The Sons of Jacob

30 Now when Rachel saw that (A)she had not borne Jacob any children, [a]she became jealous of her sister; and she said to Jacob, “(B)Give me children, or else I am going to die.” Then Jacob’s anger burned against Rachel, and he said, “Am I in the place of God, who has (C)withheld from you the fruit of the womb?” Then she said, “(D)Here is my female slave Bilhah: have relations with her that she may (E)give birth [b]on my knees, so that [c](F)by her I too may obtain a child.” So (G)she gave him her slave Bilhah as a wife, and Jacob had relations with her. Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son. Then Rachel said, “God has [d](H)vindicated me, and has indeed heard my voice and has given me a son.” Therefore she named him [e]Dan. And Rachel’s slave Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. So Rachel said, “With [f]mighty wrestling I have [g]wrestled with my sister, and I have indeed prevailed.” And she named him Naphtali.

When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she took her slave Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife. 10 And Leah’s slave Zilpah bore Jacob a son. 11 Then Leah said, “[h]How fortunate!” So she named him [i]Gad. 12 And Leah’s slave Zilpah bore Jacob a second son. 13 Then Leah said, “[j]Happy am I! For women (I)will call me happy.” So she named him [k]Asher.

14 Now in the days of wheat harvest Reuben went and found (J)mandrake fruits in the field, and brought them to his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.” 15 But she said to her, “Is it a small matter for you to take my husband? And would you take my son’s mandrakes also?” So Rachel said, “Therefore he may sleep with you tonight in return for your son’s mandrakes.” 16 When Jacob came in from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, “You must have relations with me, for I have indeed hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” So he slept with her that night. 17 God listened to Leah, and she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18 Then Leah said, “God has given me my [l]reward, because I gave my slave to my husband.” So she named him Issachar. 19 And Leah conceived again and bore a sixth son to Jacob. 20 Then Leah said, “God has endowed me with a good gift; finally my husband [m]will acknowledge me as his wife, because I have borne him six sons.” So she named him Zebulun. 21 Afterward she gave birth to a daughter, and named her Dinah.

22 Then (K)God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her and (L)opened her womb. 23 So she conceived and gave birth to a son, and said, “God has (M)taken away my disgrace.” 24 And she named him Joseph, saying, “(N)May the Lord [n]give me another son.”

Jacob Prospers

25 Now it came about, when Rachel had given birth to Joseph, that Jacob said to Laban, “(O)Send me away, so that I may go to my own place and to my own country. 26 Give me my wives and my children (P)for whom I have served you, and let me go; for you yourself know my service which I have [o]rendered you.” 27 But Laban said to him, “If [p]it pleases you at all, stay with me; I have determined by divination (Q)that the Lord has blessed me on your account.” 28 He [q]continued, “(R)Name me your wages, and I will give them.” 29 But Jacob said to him, “(S)You yourself know how I have served you and how your livestock have [r]fared with me. 30 For you had little before [s]I came, and it has [t]increased to a multitude, and the Lord has blessed you [u]wherever I turned. But now, when shall I provide for my own household also?” 31 So he said, “What shall I give you?” And Jacob said, “You shall not give me anything. If you will do this one thing for me, I will again pasture and keep your flock: 32 let me pass through your entire flock today, removing from there every (T)speckled or spotted sheep and every black sheep among the lambs, and the spotted or speckled among the goats; and those shall be my wages. 33 So my [v]honesty will answer for me later, when you come concerning my [w]wages. Every one that is not speckled or spotted among the goats, or black among the lambs, if found with me, will be considered stolen.” 34 Laban said, “[x]Good, let it be according to your word.” 35 So he removed on that day the striped or spotted male goats, and all the speckled or spotted female goats, every one with white on it, and all the black ones among the sheep, and put them in the [y]care of his sons. 36 And he put a distance of three days’ journey between himself and Jacob, and Jacob fed the rest of Laban’s flocks.

37 Then Jacob [z]took fresh rods of poplar, almond, and plane trees, and peeled white stripes in them, exposing the white that was [aa]in the rods. 38 He set the rods which he had peeled in front of the flocks in the drinking troughs, that is, in the watering channels where the flocks came to drink; and they mated when they came to drink. 39 So the flocks mated by the rods, and the flocks delivered striped, speckled, and spotted offspring. 40 Then Jacob separated the lambs, and [ab]made the flocks face toward the striped and all the black in the flock of Laban; and he put his own herds apart, and did not put them with Laban’s flock. 41 Moreover, whenever the stronger of the flock were mating, Jacob would place the rods in the sight of the flock in the drinking troughs, so that they would mate by the rods; 42 but when the flock was sickly, he did not put them in; so the sickly were Laban’s, and the stronger were Jacob’s. 43 So (U)the man [ac]became exceedingly prosperous, and had large flocks, and female and male servants, and camels and donkeys.

Jacob Leaves Secretly for Canaan

31 Now [ad]Jacob heard the words of Laban’s sons, saying, “Jacob has taken away all that was our father’s, and from what belonged to our father he has made all this [ae]wealth.” And Jacob saw the [af]attitude of Laban, and behold, it was not friendly toward him as it had been before. Then the Lord said to Jacob, “(V)Return to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and (W)I will be with you.” So Jacob sent word and called Rachel and Leah to his flock in the field, and said to them, “(X)I see your father’s [ag]attitude, that it is not friendly toward me as it was before, but (Y)the God of my father has been with me. (Z)You know that I have served your father with all my strength. Yet your father has (AA)cheated me and (AB)changed my wages ten times; however, (AC)God did not allow him to do me harm. If (AD)he said this: ‘The speckled shall be your wages,’ then all the flock delivered speckled; and if he said this: ‘The striped shall be your wages,’ then all the flock delivered striped. So God has (AE)taken away your father’s livestock and given them to me. 10 And it came about at the time when the flock was breeding that I raised my eyes and saw in a dream—and behold—the male goats that were [ah]mating were striped, speckled, or mottled. 11 Then (AF)the angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob’; and I said, ‘Here I am.’ 12 He said, ‘Now raise your eyes and see that all the male goats that are [ai]mating are striped, speckled, or mottled; for (AG)I have seen everything that Laban has been doing to you. 13 I am (AH)the God of Bethel, where you (AI)anointed a memorial stone, where you made a vow to Me; now arise, [aj]leave this land, and (AJ)return to the land of your birth.’” 14 Rachel and Leah said to him, “Do we still have any share or inheritance in our father’s house? 15 Are we not regarded by him as foreigners? For (AK)he has sold us, and has also [ak]entirely consumed our [al]purchase price. 16 Surely all the wealth which God has taken away from our father belongs to us and our children; now then, do whatever God has told you.”

17 Then Jacob stood up and put his children and his wives on camels; 18 and he drove away all his livestock and all his property which he had acquired, the livestock he possessed which he had acquired in Paddan-aram, (AL)to go to the land of Canaan to his father Isaac. 19 Laban had gone to shear his flock, and Rachel stole the [am](AM)household idols that were her father’s. 20 And Jacob [an]deceived Laban the Aramean by not telling him that he was fleeing. 21 So he fled with all that he had; and he got up and crossed the Euphrates River, and set [ao]out for the hill country of (AN)Gilead.

Laban Pursues Jacob

22 When Laban was informed on the third day that Jacob had fled, 23 he took his kinsmen with him and pursued him a distance of seven days’ journey, and he overtook him in the hill country of Gilead. 24 However, (AO)God came to Laban the Aramean in a (AP)dream of the night and said to him, “[ap](AQ)Be careful that you do not speak to Jacob either good or bad.”

25 And Laban caught up with Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country, and Laban with his kinsmen camped in the hill country of Gilead. 26 Then Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done [aq]by deceiving me and carrying away my daughters like captives of the sword? 27 Why did you flee secretly and [ar]deceive me, and did not tell me, so that I might have sent you away with joy and with songs, with (AR)tambourine and with (AS)lyre; 28 and did not allow me (AT)to kiss my [as]grandchildren and my daughters? Now you have done foolishly. 29 It is in [at]my power to do you harm, but (AU)the God of your father spoke to me last night, saying, ‘[au](AV)Be careful not to speak either good or bad to Jacob.’ 30 Now you have indeed gone away because you longed greatly for your father’s house; but why did you steal (AW)my gods?” 31 Then Jacob replied to Laban, “Because I was afraid, for I thought that you would take your daughters from me by force. 32 (AX)The one with whom you find your gods shall not live; in the presence of our relatives [av]point out what is yours [aw]among my belongings and take it for yourself.” Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them.

33 So Laban went into Jacob’s tent, and into Leah’s tent, and into the tent of the two slave women, but he did not find them. Then he went out of Leah’s tent and entered Rachel’s tent. 34 Now Rachel had taken the [ax]household idols and put them in the camel’s saddlebag, and she sat on them. So Laban searched through all the tent, but did not find them. 35 And she said to her father, “May my lord not be angry that I cannot (AY)stand in your presence, because the [ay]way of women is upon me.” So he searched but did not find the [az](AZ)household idols.

36 Then Jacob became angry and argued with Laban; and Jacob said to Laban, “What is my offense? What is my sin that you have hotly pursued me? 37 Though you have searched through all my property, what have you found of all your household property? Set it here in front of my relatives and your relatives, so that they may decide between the two of us. 38 For these twenty years I have been with you; your ewes and your female goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten the rams of your flocks. 39 I did not even bring to you that which was torn by wild animals; I took the loss myself. You demanded it of my hand whether stolen by day or stolen by night. 40 This is how I was: by day the [ba]heat consumed me and the frost by night, and my sleep fled from my eyes. 41 For these twenty years I have been in your house; (BA)I served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, and you (BB)changed my wages ten times. 42 If (BC)the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the fear of Isaac, had not been for me, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. (BD)God has seen my affliction and the labor of my hands, so He (BE)rendered judgment last night.”

The Covenant of Mizpah

43 Then Laban replied to Jacob, “The daughters are my daughters, the [bb]children are my [bc]grandchildren, (BF)the flocks are my flocks, and everything that you see is mine. But what can I do this day to these daughters of mine or to their children to whom they have given birth? 44 So now come, let’s (BG)make a covenant, [bd]you and I, and (BH)it shall be a witness between [be]you and me.” 45 Then Jacob took (BI)a stone and set it up as a memorial stone. 46 Jacob said to his relatives, “Gather stones.” So they took stones and made a heap, and they ate there by the heap. 47 Now Laban (BJ)called it [bf]Jegar-sahadutha, but Jacob called it [bg]Galeed. 48 Laban said, “(BK)This heap is a witness between [bh]you and me this day.” Therefore it was named Galeed, 49 and [bi](BL)Mizpah, for he said, “May the Lord keep watch between [bj]you and me when we are [bk]absent one from the other. 50 If you mistreat my daughters, or if you take wives besides my daughters, although no one is with us, see, (BM)God is witness between [bl]you and me.” 51 Laban also said to Jacob, “Behold this heap and behold the memorial stone which I have set between [bm]you and me. 52 This heap is a witness, and the memorial stone is a witness, that I will not pass by this heap to you for harm, and you will not pass by this heap and this memorial stone to me, for harm. 53 (BN)The God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, (BO)judge between us.” So Jacob swore by (BP)the fear of his father Isaac. 54 Then Jacob (BQ)offered a sacrifice on the mountain, and called his relatives to [bn]the meal; and they ate [bo]the meal and spent the night on the mountain. 55 [bp]Then early in the morning Laban got up, and (BR)kissed his [bq]grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them. Then Laban departed and returned to his place.


  1. Genesis 30:1 Lit Rachel
  2. Genesis 30:3 I.e., Prob. referring to a ritual of adoption
  3. Genesis 30:3 Lit from her I too may be built
  4. Genesis 30:6 Lit judged
  5. Genesis 30:6 I.e., He judged
  6. Genesis 30:8 Lit wrestlings of God
  7. Genesis 30:8 Heb niphtal, related to Naphtali
  8. Genesis 30:11 Lit With fortune! Some ancient versions Fortune has come
  9. Genesis 30:11 I.e., Fortune
  10. Genesis 30:13 Lit With my happiness!
  11. Genesis 30:13 I.e., happy
  12. Genesis 30:18 Heb sachar, related to Issachar
  13. Genesis 30:20 Heb zabal, related to Zebulun
  14. Genesis 30:24 Lit add to me; Heb Joseph
  15. Genesis 30:26 Lit served
  16. Genesis 30:27 Lit I have found favor in your eyes
  17. Genesis 30:28 Lit said
  18. Genesis 30:29 Lit been
  19. Genesis 30:30 Lit me
  20. Genesis 30:30 Lit broken forth
  21. Genesis 30:30 Lit at my foot
  22. Genesis 30:33 Lit righteousness
  23. Genesis 30:33 Lit wages which are before you
  24. Genesis 30:34 Lit Behold, would that it might be
  25. Genesis 30:35 Lit hand
  26. Genesis 30:37 Lit took to himself
  27. Genesis 30:37 Lit on
  28. Genesis 30:40 Lit set the faces
  29. Genesis 30:43 Lit broke forth
  30. Genesis 31:1 Lit he
  31. Genesis 31:1 Lit glory
  32. Genesis 31:2 Lit face
  33. Genesis 31:5 Lit face
  34. Genesis 31:10 Lit leaping upon the flock
  35. Genesis 31:12 Lit leaping upon the flock
  36. Genesis 31:13 Lit Go out from
  37. Genesis 31:15 I.e., enjoyed the benefit of
  38. Genesis 31:15 Lit money
  39. Genesis 31:19 Heb teraphim
  40. Genesis 31:20 Lit stole the heart of
  41. Genesis 31:21 Lit his face
  42. Genesis 31:24 Lit Take heed to yourself
  43. Genesis 31:26 Lit and you have stolen my heart
  44. Genesis 31:27 Lit steal me
  45. Genesis 31:28 Lit sons
  46. Genesis 31:29 Lit the power of my hand
  47. Genesis 31:29 Lit Take heed to yourself
  48. Genesis 31:32 Lit recognize
  49. Genesis 31:32 Lit with me
  50. Genesis 31:34 Heb teraphim
  51. Genesis 31:35 I.e., menstruation
  52. Genesis 31:35 Heb teraphim
  53. Genesis 31:40 Or drought
  54. Genesis 31:43 Lit sons
  55. Genesis 31:43 Lit sons
  56. Genesis 31:44 Lit I and you
  57. Genesis 31:44 Lit me and you
  58. Genesis 31:47 I.e., the heap of witness, in Aram
  59. Genesis 31:47 I.e., the heap of witness, in Heb
  60. Genesis 31:48 Lit me and you
  61. Genesis 31:49 Lit the Mizpah; i.e., the watchtower
  62. Genesis 31:49 Lit me and you
  63. Genesis 31:49 Lit hidden
  64. Genesis 31:50 Lit me and you
  65. Genesis 31:51 Lit me and you
  66. Genesis 31:54 Lit eat bread
  67. Genesis 31:54 Lit bread
  68. Genesis 31:55 Ch 32:1 in Heb
  69. Genesis 31:55 Lit sons

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