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Genesis Chapter 30 | Parsha: Va-yetse

1When Rachel saw that she had borne Jacob no children, she became envious of her sister; and Rachel said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I shall die.” 2Jacob was incensed at Rachel, and said, “Can I take the place of God, who has denied you fruit of the womb?” 3She said, “Here is my maid Bilhah. Consort with her, that she may bear on my knees and that through her I too may have children.” 4So she gave him her maid Bilhah as concubine, and Jacob cohabited with her. 5Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son. 6And Rachel said, “God has vindicated me; indeed, He has heeded my plea and given me a son.” Therefore she named him Dan. 7Rachel’s maid Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. 8And Rachel said, “A fateful contest I waged with my sister; yes, and I have prevailed.” So she named him Naphtali.

9When Leah saw that she had stopped bearing, she took her maid Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as concubine. 10And when Leah’s maid Zilpah bore Jacob a son, 11Leah said, “What luck!” So she named him Gad. 12When Leah’s maid Zilpah bore Jacob a second son, 13Leah declared, “What fortune!” meaning, “Women will deem me fortunate.” So she named him Asher.

14Once, at the time of the wheat harvest, Reuben came upon some mandrakes in the field and brought them to his mother Leah. Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.” 15But she said to her, “Was it not enough for you to take away my husband, that you would also take my son’s mandrakes?” Rachel replied, “I promise, he shall lie with you tonight, in return for your son’s mandrakes.” 16When Jacob came home from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, “You are to sleep with me, for I have hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” And he lay with her that night. 17God heeded Leah, and she conceived and bore him a fifth son. 18And Leah said, “God has given me my reward for having given my maid to my husband.” So she named him Issachar. 19When Leah conceived again and bore Jacob a sixth son, 20Leah said, “God has given me a choice gift; this time my husband will exalt me, for I have borne him six sons.” So she named him Zebulun. 21Last, she bore him a daughter, and named her Dinah.

22Now God remembered Rachel; God heeded her and opened her womb. 23She conceived and bore a son, and said, “God has taken away my disgrace.” 24So she named him Joseph, which is to say, “May the Lord add another son for me.”

25After Rachel had borne Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Give me leave to go back to my own homeland. 26Give me my wives and my children, for whom I have served you, that I may go; for well you know what services I have rendered you.” 27But Laban said to him, “If you will indulge me, I have learned by divination that the Lord has blessed me on your account.” 28And he continued, “Name the wages due from me, and I will pay you.” 29But he said, “You know well how I have served you and how your livestock has fared with me. 30For the little you had before I came has grown to much, since the Lord has blessed you wherever I turned. And now, when shall I make provision for my own household?” 31He said, “What shall I pay you?” And Jacob said, “Pay me nothing! If you will do this thing for me, I will again pasture and keep your flocks: 32let me pass through your whole flock today, removing from there every speckled and spotted animal—every dark-colored sheep and every spotted and speckled goat. Such shall be my wages. 33In the future when you go over my wages, let my honesty toward you testify for me: if there are among my goats any that are not speckled or spotted or any sheep that are not dark-colored, they got there by theft.” 34And Laban said, “Very well, let it be as you say.”

35But that same day he removed the streaked and spotted he-goats and all the speckled and spotted she-goats—every one that had white on it—and all the dark-colored sheep, and left them in the charge of his sons. 36And he put a distance of three days’ journey between himself and Jacob, while Jacob was pasturing the rest of Laban’s flock.

37Jacob then got fresh shoots of poplar, and of almond and plane, and peeled white stripes in them, laying bare the white of the shoots. 38The rods that he had peeled he set up in front of the goats in the troughs, the water receptacles, that the goats came to drink from. Their mating occurred when they came to drink, 39and since the goats mated by the rods, the goats brought forth streaked, speckled, and spotted young. 40But Jacob dealt separately with the sheep; he made these animals face the streaked or wholly dark-colored animals in Laban’s flock. And so he produced special flocks for himself, which he did not put with Laban’s flocks. 41Moreover, when the sturdier animals were mating, Jacob would place the rods in the troughs, in full view of the animals, so that they mated by the rods; 42but with the feebler animals he would not place them there. Thus the feeble ones went to Laban and the sturdy to Jacob. 43So the man grew exceedingly prosperous, and came to own large flocks, maidservants and menservants, camels and asses.

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