named him Simeon.[bq]

34 She became pregnant again and had another son. She said, “Now this time my husband will show me affection,[br] because I have given birth to three sons for him.” That is why he was named Levi.[bs]

35 She became pregnant again and had another son. She said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” That is why she named him Judah.[bt] Then she stopped having children.

30 When Rachel saw that she could not give Jacob children, she[bu] became jealous of her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children[bv] or I’ll die!” Jacob became furious[bw] with Rachel and exclaimed, “Am I in the place of God, who has kept you from having children?”[bx] She replied, “Here is my servant Bilhah! Sleep with[by] her so that she can bear[bz] children[ca] for me[cb] and I can have a family through her.”[cc]

So Rachel[cd] gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife, and Jacob slept with[ce] her. Bilhah became pregnant[cf] and gave Jacob a son.[cg] Then Rachel said, “God has vindicated me. He has responded to my prayer[ch] and given me a son.” That is why[ci] she named him Dan.[cj]

Bilhah, Rachel’s servant, became pregnant again and gave Jacob another son.[ck] Then Rachel said, “I have fought a desperate struggle with my sister, but I have won.”[cl] So she named him Naphtali.[cm]

When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she gave[cn] her servant Zilpah to Jacob as a wife. 10 Soon Leah’s servant Zilpah gave Jacob a son.[co] 11 Leah said, “How fortunate!”[cp] So she named him Gad.[cq]

12 Then Leah’s servant Zilpah gave Jacob another son.[cr] 13 Leah said, “How happy I am,[cs] for women[ct] will call me happy!” So she named him Asher.[cu]

14 At the time[cv] of the wheat harvest Reuben went out and found some mandrake plants[cw] in a field and brought them to his mother Leah. Rachel said to Leah, “Give me some of your son’s mandrakes.” 15 But Leah replied,[cx] “Wasn’t it enough that you’ve taken away my husband? Would you take away my son’s mandrakes too?” “All right,”[cy] Rachel said, “he may go to bed with[cz] you tonight in exchange for your son’s mandrakes.” 16 When Jacob came in from the fields that evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, “You must sleep[da] with me because I have paid for your services[db] with my son’s mandrakes.” So he went to bed with[dc] her that night. 17 God paid attention[dd] to Leah; she became pregnant[de] and gave Jacob a son for the fifth time.[df] 18 Then Leah said, “God has granted me a reward[dg] because I gave my servant to my husband as a wife.”[dh] So she named him Issachar.[di]

19 Leah became pregnant again and gave Jacob a son for the sixth time.[dj] 20 Then Leah said, “God has given me a good gift. Now my husband will honor me because I have given him six sons.” So she named him Zebulun.[dk]

21 After that she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.

22 Then God took note of[dl] Rachel. He paid attention to her and enabled her to become pregnant.[dm] 23 She became pregnant[dn] and gave birth to a son. Then she said, “God has taken away my shame.”[do] 24 She named him Joseph,[dp] saying, “May the Lord give me yet another son.”

The Flocks of Jacob

25 After Rachel had given birth to[dq] Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send[dr] me on my way so that I can go[ds] home to my own country.[dt] 26 Let me take my wives and my children whom I have acquired by working for you.[du] Then I’ll depart,[dv] because you know how hard I’ve worked for you.”[dw]

27 But Laban said to him, “If I have found favor in your sight, please stay here,[dx] for I have learned by divination[dy] that the Lord has blessed me on account of you.” 28 He added, “Just name your wages—I’ll pay whatever you want.”[dz]

29 “You know how I have worked for you,” Jacob replied,[ea] “and how well your livestock have fared under my care.[eb] 30 Indeed,[ec] you had little before I arrived,[ed] but now your possessions have increased many times over.[ee] The Lord has blessed you wherever I worked.[ef] But now, how long must it be before I do something for my own family too?”[eg]

31 So Laban asked,[eh] “What should I give you?” “You don’t need to give me a thing,”[ei] Jacob replied,[ej] “but if you agree to this one condition,[ek] I will continue to care for[el] your flocks and protect them: 32 Let me walk among[em] all your flocks today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark-colored lamb,[en] and the spotted or speckled goats.[eo] These animals will be my wages.[ep] 33 My integrity will testify for me[eq] later on.[er] When you come to verify that I’ve taken only the wages we agreed on,[es] if I have in my possession any goat that is not speckled or spotted or any sheep that is not dark-colored, it will be considered stolen.”[et] 34 “Agreed!” said Laban, “It will be as you say.”[eu]

35 So that day Laban[ev] removed the male goats that were streaked or spotted, all the female goats that were speckled or spotted (all that had any white on them), and all the dark-colored lambs, and put them in the care[ew] of his sons. 36 Then he separated them from Jacob by a three-day journey,[ex] while[ey] Jacob was taking care of the rest of Laban’s flocks.

37 But Jacob took fresh-cut branches from poplar, almond, and plane trees. He made white streaks by peeling them, making the white inner wood in the branches visible. 38 Then he set up the peeled branches in all the watering troughs where the flocks came to drink. He set up the branches in front of the flocks when they were in heat and came to drink.[ez] 39 When the sheep mated[fa] in front of the branches, they[fb] gave birth to young that were streaked or speckled or spotted. 40 Jacob removed these lambs, but he made the rest of the flock face[fc] the streaked and completely dark-colored animals in Laban’s flock. So he made separate flocks for himself and did not mix them with Laban’s flocks. 41 When the stronger females were in heat,[fd] Jacob would set up the branches in the troughs in front of the flock, so they would mate near the branches. 42 But if the animals were weaker, he did not set the branches there.[fe] So the weaker animals ended up belonging to Laban[ff] and the stronger animals to Jacob. 43 In this way Jacob[fg] became extremely prosperous. He owned[fh] large flocks, male and female servants, camels, and donkeys.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 29:1 tn Heb “and Jacob lifted up his feet.” This unusual expression suggests that Jacob had a new lease on life now that God had promised him the blessing he had so desperately tried to gain by his own efforts. The text portrays him as having a new step in his walk.
  2. Genesis 29:1 tn Heb “the land of the sons of the east.”
  3. Genesis 29:2 tn Heb “and he saw, and look.” As in Gen 28:12-15, the narrator uses the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”) here and in the next clause to draw the reader into the story.
  4. Genesis 29:2 tn Heb “and look, there.”
  5. Genesis 29:2 tn The disjunctive clause (introduced by the noun with the prefixed conjunction) provides supplemental information that is important to the story.
  6. Genesis 29:3 tn Heb “they”; the referent (the shepherds) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  7. Genesis 29:5 tn Heb “son.”
  8. Genesis 29:5 tn Heb “and they said, ‘We know.’” The word “him” is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. In the translation several introductory clauses throughout this section have been placed after the direct discourse they introduce for stylistic reasons as well.
  9. Genesis 29:6 tn Heb “and he said to them, ‘Is there peace to him?’”
  10. Genesis 29:6 tn Heb “peace.”
  11. Genesis 29:7 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  12. Genesis 29:7 tn Heb “the day is great.”
  13. Genesis 29:7 tn Heb “water the sheep and go and pasture [them].” The verbal forms are imperatives, but Jacob would hardly be giving direct orders to someone else’s shepherds. The nuance here is probably one of advice.
  14. Genesis 29:8 tn The perfect verbal forms with the vav (ו) consecutive carry on the sequence begun by the initial imperfect form.
  15. Genesis 29:9 tn Heb “was a shepherdess.”
  16. Genesis 29:10 tn Heb “Laban, the brother of his mother” (twice in this verse).
  17. Genesis 29:10 tn Heb “Jacob.” The proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“he”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  18. Genesis 29:10 tn Heb “drew near, approached.”
  19. Genesis 29:10 tn Heb “Laban, the brother of his mother.” The text says nothing initially about the beauty of Rachel. But the reader is struck by the repetition of “Laban the brother of his mother.” G. J. Wenham is no doubt correct when he observes that Jacob’s primary motive at this stage is to ingratiate himself with Laban (Genesis [WBC], 2:231).
  20. Genesis 29:11 tn Heb “and he lifted up his voice and wept.” The idiom calls deliberate attention to the fact that Jacob wept out loud.
  21. Genesis 29:12 tn Heb “declared.”
  22. Genesis 29:12 tn Heb “that he [was] the brother of her father.”
  23. Genesis 29:13 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  24. Genesis 29:13 tn Heb “and he told to Laban all these things.” This might mean Jacob told Laban how he happened to be there, but Laban’s response (see v. 14) suggests “all these things” refers to what Jacob had previously told Rachel (see v. 12).
  25. Genesis 29:14 tn Heb “indeed, my bone and my flesh are you.” The expression sounds warm enough, but the presence of “indeed” may suggest that Laban had to be convinced of Jacob’s identity before permitting him to stay. To be one’s “bone and flesh” is to be someone’s blood relative. For example, the phrase describes the relationship between Abimelech and the Shechemites (Judg 9:2; his mother was a Shechemite); David and the Israelites (2 Sam 5:1); David and the elders of Judah (2 Sam 19:12); and David and his nephew Amasa (2 Sam 19:13; see 2 Sam 17:2; 1 Chr 2:16-17).
  26. Genesis 29:14 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  27. Genesis 29:14 tn Heb “a month of days.”
  28. Genesis 29:15 tn The verb is the perfect with the vav (ו) consecutive; the nuance in the question is deliberative.
  29. Genesis 29:15 tn Heb “my brother.” The term “brother” is used in a loose sense; actually Jacob was Laban’s nephew.
  30. Genesis 29:16 tn Heb “and to Laban [there were] two daughters.” The disjunctive clause (introduced here by a conjunction and a prepositional phrase) provides supplemental material that is important to the story. Since this material is parenthetical in nature, vv. 16-17 have been set in parentheses in the translation.
  31. Genesis 29:17 tn Heb “and the eyes of Leah were tender.” The disjunctive clause (introduced here by a conjunction and a noun) continues the parenthesis begun in v. 16. It is not clear what is meant by “tender” (or “delicate”) eyes. The expression may mean she had appealing eyes (cf. NAB, NRSV, NLT), though some suggest that they were plain, not having the brightness normally expected. Either way, she did not measure up to her gorgeous sister.
  32. Genesis 29:17 tn Heb “and Rachel was beautiful of form and beautiful of appearance.”
  33. Genesis 29:18 tn Heb “Jacob loved.”
  34. Genesis 29:19 tn Heb “Better my giving her to you than my giving her to another man.”
  35. Genesis 29:20 tn Heb “in exchange for Rachel.”
  36. Genesis 29:20 sn But they seemed like only a few days to him. This need not mean that the time passed quickly. More likely it means that the price seemed insignificant when compared to what he was getting in the bargain.
  37. Genesis 29:20 tn Heb “because of his love for her.” The words “was so great” are supplied for stylistic reasons.
  38. Genesis 29:21 tn Heb “and Jacob said.”
  39. Genesis 29:21 tn Heb “my days are fulfilled.”
  40. Genesis 29:21 tn Heb “I want to approach.” The verb בּוֹא (boʾ) with the preposition אֶל (ʾel) means “come to” or “approach,” but is also used as a euphemism for sexual relations. The verb is a cohortative; it may be subordinated to the preceding request, “so that I may sleep with,” or it may be an independent clause expressing his desire.
  41. Genesis 29:22 tn Heb “men.”
  42. Genesis 29:23 tn Heb “and it happened in the evening that he took Leah his daughter and brought her.”sn His daughter Leah. Laban’s deception of Jacob by giving him the older daughter instead of the younger was God’s way of disciplining the deceiver who tricked his older brother. D. Kidner says this account is “the very embodiment of anti-climax, and this moment a miniature of man’s disillusion, experienced from Eden onwards” (Genesis [TOTC], 160). G. von Rad notes, “That Laban secretly gave the unloved Leah to the man in love was, to be sure, a monstrous blow, a masterpiece of shameless treachery…It was certainly a move by which he won for himself far and wide the coarsest laughter” (Genesis [OTL], 291).
  43. Genesis 29:23 tn Heb “to him”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  44. Genesis 29:23 tn Heb “came to” or “approached,” a euphemism for sexual relations. See note at v. 21.
  45. Genesis 29:24 tn Heb “and Laban gave to her Zilpah his female servant, to Leah his daughter [for] a servant.” This clause gives information parenthetical to the narrative.
  46. Genesis 29:25 tn Heb “and it happened in the morning that look, it was Leah.” By the use of the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”), the narrator invites the reader to view the scene through Jacob’s eyes.
  47. Genesis 29:25 tn Heb “and he said”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  48. Genesis 29:25 tn Heb What is this you have done to me?” The use of the pronoun “this” is enclitic, adding emphasis to the question: “What in the world have you done to me?”
  49. Genesis 29:25 sn The Hebrew verb translated tricked here (רָמָה, ramah) is cognate to the noun used in Gen 27:35 to describe Jacob’s deception of Esau. Jacob is discovering that what goes around, comes around. See J. A. Diamond, “The Deception of Jacob: A New Perspective on an Ancient Solution to the Problem,” VT 34 (1984): 211-13.
  50. Genesis 29:26 tn Heb “and Laban said, ‘It is not done so in our place.’” The order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  51. Genesis 29:26 tn Heb “to give the younger.” The words “daughter” and “in marriage” are supplied in the translation for clarity and for stylistic reasons.
  52. Genesis 29:27 tn Heb “fulfill the period of seven of this one.” The referent of “this one” has been specified in the translation as “my older daughter” for clarity.sn Bridal week. An ancient Hebrew marriage ceremony included an entire week of festivities (cf. Judg 14:12).
  53. Genesis 29:27 tn Heb “this other one.”
  54. Genesis 29:27 tn Heb “and we will give to you also this one in exchange for labor which you will work with me, still seven other years.”sn In exchange for seven more years of work. See C. H. Gordon, “The Story of Jacob and Laban in the Light of the Nuzi Tablets,” BASOR 66 (1937): 25-27; and J. Van Seters, “Jacob’s Marriages and Ancient Near Eastern Customs: A Reassessment,” HTR 62 (1969): 377-95.
  55. Genesis 29:28 tn Heb “and Jacob did so.” The words “as Laban said” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  56. Genesis 29:28 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  57. Genesis 29:28 tn Heb “the seven of this one.” The referent of “this one” has been specified in the translation as Leah to avoid confusion with Rachel, mentioned later in the verse.
  58. Genesis 29:28 tn Heb “and he gave to him Rachel his daughter for him for a wife.” The referent of the pronoun “he” (Laban) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  59. Genesis 29:29 tn Heb “and Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his female servant, for her for a servant.”
  60. Genesis 29:30 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  61. Genesis 29:30 tn Heb “came to” or “approached,” a euphemism for sexual relations. See note at v. 21.
  62. Genesis 29:30 tn Heb “him”; the referent (Laban) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  63. Genesis 29:31 tn Heb “hated.” The rhetorical device of overstatement is used (note v. 30, which says simply that Jacob loved Rachel more than he did Leah) to emphasize that Rachel, as Jacob’s true love and the primary object of his affections, had an advantage over Leah.
  64. Genesis 29:31 tn Heb “he opened up her womb.”
  65. Genesis 29:32 tn Or “Leah conceived” (also in vv. 33, 34, 35).
  66. Genesis 29:32 sn The name Reuben (רְאוּבֵן, reʾuven) means “look, a son.”
  67. Genesis 29:32 tn Heb “looked on my affliction.”sn Leah’s explanation of the name Reuben reflects a popular etymology, not an exact one. The name means literally “look, a son.” Playing on the Hebrew verb “look,” she observes that the Lord has “looked” with pity on her oppressed condition. See further S. R. Driver, Genesis, 273.
  68. Genesis 29:33 tn Heb “hated.” See the note on the word “unloved” in v. 31.
  69. Genesis 29:33 sn The name Simeon (שִׁמְעוֹן, shimʿon) is derived from the verbal root שָׁמַע (shamaʿ) and means “hearing.” The name is appropriate since it is reminder that the Lord “heard” about Leah’s unloved condition and responded with pity.
  70. Genesis 29:34 tn Heb “will be joined to me.”
  71. Genesis 29:34 sn The name Levi (לֵוִי, levi), the precise meaning of which is debated, was appropriate because it sounds like the verb לָוָה (lavah, “to join”), used in the statement recorded earlier in the verse.
  72. Genesis 29:35 sn The name Judah (יְהוּדָה, yehudah) means “he will be praised” and reflects the sentiment Leah expresses in the statement recorded earlier in the verse. For further discussion see W. F. Albright, “The Names ‘Israel’ and ‘Judah’ with an Excursus on the Etymology of Todah and Torah,” JBL 46 (1927): 151-85; and A. R. Millard, “The Meaning of the Name Judah,” ZAW 86 (1974): 216-18.
  73. Genesis 30:1 tn Heb “Rachel.” The proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“she”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  74. Genesis 30:1 tn Heb “sons.”
  75. Genesis 30:2 tn Heb “and the anger of Jacob was hot.”
  76. Genesis 30:2 tn Heb “who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb.”
  77. Genesis 30:3 tn The Hebrew collocation of the verb בּוֹא (boʾ) and the preposition אֶל (ʾel) means “come to” or “approach,” but is also used as a euphemism for sexual relations. Similarly the translation employs a euphemism. For more on this phrase as a euphemism see the note at 2 Sam 12:24.
  78. Genesis 30:3 tn After the imperative, the prefixed verbal form with the conjunction indicates the immediate purpose of the proposed activity.
  79. Genesis 30:3 tn The word “children” is not in the Hebrew text but has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  80. Genesis 30:3 tn Heb “upon my knees.” This is an idiomatic way of saying that Bilhah will be simply a surrogate mother. Rachel will adopt the child as her own.
  81. Genesis 30:3 tn Heb “and I will be built up, even I, from her.” The prefixed verbal form with the conjunction is subordinated to the preceding prefixed verbal form and gives the ultimate purpose for the proposed action. The idiom of “built up” here refers to having a family (see Gen 16:2, as well as Ruth 4:11 and BDB 125 s.v. בָּנָה).
  82. Genesis 30:4 tn Heb “and she”; the referent (Rachel) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  83. Genesis 30:4 tn Heb “came to.” The expression בּוֹא אֶל (boʾ ʾel) means “come to” or “approach,” but is also used as a euphemism for sexual relations.
  84. Genesis 30:5 tn Or “Bilhah conceived” (also in v. 7).
  85. Genesis 30:5 tn Heb “and she bore for Jacob a son.”
  86. Genesis 30:6 tn Heb “and also he has heard my voice.” The expression means that God responded positively to Rachel’s cry and granted her request.
  87. Genesis 30:6 tn Or “therefore.”
  88. Genesis 30:6 sn The name Dan means “he vindicated” or “he judged.” The name plays on the verb used in the statement which appears earlier in the verse. The verb translated “vindicated” is from דִּין (din, “to judge, to vindicate”), the same verbal root from which the name is derived. Rachel sensed that God was righting the wrong.
  89. Genesis 30:7 tn Heb “and she became pregnant again and Bilhah, the servant of Rachel, bore a second son for Jacob.”
  90. Genesis 30:8 tn Heb “[with] a mighty struggle I have struggled with my sister, also I have prevailed.” The phrase “mighty struggle” reads literally “struggles of God.” The plural participle “struggles” reflects the ongoing nature of the struggle, while the divine name is used here idiomatically to emphasize the intensity of the struggle. See J. Skinner, Genesis (ICC), 387.
  91. Genesis 30:8 sn The name Naphtali (נַפְתָּלִי, naftali) must mean something like “my struggle” in view of the statement Rachel made in the preceding clause. The name plays on this earlier statement, “[with] a mighty struggle I have struggled with my sister.”
  92. Genesis 30:9 tn Heb “she took her servant Zilpah and gave her.” The verbs “took” and “gave” are treated as a hendiadys in the translation: “she gave.”
  93. Genesis 30:10 tn Heb “and Zilpah, the servant of Leah, bore for Jacob a son.”
  94. Genesis 30:11 tc The statement in the Kethib (consonantal text) appears to mean literally “with good fortune,” if one takes the initial ב (bet) as a preposition indicating accompaniment. The Qere (marginal reading) means “good fortune has arrived.”
  95. Genesis 30:11 sn The name Gad (גָּד, gad) means “good fortune.” The name reflects Leah’s feeling that good fortune has come her way, as expressed in her statement recorded earlier in the verse.
  96. Genesis 30:12 tn Heb “and Zilpah, the servant of Leah, bore a second son for Jacob.”
  97. Genesis 30:13 tn The Hebrew statement apparently means “with my happiness.”
  98. Genesis 30:13 tn Heb “daughters.”
  99. Genesis 30:13 sn The name Asher (אָשֶׁר, ʾasher) apparently means “happy one.” The name plays on the words used in the statement which appears earlier in the verse. Both the Hebrew noun and verb translated “happy” and “call me happy,” respectively, are derived from the same root as the name Asher.
  100. Genesis 30:14 tn Heb “during the days.”
  101. Genesis 30:14 sn Mandrake plants were popularly believed to be an aphrodisiac in the culture of the time.
  102. Genesis 30:15 tn Heb “and she said to her”; the referent of the pronoun “she” (Leah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  103. Genesis 30:15 tn Heb “therefore.”
  104. Genesis 30:15 tn Heb “lie down with.” The verb שָׁכַב (shakhav) “to lie down” can be a euphemism for going to bed for sexual relations.
  105. Genesis 30:16 tn Heb “must come to me.” The imperfect verbal form has an obligatory nuance here. The expression בּוֹא אֶל (boʾ ʾel) means “come to” or “approach,” but is also used as a euphemism for sexual relations.
  106. Genesis 30:16 tn Heb “I have surely hired.” The infinitive absolute precedes the finite verbal form for emphasis. The name Issachar (see v. 18) seems to be related to this expression.
  107. Genesis 30:16 tn Heb “lay down with.” See note at v. 15.
  108. Genesis 30:17 tn Heb “listened to.”
  109. Genesis 30:17 tn Or “she conceived” (also in v. 19).
  110. Genesis 30:17 tn Heb “and she bore for Jacob a fifth son,” i.e., this was the fifth son that Leah had given Jacob.
  111. Genesis 30:18 tn Heb “God has given my reward.”
  112. Genesis 30:18 tn The words “as a wife” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied for clarity (cf. v. 9).sn Leah seems to regard the act of giving her servant Zilpah to her husband as a sacrifice, for which (she believes) God is now rewarding her with the birth of a son.
  113. Genesis 30:18 sn The name Issachar (יִשָּׁשכָר, yissakhar) appears to mean “man of reward” or possibly “there is reward.” The name plays on the word used in the statement made earlier in the verse. The Hebrew noun translated “reward” is derived from the same root as the name Issachar. The irony is that Rachel thought the mandrakes would work for her, and she was willing to trade one night for them. But in that one night Leah became pregnant.
  114. Genesis 30:19 tn Heb “and she bore a sixth son for Jacob,” i.e., this was the sixth son that Leah had given Jacob.
  115. Genesis 30:20 sn The name Zebulun (זְבֻלוּן, zevulun) apparently means “honor.” The name plays on the verb used in the statement made earlier in the verse. The Hebrew verb translated “will honor” and the name Zebulun derive from the same root.
  116. Genesis 30:22 tn Heb “remembered.”
  117. Genesis 30:22 tn Heb “and God listened to her and opened up her womb.” Since “God” is the subject of the previous clause, the noun has been replaced by the pronoun “he” in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  118. Genesis 30:23 tn Or “conceived.”
  119. Genesis 30:23 tn Heb “my reproach.” A “reproach” is a cutting taunt or painful ridicule, but here it probably refers by metonymy to Rachel’s barren condition, which was considered shameful in this culture and was the reason why she was the object of taunting and ridicule.
  120. Genesis 30:24 sn The name Joseph (יוֹסֵף, yosef) means “may he add.” The name expresses Rachel’s desire to have an additional son. In Hebrew the name sounds like the verb (אָסַף, ʾasaf) translated “taken away” in the earlier statement made in v. 23. So the name, while reflecting Rachel’s hope, was also a reminder that God had removed her shame.
  121. Genesis 30:25 tn The perfect verbal form is translated as a past perfect because Rachel’s giving birth to Joseph preceded Jacob’s conversation with Laban.
  122. Genesis 30:25 tn The imperatival form here expresses a request.sn For Jacob to ask to leave would mean that seven more years had passed. Thus all Jacob’s children were born within the range of seven years of each other, with Joseph coming right at the end of the seven years.
  123. Genesis 30:25 tn Following the imperative, the cohortative with the prefixed conjunction indicates purpose or result.
  124. Genesis 30:25 tn Heb “to my place and to my land.”
  125. Genesis 30:26 tn Heb “give my wives and my children, for whom I have served you.” In one sense Laban had already “given” Jacob his two daughters as wives (Gen 29:21, 28). Here Jacob was asking for permission to take his own family along with him on the journey back to Canaan.
  126. Genesis 30:26 tn Following the imperative, the cohortative with the prefixed conjunction indicates purpose or result.
  127. Genesis 30:26 tn Heb “for you, you know my service [with] which I have served you.”
  128. Genesis 30:27 tn The words “stay here” have been supplied in the translation for clarification and for stylistic reasons.
  129. Genesis 30:27 tn Or perhaps “I have grown rich and the Lord has blessed me” (cf. NEB). See J. Finkelstein, “An Old Babylonian Herding Contract and Genesis 31:38f.,” JAOS 88 (1968): 34, n. 19.
  130. Genesis 30:28 tn Heb “set your wage for me so I may give [it].”
  131. Genesis 30:29 tn Heb “and he said to him, ‘You know how I have served you.’” The order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons, and the referent of the pronoun “he” (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  132. Genesis 30:29 tn Heb “and how your cattle were with me.”
  133. Genesis 30:30 tn Or “for.”
  134. Genesis 30:30 tn Heb “before me.”
  135. Genesis 30:30 tn Heb “and it has broken out with respect to abundance.”
  136. Genesis 30:30 tn Heb “at my foot.”
  137. Genesis 30:30 tn Heb “How long [until] I do, also I, for my house?”
  138. Genesis 30:31 tn Heb “and he said.” The referent (Laban) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  139. Genesis 30:31 tn The negated imperfect verbal form has an obligatory nuance.
  140. Genesis 30:31 tn The order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  141. Genesis 30:31 tn Heb “If you do for me this thing.”
  142. Genesis 30:31 tn Heb “I will return, I will tend,” an idiom meaning “I will continue tending.”
  143. Genesis 30:32 tn Heb “pass through.”
  144. Genesis 30:32 tn Or “every black lamb”; Heb “and every dark sheep among the lambs.”
  145. Genesis 30:32 tn Heb “and the spotted and speckled among the goats.”
  146. Genesis 30:32 tn Heb “and it will be my wage.” The referent collective singular pronoun (“it) has been specified as “these animals” in the translation for clarity.
  147. Genesis 30:33 tn Heb “will answer on my behalf.”
  148. Genesis 30:33 tn Heb “on the following day,” or “tomorrow.”
  149. Genesis 30:33 tn Heb “when you come concerning my wage before you.”sn Only the wage we agreed on. Jacob would have to be considered completely honest here, for he would have no control over the kind of animals born; and there could be no disagreement over which animals were his wages.
  150. Genesis 30:33 tn Heb “every one which is not speckled and spotted among the lambs and dark among the goats, stolen it is with me.”
  151. Genesis 30:34 tn Heb “and Laban said, ‘Good, let it be according to your word.’” On the asseverative use of the particle לוּ (lu) here, see HALOT 521 s.v. לוּ.
  152. Genesis 30:35 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Laban) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  153. Genesis 30:35 tn Heb “and he gave [them] into the hand.”
  154. Genesis 30:36 tn Heb “and he put a journey of three days between himself and Jacob.”sn Three days’ traveling distance from Jacob. E. A. Speiser observes, “Laban is delighted with the terms, and promptly proceeds to violate the spirit of the bargain by removing to a safe distance all the grown animals that would be likely to produce the specified spots” (Genesis [AB], 238). Laban apparently thought that by separating out the spotted, striped, and dark colored animals he could minimize the production of spotted, striped, or dark offspring that would then belong to Jacob.
  155. Genesis 30:36 tn The disjunctive clause (introduced by the vav [ו] with subject) is circumstantial; Laban removed the animals while Jacob was taking care of the rest.
  156. Genesis 30:38 sn He put the branches in front of the flocks…when they came to drink. It was generally believed that placing such “visual aids” before the animals as they were mating, it was possible to influence the appearance of their offspring. E. A. Speiser notes that “Jacob finds a way to outwit his father-in-law, through prenatal conditioning of the flock by visual aids—in conformance with universal folk beliefs” (Genesis [AB], 238). Nevertheless, in spite of Jacob’s efforts at animal husbandry, he still attributes the resulting success to God (see 31:5).
  157. Genesis 30:39 tn The Hebrew verb used here can mean “to be in heat” (see v. 38) or “to mate; to conceive; to become pregnant.” The latter nuance makes better sense in this verse, for the next clause describes them giving birth.
  158. Genesis 30:39 tn Heb “the sheep.” The noun has been replaced by the pronoun (“they”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  159. Genesis 30:40 tn Heb “and he set the faces of.”
  160. Genesis 30:41 tn Heb “and at every breeding-heat of the flock, the strong females.”
  161. Genesis 30:42 tn Heb “he did not put [them] in.” The referent of the [understood] direct object, “them,” has been specified as “the branches” in the translation for clarity.
  162. Genesis 30:42 tn Heb “were for Laban.”
  163. Genesis 30:43 tn Heb “the man”; Jacob’s name has been supplied in the translation for clarity.
  164. Genesis 30:43 tn Heb “and there were to him.”
New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2017 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

  Back

1 of 1

You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more

Viewing of
Cross references
Footnotes