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Jacob Tricks Laban

25 ·After the birth of [At the time that Rachel gave birth to] Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Now ·let me [L send me away that I might] go to my own home and country. 26 Give me my wives and my children and let me go. I have earned them by working for you, and you know that I have served you well.”

27 Laban said to him, “If I have ·pleased you [L found grace in your eyes], please stay. I ·know [or have learned by divination that] the Lord has blessed me because of you. 28 ·Tell me what I should pay you [Name your price], and I will give it to you.”

29 Jacob answered, “You know that I have worked hard for you, and [L how] your ·flocks [herds; or cattle] have ·grown while I cared for them [L have done with me]. 30 When I came, you had little, but now you have ·much [L increased many times]. ·Every time I did something for you [Wherever I turned; L At my feet], the Lord blessed you. But when will I be able to do something for my own ·family [household; L house]?”

31 Laban asked, “Then what should I give you?”

Jacob answered, “I don’t want you to give me anything. Just do this one thing, and I will come back and ·take care of [L feed and watch] your flocks. 32 Today let me ·go [pass] through all your flocks. I will ·take [remove] every speckled or spotted sheep, every black lamb, and every spotted or speckled goat. That will be my ·pay [wage; hire]. 33 In the future ·you can easily see if I am honest [L my honesty/righteousness will answer for me]. When you come to look at my flocks, if I have any goat that isn’t speckled or spotted or any lamb that isn’t black, you will know I stole it.”

34 Laban answered, “Agreed! We will do what you ·ask [L say].” 35 But that day Laban ·took away [removed] all the male goats that had streaks or spots, all the speckled and spotted female goats (all those that had white on them), and all the black sheep. He told his sons to ·watch over [take charge of] them. 36 Then he took these animals to a place that was three days’ journey away from Jacob. Jacob ·took care of [pastured] all the flocks that were left.

37 So Jacob cut ·green [fresh] ·branches [rods] from poplar, almond, and plane trees and peeled off some of the bark so that the ·branches [rods] had white stripes on them. 38 He put the ·branches [rods] in front of the flocks at the watering ·places [troughs]. When the animals came to drink, they ·also mated there [L were in heat], 39 so the flocks mated in front of the branches [rods]. Then the young that were born were streaked, speckled, or spotted [C since nothing in Jacob’s strategy would have produced this result, God must have done it]. 40 Jacob separated the young animals from the others, and he made them face the streaked and dark animals in Laban’s flock. Jacob kept his animals separate from Laban’s. 41 When the stronger animals in the flock were ·mating [L in heat], Jacob put the ·branches [rods] before their eyes so they would mate near the branches. 42 But when the ·weaker [feebler] animals ·mated [L were in heat], Jacob did not put the ·branches [rods] there. So the animals born from the ·weaker [feebler] animals were Laban’s, and those born from the stronger animals were Jacob’s. 43 In this way ·Jacob [L the man] became very rich. He had large flocks, many male and female servants, camels, and donkeys.

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