Genesis 30

1Rachel saw that she was not giving Jacob any children. Rachel became jealous of her sister Leah. So Rachel said to Jacob, “Give me children or I will die!” 2Jacob became angry with Rachel. He said, “I am not God. God is the One who has caused you to not have children.” 3Then Rachel said, “You can have my maid Bilhah. Sleep with her and she will have a child for me. Then I can become a mother because of her.” 4So Rachel gave Bilhah to her husband Jacob. Jacob had sexual relations with Bilhah. 5Bilhah became pregnant and gave Jacob a son. 6Rachel said, “God has listened to my prayer. He decided to give me a son.” So Rachel named this son Dan. 7Bilhah became pregnant again and gave Jacob a second son. 8Rachel said, “I have fought hard to compete with my sister. And I have won.” So she named that son Naphtali. 9Leah saw that she could have no more children. So she gave her slave girl Zilpah to Jacob. 10Then Zilpah had a son. 11Leah said, “I am lucky.” So she named the son Gad. 12Zilpah gave birth to another son. 13Leah said, “I am very happy! Now women will call me happy.” So she named that son Asher. 14During the wheat harvest, Reuben went into the fields and found some special flowers. Reuben brought these flowers to his mother Leah. But Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s flowers.” 15Leah answered, “You have already taken away my husband. Now you are trying to take away my son’s flowers.” But Rachel answered, “If you will give me your son’s flowers, then you can sleep with Jacob tonight.” 16Jacob came in from the fields that night. Leah saw him and went out to meet him. She said, “You will sleep with me tonight. I have paid for you with my son’s flowers.” So Jacob slept with Leah that night. 17Then God allowed Leah to become pregnant again. She gave birth to a fifth son. 18Leah said, “God has given me a reward because I gave my slave to my husband.” So Leah named her son Issachar. 19Leah became pregnant again and gave birth to a sixth son. 20Leah said, “God has given me a fine gift. Now surely Jacob will accept me, because I have given him six sons.” So Leah named the son Zebulun. 21Later Leah gave birth to a daughter. She named the daughter Dinah. 22Then God heard Rachel’s prayer. God made it possible for Rachel to have children. 23- 24Rachel became pregnant and gave birth to a son. Rachel said, “God has taken away my shame and given me a son.” So Rachel named the son Joseph. 25After the birth of Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Now let me go to my own home. 26Give me my wives and my children. I have earned them by working for you ˻14 years˼. You know that I served you well.” 27Laban said to him, “Let me say something! I know that the Lord has blessed me because of you. 28Tell me what I should pay you, and I will give it to you.” 29Jacob answered, “You know that I have worked hard for you. Your flocks have grown and been well while I cared for them. 30When I came, you had little. Now you have much, much more. Every time I did something for you, the Lord blessed you. Now it is time for me to work for myself—it is time to build my own house.” 31Laban asked, “Then what should I give you?” Jacob answered, “I don’t want you to give me anything. I only want you to ˻pay me for the work I have done˼. Just do this one thing: I will go back and take care of your sheep. 32But let me go through all your flocks today and take every lamb with spots or stripes. And let me take every black young goat. And let me take every female goat with stripes or spots. That will be my pay. 33In the future, you can easily see if I am honest. You can come to look at my flocks. If I have any goat that isn’t spotted or any sheep that isn’t black, then you will know that I stole it.” 34Laban answered, “I agree to that. We will do what you ask.” 35But that day Laban hid all the male goats that had spots. And Laban hid all the female goats that had spots on them. Laban also hid all the black sheep. Laban told his sons to watch these sheep. 36So the sons took all the spotted animals and led them to another place. They traveled for three days. Jacob stayed and took care of all the animals that were left. ˻But there were no animals there that were spotted or black.˼ 37So Jacob cut green branches from poplar and almond trees. Jacob stripped off some of the bark so that the branches had white stripes on them. 38Jacob put the branches in front of the flocks at the watering places. When the animals came to drink, they also mated in that place. 39Then when the goats mated in front of the branches, the young that were born were spotted, striped, or black. 40Jacob separated the spotted and the black animals from the other animals in the flock. Jacob kept his animals separate from Laban’s. 41Any time the stronger animals in the flock were mating, Jacob put the branches before their eyes. The animals mated near those branches. 42But when the weaker animals mated, Jacob did not put the branches there. So the young animals born from the weak parents were Laban’s. And the young animals born from the stronger parents were Jacob’s. 43In this way, Jacob became very rich. He had large flocks, many servants, camels, and donkeys.

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