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Genesis 30 Common English Bible (CEB)

30 When Rachel realized that she could bear Jacob no children, Rachel became jealous of her sister and said to Jacob, “Give me children! If you don’t, I may as well be dead.”

Jacob was angry at Rachel and said, “Do you think I’m God? God alone has kept you from giving birth!”

She said, “Here’s my servant Bilhah. Sleep with her, and she will give birth for me. Because of her, I will also have children.” So Rachel gave her servant Bilhah to Jacob as his wife, and he slept with her. Bilhah became pregnant and gave birth to a son for Jacob. Rachel said, “God has judged in my favor, heard my voice, and given me a son.” So she named him Dan.[a] Rachel’s servant Bilhah became pregnant again and gave birth to a second son for Jacob. Rachel said, “I’ve competed fiercely with my sister, and now I’ve won.” So she named him Naphtali.[b]

When Leah realized that she had stopped bearing children, she took her servant Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as his wife. 10 Leah’s servant Zilpah gave birth to a son for Jacob, 11 and Leah said, “What good luck!” So she named him Gad.[c] 12 Leah’s servant Zilpah gave birth to a second son for Jacob, 13 and Leah said, “I’m happy now because women call me happy.” So she named him Asher.[d]

14 During the wheat harvest, Reuben found some erotic herbs[e] in the field and brought them to his mother Leah. Rachel said to Leah, “Give me your son’s erotic herbs.”

15 Leah replied, “Isn’t it enough that you’ve taken my husband? Now you want to take my son’s erotic herbs too?”

Rachel said, “For your son’s erotic herbs, Jacob[f] may sleep with you tonight.”

16 When Jacob came back from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, “You must sleep with me because I’ve paid for you with my son’s erotic herbs.” So he slept with her that night.

17 God responded to Leah. She became pregnant and gave birth to a fifth son for Jacob. 18 Leah said, “God gave me what I paid for, what I deserved for giving my servant to my husband.” So she named him Issachar.[g] 19 Leah became pregnant again and gave birth to a sixth son for Jacob, 20 and she said, “God has given me a wonderful gift. Now my husband will honor me since I’ve borne him six sons.” So she named him Zebulun.[h] 21 After this, she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.

22 Then God remembered Rachel, responded to her, and let her conceive. 23 She became pregnant and gave birth to a son and said, “God has taken away my shame.” 24 She named him Joseph,[i] saying to herself, May the Lord give me another son.

God blesses Jacob and Laban

25 After Rachel gave birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send me off so that I can go to my own place and my own country. 26 Give me my wives and children whom I’ve worked for, and I will go. You know the work I’ve done for you.”

27 Laban said to him, “Do me this favor. I’ve discovered by a divine sign that the Lord has blessed me because of you, 28 so name your price and I will pay it.”

29 Jacob said to him, “You know how I’ve worked for you, and how well your livestock have done with me. 30 While in my care, what little you had has multiplied a great deal. The Lord blessed you wherever I took your livestock.[j] Now, when will I be able to work for my own household too?”

31 Laban said, “What will I pay you?”

Jacob said, “Don’t pay me anything. If you will do this for me, I will take care of your flock again, and keep a portion.[k] 32 I will go through the entire flock today, taking out all of the speckled and spotted sheep, all of the black male lambs, and all of the spotted and speckled female goats. That will be my price. 33 I will be completely honest with you: when you come to check on our agreement, every female goat with me that isn’t speckled or spotted and every male lamb with me that isn’t black will be considered stolen.”

34 Laban said, “All right; let’s do it.” 35 However, on that very day Laban took out the striped and spotted male goats and all of the speckled and spotted female goats—any with some white in it—and all of the black male lambs, and gave them to his sons. 36 He put a three-day trip between himself and Jacob, while Jacob was watching the rest of Laban’s flock.

37 Then Jacob took new branches from poplar, almond, and plane trees; and he peeled white stripes on them, exposing the branches’ white color. 38 He set the branches that he had peeled near the watering troughs so that they were in front of the flock when they drank, because they often mated when they came to drink. 39 When the flock mated in front of the branches, they gave birth to striped, speckled, and spotted young. 40 Jacob sorted out the lambs, turning the flock to face the striped and black ones in Laban’s flock but keeping his flock separate, setting them apart from Laban’s flock. 41 Whenever the strongest of the flock mated, Jacob put the branches in front of them near the watering troughs so that they mated near the branches. 42 But he didn’t put branches up for the weakest of the flock. So the weakest became Laban’s and the strongest Jacob’s. 43 The man Jacob became very, very rich: he owned large flocks, female and male servants, camels, and donkeys.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 30:6 Or he judged
  2. Genesis 30:8 Or my competition or my wrestling
  3. Genesis 30:11 Or good fortune
  4. Genesis 30:13 Or happy
  5. Genesis 30:14 Or mandrakes
  6. Genesis 30:15 Or he
  7. Genesis 30:18 Or there is payment
  8. Genesis 30:20 Or honor
  9. Genesis 30:24 Or he adds
  10. Genesis 30:30 Or them
  11. Genesis 30:31 Heb uncertain
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Genesis 30 New International Version (NIV)

30 When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children, she became jealous of her sister. So she said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I’ll die!”

Jacob became angry with her and said, “Am I in the place of God, who has kept you from having children?”

Then she said, “Here is Bilhah, my servant. Sleep with her so that she can bear children for me and I too can build a family through her.”

So she gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife. Jacob slept with her, and she became pregnant and bore him a son. Then Rachel said, “God has vindicated me; he has listened to my plea and given me a son.” Because of this she named him Dan.[a]

Rachel’s servant Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. Then Rachel said, “I have had a great struggle with my sister, and I have won.” So she named him Naphtali.[b]

When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she took her servant Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife. 10 Leah’s servant Zilpah bore Jacob a son. 11 Then Leah said, “What good fortune!”[c] So she named him Gad.[d]

12 Leah’s servant Zilpah bore Jacob a second son. 13 Then Leah said, “How happy I am! The women will call me happy.” So she named him Asher.[e]

14 During wheat harvest, Reuben went out into the fields and found some mandrake plants, which he brought to his mother Leah. Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.”

15 But she said to her, “Wasn’t it enough that you took away my husband? Will you take my son’s mandrakes too?”

“Very well,” Rachel said, “he can sleep with you tonight in return for your son’s mandrakes.”

16 So when Jacob came in from the fields that evening, Leah went out to meet him. “You must sleep with me,” she said. “I have hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” So he slept with her that night.

17 God listened to Leah, and she became pregnant and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18 Then Leah said, “God has rewarded me for giving my servant to my husband.” So she named him Issachar.[f]

19 Leah conceived again and bore Jacob a sixth son. 20 Then Leah said, “God has presented me with a precious gift. This time my husband will treat me with honor, because I have borne him six sons.” So she named him Zebulun.[g]

21 Some time later she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.

22 Then God remembered Rachel; he listened to her and enabled her to conceive. 23 She became pregnant and gave birth to a son and said, “God has taken away my disgrace.” 24 She named him Joseph,[h] and said, “May the Lord add to me another son.”

Jacob’s Flocks Increase

25 After Rachel gave birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send me on my way so I can go back to my own homeland. 26 Give me my wives and children, for whom I have served you, and I will be on my way. You know how much work I’ve done for you.”

27 But Laban said to him, “If I have found favor in your eyes, please stay. I have learned by divination that the Lord has blessed me because of you.” 28 He added, “Name your wages, and I will pay them.”

29 Jacob said to him, “You know how I have worked for you and how your livestock has fared under my care. 30 The little you had before I came has increased greatly, and the Lord has blessed you wherever I have been. But now, when may I do something for my own household?

31 “What shall I give you?” he asked.

“Don’t give me anything,” Jacob replied. “But if you will do this one thing for me, I will go on tending your flocks and watching over them: 32 Let me go through all your flocks today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark-colored lamb and every spotted or speckled goat. They will be my wages. 33 And my honesty will testify for me in the future, whenever you check on the wages you have paid me. Any goat in my possession that is not speckled or spotted, or any lamb that is not dark-colored, will be considered stolen.

34 “Agreed,” said Laban. “Let it be as you have said.” 35 That same day he removed all the male goats that were streaked or spotted, and all the speckled or spotted female goats (all that had white on them) and all the dark-colored lambs, and he placed them in the care of his sons. 36 Then he put a three-day journey between himself and Jacob, while Jacob continued to tend the rest of Laban’s flocks.

37 Jacob, however, took fresh-cut branches from poplar, almond and plane trees and made white stripes on them by peeling the bark and exposing the white inner wood of the branches. 38 Then he placed the peeled branches in all the watering troughs, so that they would be directly in front of the flocks when they came to drink. When the flocks were in heat and came to drink, 39 they mated in front of the branches. And they bore young that were streaked or speckled or spotted. 40 Jacob set apart the young of the flock by themselves, but made the rest face the streaked and dark-colored animals that belonged to Laban. Thus he made separate flocks for himself and did not put them with Laban’s animals. 41 Whenever the stronger females were in heat, Jacob would place the branches in the troughs in front of the animals so they would mate near the branches, 42 but if the animals were weak, he would not place them there. So the weak animals went to Laban and the strong ones to Jacob. 43 In this way the man grew exceedingly prosperous and came to own large flocks, and female and male servants, and camels and donkeys.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 30:6 Dan here means he has vindicated.
  2. Genesis 30:8 Naphtali means my struggle.
  3. Genesis 30:11 Or “A troop is coming!”
  4. Genesis 30:11 Gad can mean good fortune or a troop.
  5. Genesis 30:13 Asher means happy.
  6. Genesis 30:18 Issachar sounds like the Hebrew for reward.
  7. Genesis 30:20 Zebulun probably means honor.
  8. Genesis 30:24 Joseph means may he add.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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