Genesis 30-31 New Revised Standard Version

<< Genesis 29 | Genesis 30-31 | Genesis 32 >>

30 1  When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister; and she said to Jacob, "Give me children, or I shall die!" 2  Jacob became very angry with Rachel and said, "Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?" 3  Then she said, "Here is my maid Bilhah; go in to her, that she may bear upon my knees and that I too may have children through her." 4  So she gave him her maid Bilhah as a wife; and Jacob went in to her. 5  And Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son. 6  Then Rachel said, "God has judged me, and has also heard my voice and given me a son"; therefore she named him Dan. 7  Rachel's maid Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. 8  Then Rachel said, "With mighty wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister, and have prevailed"; so she named him Naphtali. 9  When Leah saw that she had ceased bearing children, she took her maid Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife. 10  Then Leah's maid Zilpah bore Jacob a son. 11  And Leah said, "Good fortune!" so she named him Gad. 12  Leah's maid Zilpah bore Jacob a second son. 13  And Leah said, "Happy am I! For the women will call me happy"; so she named him Asher.

14  In the days of wheat harvest Reuben went and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them to his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, "Please give me some of your son's mandrakes." 15  But she said to her, "Is it a small matter that you have taken away my husband? Would you take away my son's mandrakes also?" Rachel said, "Then he may lie with you tonight for your son's mandrakes." 16  When Jacob came from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him, and said, "You must come in to me; for I have hired you with my son's mandrakes." So he lay with her that night. 17  And God heeded Leah, and she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18  Leah said, "God has given me my hire because I gave my maid to my husband"; so she named him Issachar. 19  And Leah conceived again, and she bore Jacob a sixth son. 20  Then Leah said, "God has endowed me with a good dowry; now my husband will honor me, because I have borne him six sons"; so she named him Zebulun. 21  Afterwards she bore a daughter, and named her Dinah. 22  Then God remembered Rachel, and God heeded her and opened her womb. 23  She conceived and bore a son, and said, "God has taken away my reproach"; 24  and she named him Joseph, saying, "May the Lord add to me another son!"

The Trickery of Laban and Jacob

25  When Rachel had borne Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, "Send me away, that I may go to my own home and country. 26  Give me my wives and my children for whom I have served you, and let me go; for you know very well the service I have given you." 27  But Laban said to him, "If you will allow me to say so, I have learned by divination that the Lord has blessed me because of you; 28  name your wages, and I will give it." 29  Jacob said to him, "You yourself know how I have served you, and how your cattle have fared with me. 30  For you had little before I came, and it has increased abundantly; and the Lord has blessed you wherever I turned. But now when shall I provide for my own household also?" 31  He said, "What shall I give you?" Jacob said, "You shall not give me anything; if you will do this for me, I will again feed your flock and keep it: 32  let me pass through all your flock today, removing from it every speckled and spotted sheep and every black lamb, and the spotted and speckled among the goats; and such shall be my wages. 33  So my honesty will answer for me later, when you come to look into my wages with you. Every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats and black among the lambs, if found with me, shall be counted stolen." 34  Laban said, "Good! Let it be as you have said." 35  But that day Laban removed the male goats that were striped and spotted, and all the female goats that were speckled and spotted, every one that had white on it, and every lamb that was black, and put them in charge of his sons; 36  and he set a distance of three days' journey between himself and Jacob, while Jacob was pasturing the rest of Laban's flock.

37  Then Jacob took fresh rods of poplar and almond and plane, and peeled white streaks in them, exposing the white of the rods. 38  He set the rods that he had peeled in front of the flocks in the troughs, that is, the watering places, where the flocks came to drink. And since they bred when they came to drink, 39  the flocks bred in front of the rods, and so the flocks produced young that were striped, speckled, and spotted. 40  Jacob separated the lambs, and set the faces of the flocks toward the striped and the completely black animals in the flock of Laban; and he put his own droves apart, and did not put them with Laban's flock. 41  Whenever the stronger of the flock were breeding, Jacob laid the rods in the troughs before the eyes of the flock, that they might breed among the rods, 42  but for the feebler of the flock he did not lay them there; so the feebler were Laban's, and the stronger Jacob's. 43  Thus the man grew exceedingly rich, and had large flocks, and male and female slaves, and camels and donkeys.

31 1  Now Jacob heard that the sons of Laban were saying, "Jacob has taken all that was our father's; he has gained all this wealth from what belonged to our father." 2  And Jacob saw that Laban did not regard him as favorably as he did before. 3  Then the Lord said to Jacob, "Return to the land of your ancestors and to your kindred, and I will be with you." 4  So Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah into the field where his flock was, 5  and said to them, "I see that your father does not regard me as favorably as he did before. But the God of my father has been with me. 6  You know that I have served your father with all my strength; 7  yet your father has cheated me and changed my wages ten times, but God did not permit him to harm me. 8  If he said, "The speckled shall be your wages,' then all the flock bore speckled; and if he said, "The striped shall be your wages,' then all the flock bore striped. 9  Thus God has taken away the livestock of your father, and given them to me. 10  During the mating of the flock I once had a dream in which I looked up and saw that the male goats that leaped upon the flock were striped, speckled, and mottled. 11  Then the angel of God said to me in the dream, "Jacob,' and I said, "Here I am!' 12  And he said, "Look up and see that all the goats that leap on the flock are striped, speckled, and mottled; for I have seen all that Laban is doing to you. 13  I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and made a vow to me. Now leave this land at once and return to the land of your birth.' " 14  Then Rachel and Leah answered him, "Is there any portion or inheritance left to us in our father's house? 15  Are we not regarded by him as foreigners? For he has sold us, and he has been using up the money given for us. 16  All the property that God has taken away from our father belongs to us and to our children; now then, do whatever God has said to you."

Jacob Flees from Laban

17  So Jacob arose, and set his children and his wives on camels; 18  and he drove away all his livestock, all the property that he had gained, the livestock in his possession that he had acquired in Paddan-aram, to go to his father Isaac in the land of Canaan. 19  Now Laban had gone to shear his sheep, and Rachel stole her father's household gods. 20  And Jacob deceived Laban the Aramean, in that he did not tell him that he intended to flee. 21  So he fled with all that he had; starting out he crossed the Euphrates, and set his face toward the hill country of Gilead. 22  On the third day Laban was told that Jacob had fled. 23  So he took his kinsfolk with him and pursued him for seven days until he caught up with him in the hill country of Gilead. 24  But God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream by night, and said to him, "Take heed that you say not a word to Jacob, either good or bad."

25  Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country, and Laban with his kinsfolk camped in the hill country of Gilead. 26  Laban said to Jacob, "What have you done? You have deceived me, and carried away my daughters like captives of the sword. 27  Why did you flee secretly and deceive me and not tell me? I would have sent you away with mirth and songs, with tambourine and lyre. 28  And why did you not permit me to kiss my sons and my daughters farewell? What you have done is foolish. 29  It is in my power to do you harm; but the God of your father spoke to me last night, saying, "Take heed that you speak to Jacob neither good nor bad.' 30  Even though you had to go because you longed greatly for your father's house, why did you steal my gods?" 31  Jacob answered Laban, "Because I was afraid, for I thought that you would take your daughters from me by force. 32  But anyone with whom you find your gods shall not live. In the presence of our kinsfolk, point out what I have that is yours, and take it." Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen the gods. 33  So Laban went into Jacob's tent, and into Leah's tent, and into the tent of the two maids, but he did not find them. And he went out of Leah's tent, and entered Rachel's. 34  Now Rachel had taken the household gods and put them in the camel's saddle, and sat on them. Laban felt all about in the tent, but did not find them. 35  And she said to her father, "Let not my lord be angry that I cannot rise before you, for the way of women is upon me." So he searched, but did not find the household gods.

36  Then Jacob became angry, and upbraided Laban. Jacob said to Laban, "What is my offense? What is my sin, that you have hotly pursued me? 37  Although you have felt about through all my goods, what have you found of all your household goods? Set it here before my kinsfolk and your kinsfolk, so that they may decide between us two. 38  These twenty years I have been with you; your ewes and your female goats have not miscarried, and I have not eaten the rams of your flocks. 39  That which was torn by wild beasts I did not bring to you; I bore the loss of it myself; of my hand you required it, whether stolen by day or stolen by night. 40  It was like this with me: by day the heat consumed me, and the cold by night, and my sleep fled from my eyes. 41  These twenty years I have been in your house; I served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, and you have changed my wages ten times. 42  If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been on my side, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. God saw my affliction and the labor of my hands, and rebuked you last night."

43  Then Laban answered and said to Jacob, "The daughters are my daughters, the children are my children, the flocks are my flocks, and all that you see is mine. But what can I do today about these daughters of mine, or about their children whom they have borne? 44  Come now, let us make a covenant, you and I; and let it be a witness between you and me." 45  So Jacob took a stone, and set it up as a pillar. 46  And Jacob said to his kinsfolk, "Gather stones," and they took stones, and made a heap; and they ate there by the heap. 47  Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha: but Jacob called it Galeed. 48  Laban said, "This heap is a witness between you and me today." Therefore he called it Galeed, 49  and the pillar Mizpah, for he said, "The Lord watch between you and me, when we are absent one from the other. 50  If you ill-treat my daughters, or if you take wives in addition to my daughters, though no one else is with us, remember that God is witness between you and me." 51  Then Laban said to Jacob, "See this heap and see the pillar, which I have set between you and me. 52  This heap is a witness, and the pillar is a witness, that I will not pass beyond this heap to you, and you will not pass beyond this heap and this pillar to me, for harm. 53  May the God of Abraham and the God of Nahor"-the God of their father-"judge between us." So Jacob swore by the Fear of his father Isaac, 54  and Jacob offered a sacrifice on the height and called his kinsfolk to eat bread; and they ate bread and tarried all night in the hill country. 55  Early in the morning Laban rose up, and kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them; then he departed and returned home.

<< Genesis 29 | Genesis 30-31 | Genesis 32 >>

Add Another Translation