The Sons of Jacob
1 When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister, and said to Jacob, Give me children, or else I will die! 2 And Jacob became very angry with Rachel and he said, Am I in God's stead, Who has denied you children? 3 And she said, See here, take my maid Bilhah and have intercourse with her; and [when the baby comes] she shall deliver it upon my knees, that I by her may also have children. 4 And she gave him Bilhah her maid as a [secondary] wife, and Jacob had intercourse with her. 5 And Bilhah became pregnant and bore Jacob a son. 6 And Rachel said, God has judged and vindicated me, and has heard my plea and has given me a son; so she named him Dan [judged]. 7 And Bilhah, Rachel's maid, conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. 8 And Rachel said, With mighty wrestlings [in prayer to God] I have struggled with my sister and have prevailed; so she named him [this second son Bilhah bore] Naphtali [struggled].
9 When Leah saw that she had ceased to bear, she gave Zilpah her maid to Jacob as a [secondary] wife. 10 And Zilpah, Leah's maid, bore Jacob a son. 11 Then Leah said, Victory and good fortune have come; and she named him Gad [fortune]. 12 Zilpah, Leah's maid, bore Jacob [her] second son. 13 And Leah said, I am happy, for women will call me blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied); and she named him Asher [happy].
14 Now Reuben went at the time of wheat harvest and found some mandrakes (love apples) in the field and brought them to his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, Give me, I pray you, some of your son's mandrakes. 15 But [Leah] answered, Is it not enough that you have taken my husband without your taking away my son's mandrakes also? And Rachel said, Jacob shall sleep with you tonight [in exchange] for your son's mandrakes. 16 And Jacob came out of the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him and said, You must sleep with me [tonight], for I have certainly paid your hire with my son's mandrakes. So he slept with her that night. 17 And God heeded Leah's [prayer], and she conceived and bore Jacob [her] fifth son. 18 Leah said, God has given me my hire, because I have given my maid to my husband; and she called his name Issachar [hired]. 19 And Leah became pregnant again and bore Jacob [her] sixth son. 20 Then Leah said, God has endowed me with a good marriage gift [for my husband]; now will he dwell with me [and regard me as his wife in reality], because I have borne him six sons; and she named him Zebulun [dwelling]. 21 Afterwards she bore a daughter and called her Dinah.
22 Then God remembered Rachel and answered her pleading and made it possible for her to have children. 23 And [now for the first time] she became pregnant and bore a son; and she said, God has taken away my reproach, disgrace, and humiliation. 24 And she called his name Joseph [may he add] and said, May the Lord add to me another son.
25 When Rachel had borne Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, Send me away, that I may go to my own place and country. 26 Give me my wives and my children, for whom I have served you, and let me go; for you know the work which I have done for you. 27 And Laban said to him, If I have found favor in your sight, I pray you [do not go]; for I have learned by experience and from the omens in divination that the Lord has favored me with blessings on your account. 28 He said, State your salary and I will give it. 29 Jacob answered him, You know how I have served you, and how your possessions, your cattle and sheep and goats, have fared with me. 30 For you had little before I came, and it has increased and multiplied abundantly; and the Lord has favored you with blessings wherever I turned. But now, when shall I provide for my own house also? 31 [Laban] said, What shall I give you? And Jacob said, You shall not give me anything, if you will do this one thing for me [of which I am about to tell you], and I will again feed and take care of your flock. 32 Let me pass through all your flock today, removing from it every speckled and spotted animal and every black one among the sheep, and the spotted and speckled among the goats; and such shall be my wages. 33 So later when the matter of my wages is brought before you, my fair dealing will be evident and answer for me. Every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats and black among the sheep, if found with me, shall be counted as stolen. 34 And Laban said, Good; let it be done as you say. 35 But that same day [Laban] removed the he-goats that were streaked and spotted and all the she-goats that were speckled and spotted, every one that had white on it, and every black lamb, and put them in charge of his sons. 36 And he set [a distance of] three days' journey between himself and Jacob; and Jacob was then left in care of the rest of Laban's flock.
37 But Jacob took fresh rods of poplar and almond and plane trees and peeled white streaks in them, exposing the white in the rods. 38 Then he set the rods which he had peeled in front of the flocks in the watering troughs where the flocks came to drink. And since they bred and conceived when they came to drink, 39 The flocks bred and conceived in sight of the rods and brought forth lambs and kids streaked, speckled, and spotted. 40 Jacob separated the lambs, and [as he had done with the peeled rods] he also set the faces of the flocks toward the streaked and all the dark in the [new] flock of Laban; and he put his own droves by themselves and did not let them breed with Laban's flock. 41 And whenever the stronger animals were breeding, Jacob laid the rods in the watering troughs before the eyes of the flock, that they might breed and conceive among the rods. 42 But when the sheep and goats were feeble, he omitted putting the rods there; so the feebler animals were Laban's and the stronger Jacob's. 43 Thus the man increased and became exceedingly rich, and had many sheep and goats, and maidservants, menservants, camels, and donkeys.