Genesis 30
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1  When Rachel saw that she had borne Yaakov no children, she became envious of her sister; and Rachel said to Yaakov, “Give me children, or I shall die.”

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

2  Yaakov was incensed at Rachel, and said, “Can I take the place of Hashem, who has denied you fruit of the womb?”

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

3  She said, “Here is my maid Bilha. Consort with her, that she may bear on my knees and that through her I too may have children.”

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

4  So she gave him her maid Bilha as concubine, and Yaakov cohabited with her.

ד  וַתִּתֶּן־לוֹ אֶת־בִּלְהָה שִׁפְחָתָהּ לְאִשָּׁה וַיָּבֹא אֵלֶיהָ יַעֲקֹב׃

5  Bilha conceived and bore Yaakov a son.

ה  וַתַּהַר בִּלְהָה וַתֵּלֶד לְיַעֲקֹב בֵּן׃

6  And Rachel said, “Hashem has vindicated me; indeed, He has heeded my plea and given me a son.” Therefore she named him Dan.

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

7  Rachel’s maid Bilha conceived again and bore Yaakov a second son.

ז  וַתַּהַר עוֹד וַתֵּלֶד בִּלְהָה שִׁפְחַת רָחֵל בֵּן שֵׁנִי לְיַעֲקֹב׃

8  And Rachel said, “A fateful contest I waged with my sister; yes, and I have prevailed.” So she named him Naftali.

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

9  When Leah saw that she had stopped bearing, she took her maid Zilpa and gave her to Yaakov as concubine.

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

10  And when Leah’s maid Zilpa bore Yaakov a son,

י  וַתֵּלֶד זִלְפָּה שִׁפְחַת לֵאָה לְיַעֲקֹב בֵּן׃

11  Leah said, “What luck!” So she named him Gad.

יא  וַתֹּאמֶר לֵאָה בגד [בָּא] [גָד] וַתִּקְרָא אֶת־שְׁמוֹ גָּד׃

12  When Leah’s maid Zilpa bore Yaakov a second son,

יב  וַתֵּלֶד זִלְפָּה שִׁפְחַת לֵאָה בֵּן שֵׁנִי לְיַעֲקֹב׃

13  Leah declared, “What fortune!” meaning, “Women will deem me fortunate.” So she named him Asher.

יג  וַתֹּאמֶר לֵאָה בְּאָשְׁרִי כִּי אִשְּׁרוּנִי בָּנוֹת וַתִּקְרָא אֶת־שְׁמוֹ אָשֵׁר׃

14  Once, at the time of the wheat harvest, Reuven 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.”

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

15  But 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.”

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

16  When Yaakov 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.

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

17  Hashem heeded Leah, and she conceived and bore him a fifth son.

יז  וַיִּשְׁמַע אֱלֹהִים אֶל־לֵאָה וַתַּהַר וַתֵּלֶד לְיַעֲקֹב בֵּן חֲמִישִׁי׃

18  And Leah said, “Hashem has given me my reward for having given my maid to my husband.” So she named him Yissachar.

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

19  When Leah conceived again and bore Yaakov a sixth son,

יט  וַתַּהַר עוֹד לֵאָה וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן־שִׁשִּׁי לְּיַעֲקֹב׃

20  Leah said, “Hashem has given me a choice gift; this time my husband will exalt me, for I have borne him six sons.” So she named him Zevulun.

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

21  Last, she bore him a daughter, and named her Dina.

כא  וְאַחַר יָלְדָה בַּת וַתִּקְרָא אֶת־שְׁמָהּ דִּינָה׃

22  Now Hashem remembered Rachel; Hashem heeded her and opened her womb.

כב  וַיִּזְכֹּר אֱלֹהִים אֶת־רָחֵל וַיִּשְׁמַע אֵלֶיהָ אֱלֹהִים וַיִּפְתַּח אֶת־רַחְמָהּ׃

23  She conceived and bore a son, and said, “Hashem has taken away my disgrace.”

כג  וַתַּהַר וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן וַתֹּאמֶר אָסַף אֱלֹהִים אֶת־חֶרְפָּתִי׃

24  So she named him Yosef, which is to say, “May Hashem add another son for me.”

כד  וַתִּקְרָא אֶת־שְׁמוֹ יוֹסֵף לֵאמֹר יֹסֵף יְהוָה לִי בֵּן אַחֵר׃

25  After Rachel had borne Yosef, Yaakov said to Laban, “Give me leave to go back to my own homeland.

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 ul-ar-TZEE

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

30:25   To go back to my own homeland

Once Rachel has finally been blessed with a son, YosefYaakov concludes that his time in exile has ended and he begins to prepare to return to the Land of Israel. Later in the Bible, Rashi explains that Yosef is referred to as a “flame” who will extinguish Esau who “shall be straw” (Obadiah 1:18).  Once Esau’s defeater is born, Yaakov is free to return to the Land of Israel, from which he fled out of fear of Esau.  The birth of Yosef reinforces Yaakov’s faith in Hashem and urges him to return home.  Yaakov understands that his “own homeland” is only in Eretz Yisrael.1 comment

26  Give 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.”

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

27  But Laban said to him, “If you will indulge me, I have learned by divination that Hashem has blessed me on your account.”

כז  וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו לָבָן אִם־נָא מָצָאתִי חֵן בְּעֵינֶיךָ נִחַשְׁתִּי וַיְבָרֲכֵנִי יְהוָה בִּגְלָלֶךָ׃

28  And he continued, “Name the wages due from me, and I will pay you.”

כח  וַיֹּאמַר נָקְבָה שְׂכָרְךָ עָלַי וְאֶתֵּנָה׃

29  But he said, “You know well how I have served you and how your livestock has fared with me.

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

30  For the little you had before I came has grown to much, since Hashem has blessed you wherever I turned. And now, when shall I make provision for my own household?”

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

31  He said, “What shall I pay you?” And Yaakov said, “Pay me nothing! If you will do this thing for me, I will again pasture and keep your flocks:

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

32  let 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.

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

33  In 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.”

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

34  And Laban said, “Very well, let it be as you say.”

לד  וַיֹּאמֶר לָבָן הֵן לוּ יְהִי כִדְבָרֶךָ׃

35  But 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.

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 put a distance of three days’ journey between himself and Yaakov, while Yaakov was pasturing the rest of Laban’s flock.

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

37  Yaakov then got fresh shoots of poplar, and of almond and plane, and peeled white stripes in them, laying bare the white of the shoots.

לז  וַיִּקַּח־לוֹ יַעֲקֹב מַקַּל לִבְנֶה לַח וְלוּז וְעֶרְמוֹן וַיְפַצֵּל בָּהֵן פְּצָלוֹת לְבָנוֹת מַחְשֹׂף הַלָּבָן אֲשֶׁר עַל־הַמַּקְלוֹת׃

38  The 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,

לח  וַיַּצֵּג אֶת־הַמַּקְלוֹת אֲשֶׁר פִּצֵּל בָּרֳהָטִים בְּשִׁקֲתוֹת הַמָּיִם אֲשֶׁר תָּבֹאןָ הַצֹּאן לִשְׁתּוֹת לְנֹכַח הַצֹּאן וַיֵּחַמְנָה בְּבֹאָן לִשְׁתּוֹת׃

39  and since the goats mated by the rods, the goats brought forth streaked, speckled, and spotted young.

לט  וַיֶּחֱמוּ הַצֹּאן אֶל־הַמַּקְלוֹת וַתֵּלַדְןָ הַצֹּאן עֲקֻדִּים נְקֻדִּים וּטְלֻאִים׃

40  But Yaakov 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.

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

41  Moreover, when the sturdier animals were mating, Yaakov would place the rods in the troughs, in full view of the animals, so that they mated by the rods;

מא  וְהָיָה בְּכָל־יַחֵם הַצֹּאן הַמְקֻשָּׁרוֹת וְשָׂם יַעֲקֹב אֶת־הַמַּקְלוֹת לְעֵינֵי הַצֹּאן בָּרֳהָטִים לְיַחְמֵנָּה בַּמַּקְלוֹת׃

42  but with the feebler animals he would not place them there. Thus the feeble ones went to Laban and the sturdy to Yaakov.

מב  וּבְהַעֲטִיף הַצֹּאן לֹא יָשִׂים וְהָיָה הָעֲטֻפִים לְלָבָן וְהַקְּשֻׁרִים לְיַעֲקֹב׃

43  So the man grew exceedingly prosperous, and came to own large flocks, maidservants and menservants, camels and asses.

 

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

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Genesis 29
Genesis 31

Comments ( 5 )

The comments below do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and opinions of The Israel Bible™.

  • 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".
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    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.
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    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.
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    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

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