Bible: Genesis 30:25-43

The Flocks of Jacob

30:25 After Rachel had given birth 1  to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send 2  me on my way so that I can go 3  home to my own country. 4  30:26 Let me take my wives and my children whom I have acquired by working for you. 5  Then I’ll depart, 6  because you know how hard I’ve worked for you.” 7 

30:27 But Laban said to him, “If I have found favor in your sight, please stay here, 8  for I have learned by divination 9  that the Lord has blessed me on account of you.” 30:28 He added, “Just name your wages – I’ll pay whatever you want.” 10 

30:29You know how I have worked for you,” Jacob replied, 11 and how well your livestock have fared under my care. 12  30:30 Indeed, 13  you had little before I arrived, 14  but now your possessions have increased many times over. 15  The Lord has blessed you wherever I worked. 16  But now, how long must it be before I do something for my own family too? 17 

30:31 So Laban asked, 18  “What should I give you?” “You don’t need to give me a thing,” 19  Jacob replied, 20 but if you agree to this one condition, 21  I will continue to care for 22  your flocks and protect them: 30:32 Let me walk among 23  all your flocks today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark-colored lamb, 24  and the spotted or speckled goats. 25  These animals will be my wages. 26  30:33 My integrity will testify for me 27  later on. 28  When you come to verify that I’ve taken only the wages we agreed on, 29  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.” 30  30:34 Agreed!” said Laban, “It will be as you say.” 31 

30:35 So that day Laban 32  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 33  of his sons. 30:36 Then he separated them from Jacob by a three-day journey, 34  while 35  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. 36  30:39 When the sheep mated 37  in front of the branches, they 38  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 39  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, 40  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. 41  So the weaker animals ended up belonging to Laban 42  and the stronger animals to Jacob. 30:43 In this way Jacob 43  became extremely prosperous. He owned 44  large flocks, male and female servants, camels, and donkeys.

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