Genesis 30-31 Revised Standard Version

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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's anger was kindled against Rachel, and he 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 even I 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 called his name 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 called his name Naph'tali. 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 called his name 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 called his name 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, "Give me, I pray, 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 hearkened to 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 called his name Is'sachar. 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 called his name Zeb'ulun. 21  Afterwards she bore a daughter, and called her name Dinah. 22  Then God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her and opened her womb. 23  She conceived and bore a son, and said, "God has taken away my reproach"; 24  and she called his name 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 the service which 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 he-goats that were striped and spotted, and all the she-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; and Jacob fed 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 which he had peeled in front of the flocks in the runnels, that is, the watering troughs, 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 brought forth striped, speckled, and spotted. 40  And Jacob separated the lambs, and set the faces of the flocks toward the striped and all the black 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 runnels 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, maidservants and menservants, and camels and asses.

31 1  Now Jacob heard that the sons of Laban were saying, "Jacob has taken all that was our father's; and from what was our father's he has gained all this wealth." 2  And Jacob saw that Laban did not regard him with favor as before. 3  Then the Lord said to Jacob, "Return to the land of your fathers 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 with favor 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 spotted shall be your wages,' then all the flock bore spotted; and if he said, 'The striped shall be your wages,' then all the flock bore striped. 9  Thus God has taken away the cattle of your father, and given them to me. 10  In the mating season of the flock I lifted up my eyes, and saw in a dream that the he-goats which leaped upon the flock were striped, spotted, 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, 'Lift up your eyes and see, all the goats that leap upon the flock are striped, spotted, 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 arise, go forth from this land, 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 which God has taken away from our father belongs to us and to our children; now then, whatever God has said to you, do."

Jacob Flees from Laban

17  So Jacob arose, and set his sons and his wives on camels; 18  and he drove away all his cattle, all his livestock which he had gained, the cattle in his possession which he had acquired in Paddan-aram, to go to the land of Canaan to his father Isaac. 19  Laban had gone to shear his sheep, and Rachel stole her father's household gods. 20  And Jacob outwitted Laban the Aramean, in that he did not tell him that he intended to flee. 21  He fled with all that he had, and arose and crossed the Euphra'tes, and set his face toward the hill country of Gilead. 22  When it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob had fled, 23  he took his kinsmen with him and pursued him for seven days and followed close after him into 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  And Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country, and Laban with his kinsmen encamped in the hill country of Gilead. 26  And Laban said to Jacob, "What have you done, that you have cheated me, and carried away my daughters like captives of the sword? 27  Why did you flee secretly, and cheat me, and did not tell me, so that I might 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? Now you have done foolishly. 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  And now you have gone away because you longed greatly for your father's house, but 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  Any one with whom you find your gods shall not live. In the presence of our kinsmen point out what I have that is yours, and take it." Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them. 33  So Laban went into Jacob's tent, and into Leah's tent, and into the tent of the two maidservants, 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 upon them. Laban felt all about 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 through all my goods, what have you found of all your household goods? Set it here before my kinsmen and your kinsmen, that they may decide between us two. 38  These twenty years I have been with you; your ewes and your she-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  Thus I was; 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 this day to these my daughters, or to 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 kinsmen, "Gather stones," and they took stones, and made a heap; and they ate there by the heap. 47  Laban called it Je'gar-sahadu'tha: but Jacob called it Galeed. 48  Laban said, "This heap is a witness between you and me today." Therefore he named 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 besides my daughters, although no man is with us, remember, God is witness between you and me." 51  Then Laban said to Jacob, "See this heap and 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 over this heap to you, and you will not pass over this heap and this pillar to me, for harm. 53  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 mountain and called his kinsmen to eat bread; and they ate bread and tarried all night on the mountain. 55  Early in the morning Laban arose, and kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them; then he departed and returned home.

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