Bible: Gen 29:14-30:43

29:14 Then Laban said to him, “You are indeed my own flesh and blood.” 1  So Jacob 2  stayed with him for a month. 3 

29:15 Then Laban said to Jacob, “Should you work 4  for me for nothing because you are my relative? 5  Tell me what your wages should be.” 29:16 (Now Laban had two daughters; 6  the older one was named Leah, and the younger one Rachel. 29:17 Leah’s eyes were tender, 7  but Rachel had a lovely figure and beautiful appearance.) 8  29:18 Since Jacob had fallen in love with 9  Rachel, he said, “I’ll serve you seven years in exchange for your younger daughter Rachel.” 29:19 Laban replied, “I’d rather give her to you than to another man. 10  Stay with me.” 29:20 So Jacob worked for seven years to acquire Rachel. 11  But they seemed like only a few days to him 12  because his love for her was so great. 13 

29:21 Finally Jacob said 14  to Laban, “Give me my wife, for my time of service is up. 15  I want to have marital relations with her.” 16  29:22 So Laban invited all the people 17  of that place and prepared a feast. 29:23 In the evening he brought his daughter Leah 18  to Jacob, 19  and Jacob 20  had marital relations with her. 21  29:24 (Laban gave his female servant Zilpah to his daughter Leah to be her servant.) 22 

29:25 In the morning Jacob discovered it was Leah! 23  So Jacob 24  said to Laban, “What in the world have you done to me! 25  Didn’t I work for you in exchange for Rachel? Why have you tricked 26  me? 29:26 It is not our custom here,” 27  Laban replied, “to give the younger daughter in marriage 28  before the firstborn. 29:27 Complete my older daughter’s bridal week. 29  Then we will give you the younger one 30  too, in exchange for seven more years of work.” 31 

29:28 Jacob did as Laban said. 32  When Jacob 33  completed Leah’s bridal week, 34  Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. 35  29:29 (Laban gave his female servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel to be her servant.) 36  29:30 Jacob 37  had marital relations 38  with Rachel as well. He loved Rachel more than Leah, so he worked for Laban 39  for seven more years. 40 

The Family of Jacob

29:31 When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, 41  he enabled her to become pregnant 42  while Rachel remained childless. 29:32 So Leah became pregnant 43  and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, 44  for she said, “The Lord has looked with pity on my oppressed condition. 45  Surely my husband will love me now.”

29:33 She became pregnant again and had another son. She said, “Because the Lord heard that I was unloved, 46  he gave me this one too.” So she named him Simeon. 47 

29:34 She became pregnant again and had another son. She said, “Now this time my husband will show me affection, 48  because I have given birth to three sons for him.” That is why he was named Levi. 49 

29:35 She became pregnant again and had another son. She said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” That is why she named him Judah. 50  Then she stopped having children.

30:1 When Rachel saw that she could not give Jacob children, she 51  became jealous of her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children 52  or I’ll die! 30:2 Jacob became furious 53  with Rachel and exclaimed, “Am I in the place of God, who has kept you from having children? 54  30:3 She replied, “Here is my servant Bilhah! Have sexual relations with 55  her so that she can bear 56  children 57  for me 58  and I can have a family through her.” 59 

30:4 So Rachel 60  gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife, and Jacob had marital relations with 61  her. 30:5 Bilhah became pregnant 62  and gave Jacob a son. 63  30:6 Then Rachel said, “God has vindicated me. He has responded to my prayer 64  and given me a son.” That is why 65  she named him Dan. 66 

30:7 Bilhah, Rachel’s servant, became pregnant again and gave Jacob another son. 67  30:8 Then Rachel said, “I have fought a desperate struggle with my sister, but I have won.” 68  So she named him Naphtali. 69 

30:9 When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she gave 70  her servant Zilpah to Jacob as a wife. 30:10 Soon Leah’s servant Zilpah gave Jacob a son. 71  30:11 Leah said, “How fortunate!” 72  So she named him Gad. 73 

30:12 Then Leah’s servant Zilpah gave Jacob another son. 74  30:13 Leah said, “How happy I am, 75  for women 76  will call me happy!” So she named him Asher. 77 

30:14 At the time 78  of the wheat harvest Reuben went out and found some mandrake plants 79  in a field and brought them to his mother Leah. Rachel said to Leah, “Give me some of your son’s mandrakes.” 30:15 But Leah replied, 80 Wasn’t it enough that you’ve taken away my husband? Would you take away my son’s mandrakes too?” “All right,” 81  Rachel said, “he may sleep 82  with you tonight in exchange for your son’s mandrakes.” 30:16 When Jacob came in from the fields that evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, “You must sleep 83  with me because I have paid for your services 84  with my son’s mandrakes.” So he had marital relations 85  with her that night. 30:17 God paid attention 86  to Leah; she became pregnant 87  and gave Jacob a son for the fifth time. 88  30:18 Then Leah said, “God has granted me a reward 89  because I gave my servant to my husband as a wife.” 90  So she named him Issachar. 91 

30:19 Leah became pregnant again and gave Jacob a son for the sixth time. 92  30:20 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. 93 

30:21 After that she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.

30:22 Then God took note of 94  Rachel. He paid attention to her and enabled her to become pregnant. 95  30:23 She became pregnant 96  and gave birth to a son. Then she said, “God has taken away my shame.” 97  30:24 She named him Joseph, 98  saying, “May the Lord give me yet another son.”

The Flocks of Jacob

30:25 After Rachel had given birth 99  to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send 100  me on my way so that I can go 101  home to my own country. 102  30:26 Let me take my wives and my children whom I have acquired by working for you. 103  Then I’ll depart, 104  because you know how hard I’ve worked for you.” 105 

30:27 But Laban said to him, “If I have found favor in your sight, please stay here, 106  for I have learned by divination 107  that the Lord has blessed me on account of you.” 30:28 He added, “Just name your wages – I’ll pay whatever you want.” 108 

30:29You know how I have worked for you,” Jacob replied, 109 and how well your livestock have fared under my care. 110  30:30 Indeed, 111  you had little before I arrived, 112  but now your possessions have increased many times over. 113  The Lord has blessed you wherever I worked. 114  But now, how long must it be before I do something for my own family too? 115 

30:31 So Laban asked, 116  “What should I give you?” “You don’t need to give me a thing,” 117  Jacob replied, 118 but if you agree to this one condition, 119  I will continue to care for 120  your flocks and protect them: 30:32 Let me walk among 121  all your flocks today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark-colored lamb, 122  and the spotted or speckled goats. 123  These animals will be my wages. 124  30:33 My integrity will testify for me 125  later on. 126  When you come to verify that I’ve taken only the wages we agreed on, 127  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.” 128  30:34 Agreed!” said Laban, “It will be as you say.” 129 

30:35 So that day Laban 130  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 131  of his sons. 30:36 Then he separated them from Jacob by a three-day journey, 132  while 133  Jacob was taking care of the rest of Laban’s flocks.

30:37 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. 30:38 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. 134  30:39 When the sheep mated 135  in front of the branches, they 136  gave birth to young that were streaked or speckled or spotted. 30:40 Jacob removed these lambs, but he made the rest of the flock face 137  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. 30:41 When the stronger females were in heat, 138  Jacob would set up the branches in the troughs in front of the flock, so they would mate near the branches. 30:42 But if the animals were weaker, he did not set the branches there. 139  So the weaker animals ended up belonging to Laban 140  and the stronger animals to Jacob. 30:43 In this way Jacob 141  became extremely prosperous. He owned 142  large flocks, male and female servants, camels, and donkeys.

NET Bible Study Environment