Genesis 30
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1  And when Rachel saw that she bore Yaakov no children, Rachel envied her sister; and she said unto Yaakov: ‘Give me children, or else I die.’

א  וַתֵּרֶא רָחֵל כִּי לֹא יָלְדָה לְיַעֲקֹב וַתְּקַנֵּא רָחֵל בַּאֲחֹתָהּ וַתֹּאמֶר אֶל יַעֲקֹב הָבָה לִּי בָנִים וְאִם אַיִן מֵתָה אָנֹכִי.

2  And Yaakovs anger was kindled against Rachel; and he said: ‘Am I in God’s stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?’

ב  וַיִּחַר אַף יַעֲקֹב בְּרָחֵל וַיֹּאמֶר הֲתַחַת אֱלֹהִים אָנֹכִי אֲשֶׁר מָנַע מִמֵּךְ פְּרִי בָטֶן.

3  And she said: ‘Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her; that she may bear upon my knees, and I also may be builded up through her.’

ג  וַתֹּאמֶר הִנֵּה אֲמָתִי בִלְהָה בֹּא אֵלֶיהָ וְתֵלֵד עַל בִּרְכַּי וְאִבָּנֶה גַם אָנֹכִי מִמֶּנָּה.

4  And she gave him Bilhah her handmaid to wife; and Yaakov went in unto her.

ד  וַתִּתֶּן לוֹ אֶת בִּלְהָה שִׁפְחָתָהּ לְאִשָּׁה וַיָּבֹא אֵלֶיהָ יַעֲקֹב.

5  And Bilhah conceived, and bore Yaakov a son.

ה  וַתַּהַר בִּלְהָה וַתֵּלֶד לְיַעֲקֹב בֵּן.

6  And Rachel said: ‘God hath judged me, and hath also heard my voice, and hath given me a son.’ Therefore called she his name Dan.

ו  וַתֹּאמֶר רָחֵל דָּנַנִּי אֱלֹהִים וְגַם שָׁמַע בְּקֹלִי וַיִּתֶּן לִי בֵּן עַל כֵּן קָרְאָה שְׁמוֹ דָּן.

7  And Bilhah Rachels handmaid conceived again, and bore Yaakov a second son.

ז  וַתַּהַר עוֹד וַתֵּלֶד בִּלְהָה שִׁפְחַת רָחֵל בֵּן שֵׁנִי לְיַעֲקֹב.

8  And Rachel said: ‘With mighty wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and have prevailed.’ And she called his name Naftali.

ח  וַתֹּאמֶר רָחֵל נַפְתּוּלֵי אֱלֹהִים נִפְתַּלְתִּי עִם אֲחֹתִי גַּם יָכֹלְתִּי וַתִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ נַפְתָּלִי.

9  When Leah saw that she had left off bearing, she took Zilpah her handmaid, and gave her to Yaakov to wife.

ט  וַתֵּרֶא לֵאָה כִּי עָמְדָה מִלֶּדֶת וַתִּקַּח אֶת זִלְפָּה שִׁפְחָתָהּ וַתִּתֵּן אֹתָהּ לְיַעֲקֹב לְאִשָּׁה.

10  And Zilpah Leah’s handmaid bore Yaakov a son.

י  וַתֵּלֶד זִלְפָּה שִׁפְחַת לֵאָה לְיַעֲקֹב בֵּן.

11  And Leah said: ‘Fortune is come!’ And she called his name Gad.

יא  וַתֹּאמֶר לֵאָה בגד (בָּא גָד) וַתִּקְרָא אֶת שְׁמוֹ גָּד.

12  And Zilpah Leah’s handmaid bore Yaakov a second son.

יב  וַתֵּלֶד זִלְפָּה שִׁפְחַת לֵאָה בֵּן שֵׁנִי לְיַעֲקֹב.

13  And Leah said: ‘Happy am I! for the daughters will call me happy.’ And she called his name Asher.

יג  וַתֹּאמֶר לֵאָה בְּאָשְׁרִי כִּי אִשְּׁרוּנִי בָּנוֹת וַתִּקְרָא אֶת שְׁמוֹ אָשֵׁר.

14  And Reuven went in the days of wheat harvest, and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them unto his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah: ‘Give me, I pray thee, of thy son’s mandrakes.’

יד  וַיֵּלֶךְ רְאוּבֵן בִּימֵי קְצִיר חִטִּים וַיִּמְצָא דוּדָאִים בַּשָּׂדֶה וַיָּבֵא אֹתָם אֶל לֵאָה אִמּוֹ וַתֹּאמֶר רָחֵל אֶל לֵאָה תְּנִי נָא לִי מִדּוּדָאֵי בְּנֵךְ.

15  And she said unto her: ‘Is it a small matter that thou hast taken away my husband? and wouldest thou take away my son’s mandrakes also?’ And Rachel said: ‘Therefore he shall lie with thee to-night for thy son’s mandrakes.’

טו  וַתֹּאמֶר לָהּ הַמְעַט קַחְתֵּךְ אֶת אִישִׁי וְלָקַחַת גַּם אֶת דּוּדָאֵי בְּנִי וַתֹּאמֶר רָחֵל לָכֵן יִשְׁכַּב עִמָּךְ הַלַּיְלָה תַּחַת דּוּדָאֵי בְנֵךְ.

16  And Yaakov came from the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and said: ‘Thou must come in unto me; for I have surely hired thee with my son’s mandrakes.’ And he lay with her that night.

טז  וַיָּבֹא יַעֲקֹב מִן הַשָּׂדֶה בָּעֶרֶב וַתֵּצֵא לֵאָה לִקְרָאתוֹ וַתֹּאמֶר אֵלַי תָּבוֹא כִּי שָׂכֹר שְׂכַרְתִּיךָ בְּדוּדָאֵי בְּנִי וַיִּשְׁכַּב עִמָּהּ בַּלַּיְלָה הוּא.

17  And God hearkened unto Leah, and she conceived, and bore Yaakov a fifth son.

יז  וַיִּשְׁמַע אֱלֹהִים אֶל לֵאָה וַתַּהַר וַתֵּלֶד לְיַעֲקֹב בֵּן חֲמִישִׁי.

18  And Leah said: ‘God hath given me my hire, because I gave my handmaid to my husband. And she called his name Yissachar.

יח  וַתֹּאמֶר לֵאָה נָתַן אֱלֹהִים שְׂכָרִי אֲשֶׁר נָתַתִּי שִׁפְחָתִי לְאִישִׁי וַתִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ יִשָּׂשכָר.

19  And Leah conceived again, and bore a sixth son to Yaakov.

יט  וַתַּהַר עוֹד לֵאָה וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן שִׁשִּׁי לְיַעֲקֹב.

20  And Leah said: ‘God hath endowed me with a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have borne him six sons.’ And she called his name Zevulun.

כ  וַתֹּאמֶר לֵאָה זְבָדַנִי אֱלֹהִים אֹתִי זֵבֶד טוֹב הַפַּעַם יִזְבְּלֵנִי אִישִׁי כִּי יָלַדְתִּי לוֹ שִׁשָּׁה בָנִים וַתִּקְרָא אֶת שְׁמוֹ זְבֻלוּן.

21  And afterwards she bore a daughter, and called her name Dinah.

כא  וְאַחַר יָלְדָה בַּת וַתִּקְרָא אֶת שְׁמָהּ דִּינָה.

22  And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb.

כב  וַיִּזְכֹּר אֱלֹהִים אֶת רָחֵל וַיִּשְׁמַע אֵלֶיהָ אֱלֹהִים וַיִּפְתַּח אֶת רַחְמָהּ.

23  And she conceived, and bore a son, and said: ‘God hath taken away my reproach.’

כג  וַתַּהַר וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן וַתֹּאמֶר אָסַף אֱלֹהִים אֶת חֶרְפָּתִי.

24  And she called his name Yosef, saying: ‘Hashem add to me another son.’

כד  וַתִּקְרָא אֶת שְׁמוֹ יוֹסֵף לֵאמֹר יֹסֵף יְהוָה לִי בֵּן אַחֵר.

25  And it came to pass, when Rachel had borne Yosef, that Yaakov said unto Lavan: ‘Send me away, that I may go unto mine own place, and to my country.

vai-HEE ka-a-SHER ya-l’-DAH ra-KHAYL et yo-SAYF va-YO-mer ya-a-KOV el la-VAN sha-l’-KHAY-nee v’-ay-l’-KHAH el m’-ko-MEE u-l’-ar-TZEE

כה  וַיְהִי כַּאֲשֶׁר יָלְדָה רָחֵל אֶת יוֹסֵף וַיֹּאמֶר יַעֲקֹב אֶל לָבָן שַׁלְּחֵנִי וְאֵלְכָה אֶל מְקוֹמִי וּלְאַרְצִי.

30:25   That I may go unto mine own place

When Rachel is finally blessed with a son, Joseph, Jacob concludes that his time in exile has ended and he begins to return to the Land of IsraelJoseph is referred to as a “flame” that will extinguish Esau, “a house of straw” (Obadiah 1:18).  Once Esau’s adversary is born, Jacob is free to return to the Land of Israel from which he fled out of fear of Esau.  The birth of Joseph reinforced Jacob’s faith in God and urged him to return home.

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26  Give me my wives and my children for whom I have served thee, and let me go; for thou knowest my service wherewith I have served thee.’

כו  תְּנָה אֶת נָשַׁי וְאֶת יְלָדַי אֲשֶׁר עָבַדְתִּי אֹתְךָ בָּהֵן וְאֵלֵכָה כִּי אַתָּה יָדַעְתָּ אֶת עֲבֹדָתִי אֲשֶׁר עֲבַדְתִּיךָ.

27  And Lavan said unto him: ‘If now I have found favour in thine eyes–I have observed the signs, and Hashem hath blessed me for thy sake.’

כז  וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו לָבָן אִם נָא מָצָאתִי חֵן בְּעֵינֶיךָ נִחַשְׁתִּי וַיְבָרְכֵנִי יְהוָה בִּגְלָלֶךָ.

28  And he said: ‘Appoint me thy wages, and I will give it.’

כח  וַיֹּאמַר נָקְבָה שְׂכָרְךָ עָלַי וְאֶתֵּנָה.

29  And he said unto him: ‘Thou knowest how I have served thee, and how thy cattle have fared with me.

כט  וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו אַתָּה יָדַעְתָּ אֵת אֲשֶׁר עֲבַדְתִּיךָ וְאֵת אֲשֶׁר הָיָה מִקְנְךָ אִתִּי.

30  For it was little which thou hadst before I came, and it hath increased abundantly; and Hashem hath blessed thee whithersoever I turned. And now when shall I provide for mine own house also?’

ל  כִּי מְעַט אֲשֶׁר הָיָה לְךָ לְפָנַי וַיִּפְרֹץ לָרֹב וַיְבָרֶךְ יְהוָה אֹתְךָ לְרַגְלִי וְעַתָּה מָתַי אֶעֱשֶׂה גַם אָנֹכִי לְבֵיתִי.

31  And he said: ‘What shall I give thee?’ And Yaakov said: ‘Thou shalt not give me aught; if thou wilt do this thing for me, I will again feed thy flock and keep it.

לא  וַיֹּאמֶר מָה אֶתֶּן לָךְ וַיֹּאמֶר יַעֲקֹב לֹא תִתֶּן לִי מְאוּמָה אִם תַּעֲשֶׂה לִּי הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה אָשׁוּבָה אֶרְעֶה צֹאנְךָ אֶשְׁמֹר.

32  I will pass through all thy flock to-day, removing from thence every speckled and spotted one, and every dark one among the sheep, and the spotted and speckled among the goats; and of such shall be my hire.

לב  אֶעֱבֹר בְּכָל צֹאנְךָ הַיּוֹם הָסֵר מִשָּׁם כָּל שֶׂה נָקֹד וְטָלוּא וְכָל שֶׂה חוּם בַּכְּשָׂבִים וְטָלוּא וְנָקֹד בָּעִזִּים וְהָיָה שְׂכָרִי.

33  So shall my righteousness witness against me hereafter, when thou shalt come to look over my hire that is before thee: every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats, and dark among the sheep, that if found with me shall be counted stolen.’

לג  וְעָנְתָה בִּי צִדְקָתִי בְּיוֹם מָחָר כִּי תָבוֹא עַל שְׂכָרִי לְפָנֶיךָ כֹּל אֲשֶׁר אֵינֶנּוּ נָקֹד וְטָלוּא בָּעִזִּים וְחוּם בַּכְּשָׂבִים גָּנוּב הוּא אִתִּי.

34  And Lavan said: ‘Behold, would it might be according to thy word.’

לד  וַיֹּאמֶר לָבָן הֵן לוּ יְהִי כִדְבָרֶךָ.

35  And he removed that day the he-goats that were streaked and spotted, and all the she-goats that were speckled and spotted, every one that had white in it, and all the dark ones among the sheep, and gave them into the hand of his sons.

לה  וַיָּסַר בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא אֶת הַתְּיָשִׁים הָעֲקֻדִּים וְהַטְּלֻאִים וְאֵת כָּל הָעִזִּים הַנְּקֻדּוֹת וְהַטְּלֻאֹת כֹּל אֲשֶׁר לָבָן בּוֹ וְכָל חוּם בַּכְּשָׂבִים וַיִּתֵּן בְּיַד בָּנָיו.

36  And he set three days’ journey betwixt himself and Yaakov. And Yaakov fed the rest of Lavans flocks.

לו  וַיָּשֶׂם דֶּרֶךְ שְׁלֹשֶׁת יָמִים בֵּינוֹ וּבֵין יַעֲקֹב וְיַעֲקֹב רֹעֶה אֶת צֹאן לָבָן הַנּוֹתָרֹת.

37  And Yaakov took him rods of fresh poplar, and of the almond and of the plane-tree; and peeled white streaks in them, making the white appear which was in the rods.

לז  וַיִּקַּח לוֹ יַעֲקֹב מַקַּל לִבְנֶה לַח וְלוּז וְעַרְמוֹן וַיְפַצֵּל בָּהֵן פְּצָלוֹת לְבָנוֹת מַחְשֹׂף הַלָּבָן אֲשֶׁר עַל הַמַּקְלוֹת.

38  And he set the rods which he had peeled over against the flocks in the gutters in the watering-troughs where the flocks came to drink; and they conceived when they came to drink.

לח  וַיַּצֵּג אֶת הַמַּקְלוֹת אֲשֶׁר פִּצֵּל בָּרְהָטִים בְּשִׁקְתוֹת הַמָּיִם אֲשֶׁר תָּבֹאןָ הַצֹּאן לִשְׁתּוֹת לְנֹכַח הַצֹּאן וַיֵּחַמְנָה בְּבֹאָן לִשְׁתּוֹת.

39  And the flocks conceived at the sight of the rods, and the flocks brought forth streaked, speckled, and spotted.

לט  וַיֶּחֱמוּ הַצֹּאן אֶל הַמַּקְלוֹת וַתֵּלַדְןָ הַצֹּאן עֲקֻדִּים נְקֻדִּים וּטְלֻאִים.

40  And Yaakov separated the lambs–he also set the faces of the flocks toward the streaked and all the dark in the flock of Lavan–and put his own droves apart, and put them not unto Lavans flock.

מ  וְהַכְּשָׂבִים הִפְרִיד יַעֲקֹב וַיִּתֵּן פְּנֵי הַצֹּאן אֶל עָקֹד וְכָל חוּם בְּצֹאן לָבָן וַיָּשֶׁת לוֹ עֲדָרִים לְבַדּוֹ וְלֹא שָׁתָם עַל צֹאן לָבָן.

41  And it came to pass, whensoever the stronger of the flock did conceive, that Yaakov laid the rods before the eyes of the flock in the gutters, that they might conceive among the rods;

מא  וְהָיָה בְּכָל יַחֵם הַצֹּאן הַמְקֻשָּׁרוֹת וְשָׂם יַעֲקֹב אֶת הַמַּקְלוֹת לְעֵינֵי הַצֹּאן בָּרְהָטִים לְיַחְמֵנָּה בַּמַּקְלוֹת.

42  but when the flock were feeble, he put them not in; so the feebler were Lavans, and the stronger Yaakovs.

מב  וּבְהַעֲטִיף הַצֹּאן לֹא יָשִׂים וְהָיָה הָעֲטֻפִים לְלָבָן וְהַקְּשֻׁרִים לְיַעֲקֹב.

43  And the man increased exceedingly, and had large flocks, and maid-servants and men-servants, and camels and asses.

מג  וַיִּפְרֹץ הָאִישׁ מְאֹד מְאֹד וַיְהִי לוֹ צֹאן רַבּוֹת וּשְׁפָחוֹת וַעֲבָדִים וּגְמַלִּים וַחֲמֹרִים.

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  • I can't begin to explain Jacob's method of growing his personal flock. Yet, it is quite obvious Jacob was no "dummy" when it came to shepherding. It's also very obvious Laban is his greedy old self, which makes him no match for Jacob. Most of the sheep in a flock are strong and solid color. If left alone to mate, the speckled ones would be fewer and weaker. When Jacob named his wages, Laban was very likely seeing dollar signs in his eyes. As it turns out, Jacob's ritual with the sheep creates a huge windfall of profit for Jacob. I've heard it said, "what goes around comes around". Laban got just due for HIS deception against Jacob and was beaten by his own game. There is one obvious conclusion in this matter. If Jacob really was a deceiver, Hashem would never have blessed him as He did.

  • There are some that assume the apparent dysfunction among Jacob's wives was "deception". This concept is incorrect, and one borne out of the general bashing of Jacob "deceiver".
    It's correct to assume Leah felt honored by bearing six sons and a daughter. It's also obvious Rachael felt dishonored by being barren. The problem is NOT deception. It's jealousy on the part of both sisters. It was like a contest between them. We need to quit bashing Jacob. My heart goes out for any man that can put up with that and still retain a semblance of sanity. In so doing, Jacob has a "leg up" on anything coming his way.

  • Our commentator, in v. 25, refers to Yosef as a “flame” that will extinguish Esau, “a house of straw”. He is absolutely correct in this statement. However, the truth goes a lot deeper. In combination with v. 26, the "Aleph/Tav" symbol appears Joseph, before his wives and children, and before his faithful service. As I have mentioned in other comments, Joseph, in the family of Jacob, is a type of the Messiah. Prophetically, his life looks forward and speaks of a Messiah Who would come from the lineage of David and offer salvation to ALL the families of the earth–Jew, sojourner, and alien alike. His very Name is Salvation.

  • Jacob chose the speckled and spotted sheep of Laban's flocks. It should be noted these are usually inferior and weak–"black sheep" of the family, if you will. The pure colored sheep were considered most valuable and strong. Jacob took what was weak and inferior and created value and strength, while Laban's "pure" sheep became weak and of less value.
    Take this information and apply a spiritual spin on it for us today. Because of the sin of Adam, all men are born into sin and hopelessly lost–inferior and weak. However, as did Jacob, our spotted and speckled blemishes notwithstanding, our Messiah chooses us. He made Himself a sacrifice for us and transforms us to His image, if we'll just believe in Him. Then, with the care of a Gentle Shepherd, He cares for and nurtures us, endowing us with His strength and value.
    Therefore, don't worry if you're inferior and weak in the eyes of the "pure" sheep. Your spots and speckles only prove you're a child of Jacob–Israel. Baruch HaShem

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Genesis 30