The Great Baby-Making Contest Continues
And when Rachel saw
that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto
Jacob, Give me children, or else I die.
And Jacob's anger was kindled against Rachel: and he said, Am I in God's
stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?
(30:1-24) Jacob's wives and concubines compete to the have the most babies,
with God inspecting, opening, and closing wombs, as required.
(30:1-2) Give me children or else I die.
Rachel tells Jacob she will die if she can't have babies.
(Jacob says, Don't talk to me about it, talk to God.)
And she said, Behold my
maid Bilhah, go in unto her; and she shall bear upon my knees, that I may also have
children by her.
(30:3) Behold my maid Bilhah, Go in unto her.
But luckily she has an idea. She says to
Jacob, "Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her." She solved the problem
the same way Sarah did in 16:2.
And she gave him Bilhah her handmaid to wife: and Jacob went in unto her.
And Bilhah conceived, and bare Jacob a son.
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.
(30:4-6) And Jacob went in unto her.
So Jacob has sex with Bilhah, who has a son named Dan. (These arrangements seldom produce daughters.
See v. 21 for a rare exception.)
And Bilhah Rachel's maid conceived again, and bare Jacob a second son.
And Rachel said, With great wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and
I have prevailed: and she called his name Naphtali.
(30:7-8) Bilhah Rachel's maid conceived again.
Bilhah has another son, Napthtali.
When Leah saw that she
had left bearing, she took Zilpah her maid, and gave her Jacob to wife.
And Zilpah Leah's maid bare Jacob a son.
And Leah said, A troop cometh: and she called his name Gad.
And Zilpah Leah's maid bare Jacob a second son.
And Leah said, Happy am I, for the daughters will call me blessed: and she
called his name Asher.
(30:9-13) When Leah saw that she had left bearing, she took Zilpah her maid, and gave her Jacob to wife.
Leah couldn't get pregnant, so she gave Jacob her slave Zilpah "to wife". The result was two baby boys: Gad and Asher.
And Reuben 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.
And she said unto her, Is it a small matter that thou hast taken 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.
(30:14-15) Rachel said, Therefore he shall lie with thee to night for thy son's mandrakes.
Reuben found some mandrakes and brought them to his mother Leah; Leah traded the
mandrakes to Rachel in exchange for sex with Jacob.
And Jacob came out of the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him,
and said, Thou must come in unto me; for surely I have hired thee with my son's mandrakes.
And he lay with her that night.
(30:16) Leah ... said, Thou must come in unto me; for surely I have hired thee with my son's mandrakes.
And he lay with her that night.
Leah tells Jacob he must have sex with her. (Because she hired him with her son's mandrakes)
And God hearkened unto
Leah, and she conceived, and bare Jacob the fifth son.
And Leah said, God hath given me my hire, because I have given my maiden
to my husband: and she called his name Issachar.
And Leah conceived again, and bare Jacob the sixth son.
And Leah said, God hath endued me with a good dowry; now will my husband
dwell with me, because I have born him six sons: and she called his name Zebulun.
(30:17-18) Jacob had sex with Leah a couple more times. And she had two more sons: Issachar and Zebulun.
And afterwards she bare a daughter, and called her name Dinah.
(30:21) Afterwards she bare a daughter, and called her name Dinah.
Finally, after ten consecutive sons, a daughter is born (Dinah).
And God remembered
Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb.
And she conceived, and
bare a son; and said, God hath taken away my reproach:
And she called his name Joseph; and said, The LORD shall add to me another
(30:22-24) God remembered Rachel, and ... opened her womb.
And finally, "God remembered Rachel" (He probably said something like, "Oh yeah, she's the one with the really cool mandrakes.") and
opened her womb. And she conceived, and bare a son (surprise, surprise), who she named Joseph.
Jacob asks Laban to let him leave.
And it came to pass, when Rachel had born Joseph, that Jacob said unto
Laban, Send me away, that I may go unto mine own place, and to my country.
Give me my wives and my children, for whom I have served thee, and let me
go: for thou knowest my service which I have done thee.
(30:25-26) After Jacob's 12th child was born (11 boys, 1 girl), he was ready to to back home. He asked Laban to give
him his wives and children and let him go.
And Laban said unto him, I pray thee, if I have found favour in thine
eyes, tarry: for I have learned by experience that the LORD hath blessed me
for thy sake.
And he said, Appoint me thy wages, and I will give it.
And he said unto him, Thou knowest how I have served thee, and how thy
cattle was with me.
For it was little which thou hadst before I came, and it is now increased
unto a multitude; and the LORD hath blessed thee since my coming: and now
when shall I provide for mine own house also?
And he said, What shall I give thee? And Jacob said, Thou shalt not give
me any thing: if thou wilt do this thing for me, I will again feed and keep
(30:27) Laban asks Jacob to stay a little longer, since
he had "learned by experience" that God blessed him for Jacob's sake.
"By experience" means "by divination", at least that is how
most other versions translate
Jacob's speckled and spotted cattle caper
I will pass through all thy flock to day, removing from thence all the
speckled and spotted cattle, and all the brown cattle among the sheep, and
the spotted and speckled among the goats: and of such shall be my hire.
So shall my righteousness answer for me in time to come, when it shall
come for my hire before thy face: every one that is not speckled and spotted
among the goats, and brown among the sheep, that shall be counted stolen
(30:32-36) Jacob says he'd like all the speckled and spotted cattle. Laban agrees to the deal.
And Laban said, Behold, I would it might be according to thy word.
And he removed that day the he goats that were ringstraked and spotted,
and all the she goats that were speckled and spotted, and every one that had
some white in it, and all the brown among the sheep, and gave them into the
hand of his sons.
And he set three days' journey betwixt himself and Jacob: and Jacob fed
the rest of Laban's flocks.
And Jacob took him
rods of green poplar, and of the hazel and chesnut tree; and pilled white
strakes in them, and made the white appear which was in the rods.
And he set the rods
which he had pilled before the flocks in the gutters in the watering troughs
when the flocks came to drink, that they should conceive when they came to
And the flocks
conceived before the rods, and brought forth cattle ringstraked, speckled,
And Jacob did separate the lambs, and set the faces of the flocks toward
the ringstraked, and all the brown in the flock of Laban; and he put his own
flocks by themselves, and put them not unto Laban's cattle.
And it came to pass, whensoever the stronger cattle did conceive, that
Jacob laid the rods before the eyes of the cattle in the gutters, that they
might conceive among the rods.
(30:37-39) And the flocks conceived before the rods, and brought forth cattle ringstraked, speckled,
Jacob displays his (and God's) knowledge
of biology by having goats copulate while looking at streaked rods. The result
is streaked, speckled, and spotted baby goats. (Goats are "cattle" in the King James Version.)
But when the cattle were feeble, he put them not in: so the feebler were
Laban's, and the stronger Jacob's.
And the man increased exceedingly, and had much cattle, and maidservants,
and menservants, and camels, and asses.
By creating speckled cattle, Jacob became wealthy with lots of cattle, camels, asses, and slaves.
Domesticated camels didn't exist
at the time Jacob supposedly lived.