Bible: Genesis 30:1-43

30:1 When Rachel saw that she could not give Jacob children, she 1  became jealous of her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children 2  or I’ll die! 30:2 Jacob became furious 3  with Rachel and exclaimed, “Am I in the place of God, who has kept you from having children? 4  30:3 She replied, “Here is my servant Bilhah! Have sexual relations with 5  her so that she can bear 6  children 7  for me 8  and I can have a family through her.” 9 

30:4 So Rachel 10  gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife, and Jacob had marital relations with 11  her. 30:5 Bilhah became pregnant 12  and gave Jacob a son. 13  30:6 Then Rachel said, “God has vindicated me. He has responded to my prayer 14  and given me a son.” That is why 15  she named him Dan. 16 

30:7 Bilhah, Rachel’s servant, became pregnant again and gave Jacob another son. 17  30:8 Then Rachel said, “I have fought a desperate struggle with my sister, but I have won.” 18  So she named him Naphtali. 19 

30:9 When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she gave 20  her servant Zilpah to Jacob as a wife. 30:10 Soon Leah’s servant Zilpah gave Jacob a son. 21  30:11 Leah said, “How fortunate!” 22  So she named him Gad. 23 

30:12 Then Leah’s servant Zilpah gave Jacob another son. 24  30:13 Leah said, “How happy I am, 25  for women 26  will call me happy!” So she named him Asher. 27 

30:14 At the time 28  of the wheat harvest Reuben went out and found some mandrake plants 29  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, 30 Wasn’t it enough that you’ve taken away my husband? Would you take away my son’s mandrakes too?” “All right,” 31  Rachel said, “he may sleep 32  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 33  with me because I have paid for your services 34  with my son’s mandrakes.” So he had marital relations 35  with her that night. 30:17 God paid attention 36  to Leah; she became pregnant 37  and gave Jacob a son for the fifth time. 38  30:18 Then Leah said, “God has granted me a reward 39  because I gave my servant to my husband as a wife.” 40  So she named him Issachar. 41 

30:19 Leah became pregnant again and gave Jacob a son for the sixth time. 42  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. 43 

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

30:22 Then God took note of 44  Rachel. He paid attention to her and enabled her to become pregnant. 45  30:23 She became pregnant 46  and gave birth to a son. Then she said, “God has taken away my shame.” 47  30:24 She named him Joseph, 48  saying, “May the Lord give me yet another son.”

The Flocks of Jacob

30:25 After Rachel had given birth 49  to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send 50  me on my way so that I can go 51  home to my own country. 52  30:26 Let me take my wives and my children whom I have acquired by working for you. 53  Then I’ll depart, 54  because you know how hard I’ve worked for you.” 55 

30:27 But Laban said to him, “If I have found favor in your sight, please stay here, 56  for I have learned by divination 57  that the Lord has blessed me on account of you.” 30:28 He added, “Just name your wages – I’ll pay whatever you want.” 58 

30:29You know how I have worked for you,” Jacob replied, 59 and how well your livestock have fared under my care. 60  30:30 Indeed, 61  you had little before I arrived, 62  but now your possessions have increased many times over. 63  The Lord has blessed you wherever I worked. 64  But now, how long must it be before I do something for my own family too? 65 

30:31 So Laban asked, 66  “What should I give you?” “You don’t need to give me a thing,” 67  Jacob replied, 68 but if you agree to this one condition, 69  I will continue to care for 70  your flocks and protect them: 30:32 Let me walk among 71  all your flocks today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark-colored lamb, 72  and the spotted or speckled goats. 73  These animals will be my wages. 74  30:33 My integrity will testify for me 75  later on. 76  When you come to verify that I’ve taken only the wages we agreed on, 77  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.” 78  30:34 Agreed!” said Laban, “It will be as you say.” 79 

30:35 So that day Laban 80  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 81  of his sons. 30:36 Then he separated them from Jacob by a three-day journey, 82  while 83  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. 84  30:39 When the sheep mated 85  in front of the branches, they 86  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 87  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, 88  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. 89  So the weaker animals ended up belonging to Laban 90  and the stronger animals to Jacob. 30:43 In this way Jacob 91  became extremely prosperous. He owned 92  large flocks, male and female servants, camels, and donkeys.

NET Bible Study Environment