1 Rachel saw that she could not have children for Jacob, and she became jealous of her sister. She said to Jacob, "Give me children, or I'll die!" 2 Jacob became angry with Rachel and asked, "Can I take the place of God, who has kept you from having children?" 3 She said, "Here's my servant Bilhah. Sleep with her. She can have children for me, and I can build a family for myself through her." 4 So she gave him her slave Bilhah as his wife, and Jacob slept with her. 5 Bilhah became pregnant, and she gave birth to a son for Jacob. 6 Rachel said, "Now God has judged in my favor. He has heard my prayer and has given me a son." So she named him Dan [He Judges]. 7 Rachel's slave Bilhah became pregnant again and gave birth to a second son for Jacob. 8 Rachel said, "I have had a great struggle with my sister, and I have won!" So she named him Naphtali [My Struggle]. 9 When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she took her slave Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as his wife. 10 Leah's slave Zilpah gave birth to a son for Jacob. 11 Leah said, "I've been lucky!" So she called him Gad [Luck]. 12 Leah's slave Zilpah gave birth to her second son for Jacob. 13 Leah said, "I've been blessed! Women will call me blessed." So she named him Asher [Blessing]. 14 During the wheat harvest Reuben went out into the fields and found some mandrakes. He brought them to his mother Leah. Rachel said to Leah, "Please give me some of your son's mandrakes." 15 Leah replied, "Isn't it enough that you took my husband? Are you also going to take my son's mandrakes?" Rachel said, "Very well, Jacob can go to bed with you tonight in return for your son's mandrakes." 16 As Jacob was coming in from the fields that evening, Leah went out to meet him. "You are to sleep with me," she said. "You are my reward for my son's mandrakes." So he went to bed with her that night. 17 God answered Leah's prayer. She became pregnant and gave birth to her fifth son for Jacob. 18 Leah said, "God has given me my reward because I gave my slave to my husband." So she named him Issachar [Reward]. 19 She became pregnant again and gave birth to her sixth son for Jacob. 20 Leah said, "God has presented me with a beautiful present. This time my husband will honor me because I have given him six sons." So she named him Zebulun [Honor]. 21 Later she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah. 22 Then God remembered Rachel. God answered her prayer and made it possible for her to have children. 23 So she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. Then she said, "God has taken away my disgrace." 24 She named him Joseph [May He Give Another] and said, "May the LORD give me another son." 25 After Rachel gave birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, "Let me go home to my own country. 26 Give me my wives and my children for whom I've worked, and let me go. You know how much work I've done for you." 27 Laban replied, "Listen to me. I've learned from the signs I've seen that the LORD has blessed me because of you." 28 So he offered, "Name your wages, and I'll pay them." 29 Jacob responded, "You know how much work I've done for you and what has happened to your livestock under my care. 30 The little that you had before I came has grown to a large amount. The LORD has blessed you wherever I've been. When can I do something for my own family?" 31 Laban asked, "What should I give you?" "Don't give me anything," Jacob answered. "Instead, do something for me, then I'll go back to taking care of and watching your flocks again. 32 Let me go through all of your flocks today and take every speckled or spotted sheep, every black lamb, and every spotted or speckled goat. They will be my wages. 33 My honesty will speak for itself whenever you come to check on my wages. Any goat I have that isn't speckled or spotted or any lamb that isn't black will be considered stolen." 34 Laban answered, "Agreed. We'll do as you've said." 35 However, that same day Laban took out the striped and spotted male goats, all the speckled and spotted female goats (every one with white on it), and every black lamb. He had his sons take charge of them. 36 He traveled three days away from Jacob. Jacob continued to take care of the rest of Laban's flocks. 37 Then Jacob took fresh-cut branches of poplar, almond, and plane trees and peeled the bark on them in strips of white, uncovering the white which was on the branches. 38 He placed the peeled branches in the troughs directly in front of the flocks, at the watering places where the flocks came to drink. When they were in heat and came to drink, 39 they mated in front of the branches. Then they gave birth to young that were striped, speckled, or spotted. 40 Jacob separated the rams from the flock and made the rest of the sheep face any that were striped or black in Laban's flocks. So he made separate herds for himself and did not add them to Laban's flocks. 41 Whenever the stronger of the flocks were in heat, Jacob would lay the branches in the troughs in front of them so that they would mate by the branches. 42 But when the flocks in heat were weak, he didn't lay down the branches. So the weaker ones belonged to Laban and the stronger ones to Jacob. 43 As a result, Jacob became very wealthy. He had large flocks, male and female slaves, camels, and donkeys.
1 Jacob heard that Laban's sons were saying, "Jacob has taken everything that belonged to our father and has gained all his wealth from him." 2 He also noticed that Laban did not appear as friendly to him as before. 3 Then the LORD said to Jacob, "Go back to the land of your ancestors and to your relatives, and I will be with you." 4 So Jacob sent a message to Rachel and Leah to come out to the open country where his flocks were. 5 He said to them, "I have seen that your father isn't as friendly to me as he was before, but the God of my father has been with me. 6 You know that I have worked as hard as I could for your father. 7 Your father has cheated me. He has changed my wages ten times. But God hasn't let him harm me. 8 Whenever he said, 'The speckled ones will be your wages,' all the flocks gave birth to speckled young. And whenever he said, 'The striped ones will be your wages,' all the flocks gave birth to striped young. 9 So God has taken away your father's livestock and has given them to me. 10 "During the mating season I had a dream: I looked up and saw that the male goats which were mating were striped, speckled, or spotted. 11 In the dream the Messenger of God called to me, 'Jacob!' And I answered, 'Yes, here I am.' 12 He said, 'Look up and see that all the male goats which are mating are striped, speckled, or spotted, because I have seen everything that Laban is doing to you. 13 I am the God who appeared to you at Bethel, where you poured olive oil on a stone marker for a holy purpose and where you made a vow to me. Now leave this land, and go back to the land of your relatives.'" 14 Rachel and Leah answered him, "Is there anything left in our father's household for us to inherit? 15 Doesn't he think of us as foreigners? Not only did he sell us, but he has used up the money that was paid for us. 16 Certainly, all the wealth that God took away from our father belongs to us and our children. Now do whatever God has told you." 17 Then Jacob put his children and his wives on camels. 18 He drove all his livestock ahead of him and took all the possessions that he had accumulated. He took his own livestock that he had accumulated in Paddan Aram and went back to his father Isaac in Canaan. 19 When Laban went to shear his sheep, Rachel stole her father's idols. 20 Jacob also tricked Laban the Aramean by not telling him he was leaving. 21 So he left in a hurry with all that belonged to him. He crossed the Euphrates River and went toward the mountains of Gilead. 22 Two days later Laban was told that Jacob had left in a hurry. 23 He and his relatives pursued Jacob for seven days. Laban caught up with him in the mountains of Gilead. 24 God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night and said to him, "Be careful not to say anything at all to Jacob." 25 When Laban finally caught up with Jacob, Jacob had put up his tents in the mountains. So Laban and his relatives put up their tents in the mountains of Gilead. 26 Then Laban asked Jacob, "What have you done by tricking me? You've carried off my daughters like prisoners of war. 27 Why did you leave secretly and trick me? You didn't even tell me you were leaving. I would have sent you on your way rejoicing, with songs accompanied by tambourines and lyres. 28 You didn't even let me kiss my grandchildren and my daughters. You've done a foolish thing. 29 I have the power to harm you. Last night the God of your father said to me, 'Be careful not to say anything at all to Jacob.' 30 Now you have left for your father's home because you were so homesick. But why did you steal my gods?" 31 Jacob answered Laban, "I left because I was afraid. I thought you would take your daughters away from me by force. 32 If you find your gods, the one who has them will not be allowed to live. In the presence of our relatives, search as much as you want through what I have, and take what is yours." (Jacob didn't know that Rachel had stolen the gods.) 33 So Laban went into Jacob's tent, into Leah's tent, and into the tent of the two slaves. But he found nothing. He came out of Leah's tent and went into Rachel's tent. 34 Rachel had taken the idols and had put them in her camel's saddle-bag and was sitting on them. Laban rummaged through the whole tent but found nothing. 35 Rachel said to her father, "Don't be angry, Father, but I can't get up to greet you; I'm having my period." So even though Laban had made a thorough search, he didn't find the idols. 36 Then Jacob became angry and confronted Laban. "What is my crime?" Jacob demanded of Laban. "What is my offense that you have come chasing after me? 37 Now that you've rummaged through all my things, did you find anything from your house? Put it here in front of all our relatives. Let them decide which one of us is right. 38 "I've been with you for 20 years. Your sheep and goats never miscarried, and I never ate any rams from your flocks. 39 I never brought you any of the flock that was killed by wild animals. I paid for the loss myself. That's what you demanded of me when any of the flock was stolen during the day or at night. 40 The scorching heat during the day and the cold at night wore me down, and I lost a lot of sleep. 41 I've been with your household 20 years now. I worked for you 14 years for your two daughters and 6 years for your flocks, and you changed my wages ten times. 42 If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, you would have sent me away empty-handed by now. God has seen my misery and hard work, and last night he made it right." 43 Then Laban answered Jacob, "These are my daughters, my grandchildren, and my flocks. Everything you see is mine! Yet, what can I do today for my daughters or for their children? 44 Now, let's make an agreement and let it stand as a witness between you and me." 45 Jacob took a stone and set it up as a marker. 46 Then Jacob said to his relatives, "Gather some stones." They took stones, put them into a pile, and ate there by the pile of stones. 47 [In his language] Laban called it Jegar Sahadutha [Witness Pile], but Jacob called it Galeed. 48 Laban said, "This pile of stones stands as a witness between you and me today." This is why it was named Galeed 49 and also Mizpah [Watchtower], because he said, "May the LORD watch between you and me when we're unable to see each other. 50 If you mistreat my daughters or marry other women behind my back, remember that God stands as a witness between you and me." 51 Laban said to Jacob, "Here is the pile of stones, and here is the marker that I have set up between you and me. 52 This pile of stones and this marker stand as witnesses that I will not go past the pile of stones to harm you, and that you will not go past the pile of stones or marker to harm me. 53 May the God of Abraham and Nahor--the God of their father--judge between us." So Jacob swore this oath by the Fear of his father Isaac 54 and offered a sacrifice on the mountain. He invited his relatives to eat the meal with him. They ate with him and spent the night on the mountain. 55 Early the next morning Laban kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them. Then Laban left and went back home.