Genesis, CHAPTER 30
When Rachel saw that she had not borne children to Jacob, she became envious of her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children or I shall die!”
Jacob became angry with Rachel and said, “Can I take the place of God, who has denied you the fruit of the womb?”
She replied, “Here is my maidservant Bilhah. Have intercourse with her, and let her give birth on my knees, so that I too may have children through her.”
So she gave him her maidservant Bilhah as wife, and Jacob had intercourse with her.
When Bilhah conceived and bore a son for Jacob,
Rachel said, “God has vindicated me; indeed he has heeded my plea and given me a son.” Therefore she named him Dan.
Rachel’s maidservant Bilhah conceived again and bore a second son for Jacob,
and Rachel said, “I have wrestled strenuously with my sister, and I have prevailed.” So she named him Naphtali.
When Leah saw that she had ceased to bear children, she took her maidservant Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as wife.
So Leah’s maidservant Zilpah bore a son for Jacob.
Leah then said, “What good luck!” So she named him Gad.
Then Leah’s maidservant Zilpah bore a second son to Jacob;
and Leah said, “What good fortune, because women will call me fortunate!” So she named him Asher.
One day, during the wheat harvest, Reuben went out and came upon some mandrakes in the field which he brought home to his mother Leah. Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.”
Leah replied, “Was it not enough for you to take away my husband, that you must now take my son’s mandrakes too?” Rachel answered, “In that case Jacob may lie with you tonight in exchange for your son’s mandrakes.”
That evening, when Jacob came in from the field, Leah went out to meet him. She said, “You must have intercourse with me, because I have hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” So that night he lay with her,
and God listened to Leah; she conceived and bore a fifth son to Jacob.
Leah then said, “God has given me my wages for giving my maidservant to my husband”; so she named him Issachar.
Leah conceived again and bore a sixth son to Jacob;
and Leah said, “God has brought me a precious gift. This time my husband will honor me, because I have borne him six sons”; so she named him Zebulun.
Afterwards she gave birth to a daughter, and she named her Dinah.
Then God remembered Rachel. God listened to her and made her fruitful.
She conceived and bore a son, and she said, “God has removed my disgrace.”
She named him Joseph, saying, “May the LORD add another son for me!”
Jacob Outwits Laban.
After Rachel gave birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban: “Allow me to go to my own region and land.
Give me my wives and my children for whom I served you and let me go, for you know the service that I rendered you.”
Laban answered him: “If you will please! I have learned through divination that the LORD has blessed me because of you.”
He continued, “State the wages I owe you, and I will pay them.”
Jacob replied: “You know what work I did for you and how well your livestock fared under my care;
the little you had before I came has grown into an abundance, since the LORD has blessed you in my company. Now, when can I do something for my own household as well?”
Laban asked, “What should I give you?” Jacob answered: “You do not have to give me anything. If you do this thing for me, I will again pasture and tend your sheep.
Let me go through your whole flock today and remove from it every dark animal among the lambs and every spotted or speckled one among the goats. These will be my wages.
In the future, whenever you check on my wages, my honesty will testify for me: any animal that is not speckled or spotted among the goats, or dark among the lambs, got into my possession by theft!”
Laban said, “Very well. Let it be as you say.”
That same day Laban removed the streaked and spotted he-goats and all the speckled and spotted she-goats, all those with some white on them, as well as every dark lamb, and he put them in the care of his sons.
Then he put a three days’ journey between himself and Jacob, while Jacob was pasturing the rest of Laban’s flock.
Jacob, however, got some fresh shoots of poplar, almond and plane trees, and he peeled white stripes in them by laying bare the white core of the shoots.
The shoots that he had peeled he then set upright in the watering troughs where the animals came to drink, so that they would be in front of them. When the animals were in heat as they came to drink,
the goats mated by the shoots, and so they gave birth to streaked, speckled and spotted young.
The sheep, on the other hand, Jacob kept apart, and he made these animals face the streaked or completely dark animals of Laban. Thus he produced flocks of his own, which he did not put with Laban’s flock.
Whenever the hardier animals were in heat, Jacob would set the shoots in the troughs in full view of these animals, so that they mated by the shoots;
but with the weaker animals he would not put the shoots there. So the feeble animals would go to Laban, but the hardy ones to Jacob.
So the man grew exceedingly prosperous, and he owned large flocks, male and female servants, camels, and donkeys.