Jacob Resides with Laban

Genesis 29:9-31:55

Highlights From This Passage

  • Jacob comes to Laban and serves seven years for Rachel.
  • Leah is brought to his bed instead of Rachel.
  • He serveth seven years more for Rachel.
  • Leah conceives and bears four sons.
  • Rachel and Leah being both barren, give their maids to their husband.
  • Leah gives mandrakes to Rachel that Jacob might lie with her.
  • Laban is enriched for Jacob’s sake.
  • Jacob is made very rich.
  • Laban’s children murmur against Jacob.
  • God commands him to return to his country.
  • Rachel steals her father’s idols.
  • Laban follows Jacob.
  • A covenant is made between Laban and Jacob.

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The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Say to the Israelites: ‘Of all the animals that live on land, these are the ones you may eat: You may eat any animal that has a divided hoof and that chews the cud.

“‘There are some that only chew the cud or only have a divided hoof, but you must not eat them. The camel, though it chews the cud, does not have a divided hoof; it is ceremonially unclean for you. The hyrax, though it chews the cud, does not have a divided hoof; it is unclean for you. The rabbit, though it chews the cud, does not have a divided hoof; it is unclean for you.And the pig, though it has a divided hoof, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you.You must not eat their meat or touch their carcasses; they are unclean for you.

“‘Of all the creatures living in the water of the seas and the streams you may eat any that have fins and scales. But all creatures in the seas or streams that do not have fins and scales—whether among all the swarming things or among all the other living creatures in the water—you are to regard as unclean. And since you are to regard them as unclean, you must not eat their meat; you must regard their carcasses as unclean. Anything living in the water that does not have fins and scales is to be regarded as unclean by you.

“‘These are the birds you are to regard as unclean and not eat because they are unclean: the eagle, the vulture, the black vulture, the red kite, any kind of black kite,any kind of raven, the horned owl, the screech owl, the gull, any kind of hawk, the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl, the white owl, the desert owl, the osprey, the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe and the bat.

“‘All flying insects that walk on all fours are to be regarded as unclean by you. There are, however, some flying insects that walk on all fours that you may eat: those that have jointed legs for hopping on the ground.Of these you may eat any kind of locust,katydid, cricket or grasshopper. But all other flying insects that have four legs you are to regard as unclean.

“‘You will make yourselves unclean by these;whoever touches their carcasses will be unclean till evening. Whoever picks up one of their carcasses must wash their clothes,and they will be unclean till evening.

“‘Every animal that does not have a divided hoof or that does not chew the cud is unclean for you; whoever touches the carcass of any of them will be unclean. Of all the animals that walk on all fours, those that walk on their paws are unclean for you; whoever touches their carcasses will be unclean till evening. Anyone who picks up their carcasses must wash their clothes, and they will be unclean till evening. These animals are unclean for you.

“‘Of the animals that move along the ground, these are unclean for you: the weasel, the rat, any kind of great lizard, the gecko, the monitor lizard, the wall lizard, the skink and the chameleon. Of all those that move along the ground, these are unclean for you. Whoever touches them when they are dead will be unclean till evening. When one of them dies and falls on something, that article, whatever its use, will be unclean, whether it is made of wood, cloth, hide or sackcloth. Put it in water; it will be unclean till evening, and then it will be clean.If one of them falls into a clay pot, everything in it will be unclean, and you must break the pot. Any food you are allowed to eat that has come into contact with water from any such pot is unclean, and any liquid that is drunk from such a pot is unclean. Anything that one of their carcasses falls on becomes unclean; an oven or cooking pot must be broken up. They are unclean, and you are to regard them as unclean. A spring, however, or a cistern for collecting water remains clean, but anyone who touches one of these carcasses is unclean. If a carcass falls on any seeds that are to be planted, they remain clean. But if water has been put on the seed and a carcass falls on it, it is unclean for you.

“‘If an animal that you are allowed to eat dies, anyone who touches its carcass will be unclean till evening. Anyone who eats some of its carcass must wash their clothes, and they will be unclean till evening. Anyone who picks up the carcass must wash their clothes, and they will be unclean till evening.

“‘Every creature that moves along the ground is to be regarded as unclean; it is not to be eaten. You are not to eat any creature that moves along the ground, whether it moves on its belly or walks on all fours or on many feet; it is unclean. Do not defile yourselves by any of these creatures. Do not make yourselves unclean by means of them or be made unclean by them. I am the Lordyour God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. Do not make yourselves unclean by any creature that moves along the ground. I am the Lord, who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God;therefore be holy, because I am holy.

“‘These are the regulations concerning animals, birds, every living thing that moves about in the water and every creature that moves along the ground. You must distinguish between the unclean and the clean, between living creatures that may be eaten and those that may not be eaten.’”

The Lord said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites: ‘A woman who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son will be ceremonially unclean for seven days, just as she is unclean during her monthly period. On the eighth day the boy is to be circumcised.Then the woman must wait thirty-three days to be purified from her bleeding. She must not touch anything sacred or go to the sanctuary until the days of her purification are over. If she gives birth to a daughter, for two weeks the woman will be unclean, as during her period. Then she must wait sixty-six days to be purified from her bleeding.

“‘When the days of her purification for a son or daughter are over, she is to bring to the priest at the entrance to the tent of meeting a year-old lamb for a burnt offering and a young pigeon or a dove for a sin offering. He shall offer them before the Lord to make atonement for her, and then she will be ceremonially clean from her flow of blood.

“‘These are the regulations for the woman who gives birth to a boy or a girl. But if she cannot afford a lamb, she is to bring two doves or two young pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering. In this way the priest will make atonement for her, and she will be clean.’”

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “When anyone has a swelling or a rash or a shiny spot on their skin that may be a defiling skin disease, they must be brought to Aaron the priest or to one of his sons who is a priest.The priest is to examine the sore on the skin, and if the hair in the sore has turned white and the sore appears to be more than skin deep, it is a defiling skin disease. When the priest examines that person, he shall pronounce them ceremonially unclean. If the shiny spot on the skin is white but does not appear to be more than skin deep and the hair in it has not turned white, the priest is to isolate the affected person for seven days.On the seventh day the priest is to examine them, and if he sees that the sore is unchanged and has not spread in the skin, he is to isolate them for another seven days.On the seventh day the priest is to examine them again, and if the sore has faded and has not spread in the skin, the priest shall pronounce them clean; it is only a rash. They must wash their clothes, and they will be clean. But if the rash does spread in their skin after they have shown themselves to the priest to be pronounced clean, they must appear before the priest again. The priest is to examine that person, and if the rash has spread in the skin, he shall pronounce them unclean; it is a defiling skin disease.

“When anyone has a defiling skin disease, they must be brought to the priest. The priest is to examine them, and if there is a white swelling in the skin that has turned the hair white and if there is raw flesh in the swelling, it is a chronic skin disease and the priest shall pronounce them unclean. He is not to isolate them, because they are already unclean.

“If the disease breaks out all over their skin and, so far as the priest can see, it covers all the skin of the affected person from head to foot, the priest is to examine them, and if the disease has covered their whole body, he shall pronounce them clean. Since it has all turned white, they are clean. But whenever raw flesh appears on them, they will be unclean. When the priest sees the raw flesh, he shall pronounce them unclean. The raw flesh is unclean; they have a defiling disease. If the raw flesh changes and turns white, they must go to the priest. The priest is to examine them, and if the sores have turned white, the priest shall pronounce the affected person clean; then they will be clean.

“When someone has a boil on their skin and it heals, and in the place where the boil was, a white swelling or reddish-white spotappears, they must present themselves to the priest. The priest is to examine it, and if it appears to be more than skin deep and the hair in it has turned white, the priest shall pronounce that person unclean. It is a defiling skin disease that has broken out where the boil was. But if, when the priest examines it, there is no white hair in it and it is not more than skin deep and has faded, then the priest is to isolate them for seven days. If it is spreading in the skin, the priest shall pronounce them unclean; it is a defiling disease. But if the spot is unchanged and has not spread, it is only a scar from the boil, and the priest shall pronounce them clean.

“When someone has a burn on their skin and a reddish-white or white spot appears in the raw flesh of the burn, the priest is to examine the spot, and if the hair in it has turned white, and it appears to be more than skin deep, it is a defiling disease that has broken out in the burn. The priest shall pronounce them unclean; it is a defiling skin disease. But if the priest examines it and there is no white hair in the spot and if it is not more than skin deep and has faded, then the priest is to isolate them for seven days. On the seventh day the priest is to examine that person, and if it is spreading in the skin, the priest shall pronounce them unclean; it is a defiling skin disease. If, however, the spot is unchanged and has not spread in the skin but has faded, it is a swelling from the burn, and the priest shall pronounce them clean; it is only a scar from the burn.

“If a man or woman has a sore on their heador chin, the priest is to examine the sore, and if it appears to be more than skin deep and the hair in it is yellow and thin, the priest shall pronounce them unclean; it is a defiling skin disease on the head or chin. But if, when the priest examines the sore, it does not seem to be more than skin deep and there is no black hair in it, then the priest is to isolate the affected person for seven days. On the seventh day the priest is to examine the sore, and if it has not spread and there is no yellow hair in it and it does not appear to be more than skin deep, then the man or woman must shave themselves, except for the affected area, and the priest is to keep them isolated another seven days.On the seventh day the priest is to examine the sore, and if it has not spread in the skin and appears to be no more than skin deep, the priest shall pronounce them clean. They must wash their clothes, and they will be clean. But if the sore does spread in the skin after they are pronounced clean, the priest is to examine them, and if he finds that the sore has spread in the skin, he does not need to look for yellow hair; they are unclean. If, however, the sore is unchanged so far as the priest can see, and if black hair has grown in it, the affected person is healed. They are clean, and the priest shall pronounce them clean.

“When a man or woman has white spots on the skin, the priest is to examine them, and if the spots are dull white, it is a harmless rash that has broken out on the skin; they are clean.

“A man who has lost his hair and is bald is clean. If he has lost his hair from the front of his scalp and has a bald forehead, he is clean. But if he has a reddish-white sore on his bald head or forehead, it is a defiling disease breaking out on his head or forehead. The priest is to examine him, and if the swollen sore on his head or forehead is reddish-white like a defiling skin disease,the man is diseased and is unclean. The priest shall pronounce him unclean because of the sore on his head.

“Anyone with such a defiling disease must wear torn clothes, let their hair be unkempt,cover the lower part of their face and cry out, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ As long as they have the disease they remain unclean. They must live alone; they must live outside the camp.

“As for any fabric that is spoiled with a defiling mold—any woolen or linen clothing,any woven or knitted material of linen or wool, any leather or anything made of leather— if the affected area in the fabric, the leather, the woven or knitted material, or any leather article, is greenish or reddish, it is a defiling mold and must be shown to the priest. The priest is to examine the affected area and isolate the article for seven days.On the seventh day he is to examine it, and if the mold has spread in the fabric, the woven or knitted material, or the leather, whatever its use, it is a persistent defiling mold; the article is unclean. He must burn the fabric, the woven or knitted material of wool or linen, or any leather article that has been spoiled; because the defiling mold is persistent, the article must be burned.

“But if, when the priest examines it, the mold has not spread in the fabric, the woven or knitted material, or the leather article, he shall order that the spoiled article be washed. Then he is to isolate it for another seven days. After the article has been washed, the priest is to examine it again, and if the mold has not changed its appearance, even though it has not spread, it is unclean. Burn it, no matter which side of the fabric has been spoiled. If, when the priest examines it, the mold has faded after the article has been washed, he is to tear the spoiled part out of the fabric, the leather, or the woven or knitted material. But if it reappears in the fabric, in the woven or knitted material, or in the leather article, it is a spreading mold; whatever has the mold must be burned. Any fabric, woven or knitted material, or any leather article that has been washed and is rid of the mold, must be washed again. Then it will be clean.”

These are the regulations concerning defiling molds in woolen or linen clothing, woven or knitted material, or any leather article, for pronouncing them clean or unclean.

The Lord said to Moses, “These are the regulations for any diseased person at the time of their ceremonial cleansing, when they are brought to the priest: The priest is to go outside the camp and examine them. If they have been healed of their defiling skin disease, the priest shall order that two live clean birds and some cedar wood, scarlet yarn and hyssop be brought for the person to be cleansed. Then the priest shall order that one of the birds be killed over fresh water in a clay pot. He is then to take the live bird and dip it, together with the cedar wood, the scarlet yarn and the hyssop, into the blood of the bird that was killed over the fresh water. Seven times he shall sprinklethe one to be cleansed of the defiling disease, and then pronounce them clean. After that, he is to release the live bird in the open fields.

“The person to be cleansed must wash their clothes, shave off all their hair and bathe with water; then they will be ceremonially clean. After this they may come into the camp, but they must stay outside their tent for seven days. On the seventh day they must shave off all their hair; they must shave their head, their beard, their eyebrows and the rest of their hair. They must wash their clothes and bathe themselves with water, and they will be clean.

“On the eighth day they must bring two male lambs and one ewe lamb a year old, each without defect, along with three-tenths of an ephah of the finest flour mixed with olive oil for a grain offering, and one log of oil.The priest who pronounces them clean shall present both the one to be cleansed and their offerings before the Lord at the entrance to the tent of meeting.

“Then the priest is to take one of the male lambs and offer it as a guilt offering, along with the log of oil; he shall wave them before the Lord as a wave offering. He is to slaughter the lamb in the sanctuary areawhere the sin offering and the burnt offering are slaughtered. Like the sin offering, the guilt offering belongs to the priest; it is most holy. The priest is to take some of the blood of the guilt offering and put it on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed, on the thumb of their right hand and on the big toe of their right foot. The priest shall then take some of the log of oil, pour it in the palm of his own left hand, dip his right forefinger into the oil in his palm, and with his finger sprinkle some of it before the Lord seven times. The priest is to put some of the oil remaining in his palm on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed, on the thumb of their right hand and on the big toe of their right foot, on top of the blood of the guilt offering. The rest of the oil in his palm the priest shall put on the head of the one to be cleansed and make atonement for them before the Lord.

“Then the priest is to sacrifice the sin offering and make atonement for the one to be cleansed from their uncleanness. After that, the priest shall slaughter the burnt offering and offer it on the altar, together with the grain offering, and make atonement for them, and they will be clean.

“If, however, they are poor and cannot afford these, they must take one male lamb as a guilt offering to be waved to make atonement for them, together with a tenth of an ephah of the finest flour mixed with olive oil for a grain offering, a log of oil, and two doves or two young pigeons, such as they can afford, one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering.

“On the eighth day they must bring them for their cleansing to the priest at the entrance to the tent of meeting, before the Lord. The priest is to take the lamb for the guilt offering, together with the log of oil, and wave them before the Lord as a wave offering. He shall slaughter the lamb for the guilt offering and take some of its blood and put it on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed, on the thumb of their right hand and on the big toe of their right foot.The priest is to pour some of the oil into the palm of his own left hand, and with his right forefinger sprinkle some of the oil from his palm seven times before the Lord. Some of the oil in his palm he is to put on the same places he put the blood of the guilt offering—on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed, on the thumb of their right hand and on the big toe of their right foot.The rest of the oil in his palm the priest shall put on the head of the one to be cleansed, to make atonement for them before the Lord. Then he shall sacrifice the doves or the young pigeons, such as the person can afford, one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering, together with the grain offering. In this way the priest will make atonement before the Lord on behalf of the one to be cleansed.”

These are the regulations for anyone who has a defiling skin disease and who cannot afford the regular offerings for their cleansing.

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “When you enter the land of Canaan, which I am giving you as your possession, and I put a spreading mold in a house in that land, the owner of the house must go and tell the priest, ‘I have seen something that looks like a defiling mold in my house.’ The priest is to order the house to be emptied before he goes in to examine the mold, so that nothing in the house will be pronounced unclean. After this the priest is to go in and inspect the house. He is to examine the mold on the walls, and if it has greenish or reddishdepressions that appear to be deeper than the surface of the wall, the priest shall go out the doorway of the house and close it up for seven days. On the seventh day the priest shall return to inspect the house. If the mold has spread on the walls, he is to order that the contaminated stones be torn out and thrown into an unclean place outside the town. He must have all the inside walls of the house scraped and the material that is scraped off dumped into an unclean place outside the town. Then they are to take other stones to replace these and take new clay and plaster the house.

“If the defiling mold reappears in the house after the stones have been torn out and the house scraped and plastered, the priest is to go and examine it and, if the mold has spread in the house, it is a persistent defiling mold; the house is unclean. It must be torn down—its stones, timbers and all the plaster—and taken out of the town to an unclean place.

“Anyone who goes into the house while it is closed up will be unclean till evening.Anyone who sleeps or eats in the house must wash their clothes.

“But if the priest comes to examine it and the mold has not spread after the house has been plastered, he shall pronounce the house clean, because the defiling mold is gone. To purify the house he is to take two birds and some cedar wood, scarlet yarn and hyssop. He shall kill one of the birds over fresh water in a clay pot. Then he is to take the cedar wood, the hyssop, the scarlet yarn and the live bird, dip them into the blood of the dead bird and the fresh water, and sprinkle the house seven times. He shall purify the house with the bird’s blood, the fresh water, the live bird, the cedar wood, the hyssop and the scarlet yarn. Then he is to release the live bird in the open fieldsoutside the town. In this way he will make atonement for the house, and it will be clean.”

These are the regulations for any defiling skin disease, for a sore, for defiling molds in fabric or in a house, and for a swelling, a rash or a shiny spot, to determine when something is clean or unclean.

These are the regulations for defiling skin diseases and defiling molds.

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When any man has an unusual bodily discharge, such a discharge is unclean. Whether it continues flowing from his body or is blocked, it will make him unclean. This is how his discharge will bring about uncleanness:

“‘Any bed the man with a discharge lies on will be unclean, and anything he sits on will be unclean. Anyone who touches his bed must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.Whoever sits on anything that the man with a discharge sat on must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.

“‘Whoever touches the man who has a discharge must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.

“‘If the man with the discharge spits on anyone who is clean, they must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.

“‘Everything the man sits on when riding will be unclean, and whoever touches any of the things that were under him will be unclean till evening; whoever picks up those thingsmust wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.

“‘Anyone the man with a discharge touches without rinsing his hands with water must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.

“‘A clay pot that the man touches must be broken, and any wooden article is to be rinsed with water.

“‘When a man is cleansed from his discharge, he is to count off seven days for his ceremonial cleansing; he must wash his clothes and bathe himself with fresh water, and he will be clean. On the eighth day he must take two doves or two young pigeonsand come before the Lord to the entrance to the tent of meeting and give them to the priest. The priest is to sacrifice them, the one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. In this way he will make atonement before the Lord for the man because of his discharge.

“‘When a man has an emission of semen, he must bathe his whole body with water, and he will be unclean till evening. Any clothing or leather that has semen on it must be washed with water, and it will be unclean till evening. When a man has sexual relations with a woman and there is an emission of semen, both of them must bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.

“‘When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly periodwill last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening.

“‘Anything she lies on during her period will be unclean, and anything she sits on will be unclean. Anyone who touches her bed will be unclean; they must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening. Anyone who touches anything she sits on will be unclean; they must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.Whether it is the bed or anything she was sitting on, when anyone touches it, they will be unclean till evening.

“‘If a man has sexual relations with her and her monthly flow touches him, he will be unclean for seven days; any bed he lies on will be unclean.

“‘When a woman has a discharge of blood for many days at a time other than her monthly period or has a discharge that continues beyond her period, she will be unclean as long as she has the discharge, just as in the days of her period. Any bed she lies on while her discharge continues will be unclean, as is her bed during her monthly period, and anything she sits on will be unclean, as during her period. Anyone who touches them will be unclean; they must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.

“‘When she is cleansed from her discharge, she must count off seven days, and after that she will be ceremonially clean. On the eighth day she must take two doves or two young pigeons and bring them to the priest at the entrance to the tent of meeting. The priest is to sacrifice one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. In this way he will make atonement for her before the Lord for the uncleanness of her discharge.

“‘You must keep the Israelites separate from things that make them unclean, so they will not die in their uncleanness for defiling my dwelling place, which is among them.’”

These are the regulations for a man with a discharge, for anyone made unclean by an emission of semen, for a woman in her monthly period, for a man or a woman with a discharge, and for a man who has sexual relations with a woman who is ceremonially unclean.

While he was yet speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she kept them. When Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban, his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban, his mother’s brother, Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother. Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept. Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s relative, and that he was Rebekah’s son. She ran and told her father.

When Laban heard the news of Jacob, his sister’s son, he ran to meet Jacob, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house. Jacob told Laban all these things. Laban said to him, “Surely you are my bone and my flesh.” Jacob stayed with him for a month. Laban said to Jacob, “Because you are my relative, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what will your wages be?”

Laban had two daughters. The name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful in form and attractive. Jacob loved Rachel. He said, “I will serve you seven years for Rachel, your younger daughter.”

Laban said, “It is better that I give her to you, than that I should give her to another man. Stay with me.”

Jacob served seven years for Rachel. They seemed to him but a few days, for the love he had for her.

Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in to her.”

Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast. In the evening, he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to Jacob. He went in to her. Laban gave Zilpah his servant to his daughter Leah for a servant. In the morning, behold, it was Leah! He said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Didn’t I serve with you for Rachel? Why then have you deceived me?”

Laban said, “It is not done so in our place, to give the younger before the firstborn. Fulfill the week of this one, and we will give you the other also for the service which you will serve with me for seven more years.”

Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week. He gave him Rachel his daughter as wife. Laban gave Bilhah, his servant, to his daughter Rachel to be her servant. He went in also to Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him seven more years.

Yahweh saw that Leah was hated, and he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. Leah conceived, and bore a son, and she named him Reuben. For she said, “Because Yahweh has looked at my affliction; for now my husband will love me.” She conceived again, and bore a son, and said, “Because Yahweh has heard that I am hated, he has therefore given me this son also.” She named him Simeon. She conceived again, and bore a son. She said, “Now this time my husband will be joined to me, because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore his name was called Levi. She conceived again, and bore a son. She said, “This time I will praise Yahweh.” Therefore she named him Judah. Then she stopped bearing.

When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children, or else I will die.”

Jacob’s anger burned against Rachel, and he said, “Am I in God’s place, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?”

She said, “Behold, my maid Bilhah. Go in to her, that she may bear on my knees, and I also may obtain children by her.” She gave him Bilhah her servant as wife, and Jacob went in to her. Bilhah conceived, and bore Jacob a son. Rachel said, “God has judged me, and has also heard my voice, and has given me a son.” Therefore she called his name Dan. Bilhah, Rachel’s servant, conceived again, and bore Jacob a second son. Rachel said, “I have wrestled with my sister with mighty wrestlings, and have prevailed.” She named him Naphtali.

When Leah saw that she had finished bearing, she took Zilpah, her servant, and gave her to Jacob as a wife. Zilpah, Leah’s servant, bore Jacob a son. Leah said, “How fortunate!” She named him Gad. Zilpah, Leah’s servant, bore Jacob a second son. Leah said, “Happy am I, for the daughters will call me happy.” She named him Asher.

Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest, and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them to his mother, Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.”

Leah said to her, “Is it a small matter that you have taken away my husband? Would you take away my son’s mandrakes, also?”

Rachel said, “Therefore he will lie with you tonight for your son’s mandrakes.”

Jacob came from the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and said, “You must come in to me; for I have surely hired you with my son’s mandrakes.”

He lay with her that night. God listened to Leah, and she conceived, and bore Jacob a fifth son. Leah said, “God has given me my hire, because I gave my servant to my husband.” She named him Issachar. Leah conceived again, and bore a sixth son to Jacob. Leah said, “God has endowed me with a good dowry. Now my husband will live with me, because I have borne him six sons.” She named him Zebulun. Afterwards, she bore a daughter, and named her Dinah.

God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her, and opened her womb. She conceived, bore a son, and said, “God has taken away my reproach.” She named him Joseph, saying, “May Yahweh add another son to me.”

When Rachel had borne Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send me away, that I may go to my own place, and to my country. Give me my wives and my children for whom I have served you, and let me go; for you know my service with which I have served you.”

Laban said to him, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, stay here, for I have divined that Yahweh has blessed me for your sake.” He said, “Appoint me your wages, and I will give it.”

Jacob said to him, “You know how I have served you, and how your livestock have fared with me. For it was little which you had before I came, and it has increased to a multitude. Yahweh has blessed you wherever I turned. Now when will I provide for my own house also?”

Laban said, “What shall I give you?”

Jacob said, “You shall not give me anything. If you will do this thing for me, I will again feed your flock and keep it. I will pass through all your flock today, removing from there every speckled and spotted one, and every black one among the sheep, and the spotted and speckled among the goats. This will be my hire. So my righteousness will answer for me hereafter, when you come concerning my hire that is before you. Every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats, and black among the sheep, that might be with me, will be considered stolen.”

Laban said, “Behold, let it be according to your word.”

That day, he removed the male goats that were streaked and spotted, and all the female goats that were speckled and spotted, every one that had white in it, and all the black ones among the sheep, and gave them into the hand of his sons. He set three days’ journey between himself and Jacob, and Jacob fed the rest of Laban’s flocks.

Jacob took to himself rods of fresh poplar, almond, and plane tree, peeled white streaks in them, and made the white appear which was in the rods. He set the rods which he had peeled opposite the flocks in the watering troughs where the flocks came to drink. They conceived when they came to drink. The flocks conceived before the rods, and the flocks produced streaked, speckled, and spotted. Jacob separated the lambs, and set the faces of the flocks toward the streaked and all the black in Laban’s flock. He put his own droves apart, and didn’t put them into Laban’s flock. Whenever the stronger of the flock conceived, Jacob laid the rods in front of the eyes of the flock in the watering troughs, that they might conceive among the rods; but when the flock were feeble, he didn’t put them in. So the feebler were Laban’s, and the stronger Jacob’s. The man increased exceedingly, and had large flocks, female servants and male servants, and camels and donkeys.

Jacob heard Laban’s sons’ words, saying, “Jacob has taken away all that was our father’s. He has obtained all this wealth from that which was our father’s.” Jacob saw the expression on Laban’s face, and, behold, it was not toward him as before. Yahweh said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers, and to your relatives, and I will be with you.”

Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field to his flock, and said to them, “I see the expression on your father’s face, that it is not toward me as before; but the God of my father has been with me. You know that I have served your father with all of my strength. Your father has deceived me, and changed my wages ten times, but God didn’t allow him to hurt me. If he said, ‘The speckled will be your wages,’ then all the flock bore speckled. If he said, ‘The streaked will be your wages,’ then all the flock bore streaked. Thus God has taken away your father’s livestock, and given them to me. During mating season, I lifted up my eyes, and saw in a dream, and behold, the male goats which leaped on the flock were streaked, speckled, and grizzled. The angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob,’ and I said, ‘Here I am.’ He said, ‘Now lift up your eyes, and behold, all the male goats which leap on the flock are streaked, speckled, and grizzled, for I have seen all that Laban does to you. I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar, where you vowed a vow to me. Now arise, get out from this land, and return to the land of your birth.’”

Rachel and Leah answered him, “Is there yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father’s house? Aren’t we considered as foreigners by him? For he has sold us, and has also used up our money. For all the riches which God has taken away from our father are ours and our children’s. Now then, whatever God has said to you, do.”

Then Jacob rose up, and set his sons and his wives on the camels, and he took away all his livestock, and all his possessions which he had gathered, including the livestock which he had gained in Paddan Aram, to go to Isaac his father, to the land of Canaan. Now Laban had gone to shear his sheep; and Rachel stole the teraphim that were her father’s.

Jacob deceived Laban the Syrian, in that he didn’t tell him that he was running away. So he fled with all that he had. He rose up, passed over the River, and set his face toward the mountain of Gilead.

Laban was told on the third day that Jacob had fled. He took his relatives with him, and pursued him seven days’ journey. He overtook him in the mountain of Gilead. God came to Laban the Syrian in a dream of the night, and said to him, “Be careful that you don’t speak to Jacob either good or bad.”

Laban caught up with Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the mountain, and Laban with his relatives encamped in the mountain of Gilead. Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done, that you have deceived me, and carried away my daughters like captives of the sword? Why did you flee secretly, and deceive me, and didn’t tell me, that I might have sent you away with mirth and with songs, with tambourine and with harp; and didn’t allow me to kiss my sons and my daughters? Now have you done foolishly. It is in the power of my hand to hurt you, but the God of your father spoke to me last night, saying, ‘Be careful that you don’t speak to Jacob either good or bad.’ Now, you want to be gone, because you greatly longed for your father’s house, but why have you stolen my gods?”

Jacob answered Laban, “Because I was afraid, for I said, ‘Lest you should take your daughters from me by force.’ Anyone you find your gods with shall not live. Before our relatives, discern what is yours with me, and take it.” For Jacob didn’t know that Rachel had stolen them.

Laban went into Jacob’s tent, into Leah’s tent, and into the tent of the two female servants; but he didn’t find them. He went out of Leah’s tent, and entered into Rachel’s tent. Now Rachel had taken the teraphim, put them in the camel’s saddle, and sat on them. Laban felt around all the tent, but didn’t find them. She said to her father, “Don’t let my lord be angry that I can’t rise up before you; for I’m having my period.” He searched, but didn’t find the teraphim.

Jacob was angry, and argued with Laban. Jacob answered Laban, “What is my trespass? What is my sin, that you have hotly pursued me? Now that you have felt around in all my stuff, what have you found of all your household stuff? Set it here before my relatives and your relatives, that they may judge between us two.

“These twenty years I have been with you. Your ewes and your female goats have not cast their young, and I haven’t eaten the rams of your flocks. That which was torn of animals, I didn’t bring to you. I bore its loss. Of my hand you required it, whether stolen by day or stolen by night. This was my situation: in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep fled from my eyes. These twenty years I have been in your house. I served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, and you have changed my wages ten times. Unless the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely now you would have sent me away empty. God has seen my affliction and the labor of my hands, and rebuked you last night.”

Laban answered Jacob, “The daughters are my daughters, the children are my children, the flocks are my flocks, and all that you see is mine! What can I do today to these my daughters, or to their children whom they have borne? Now come, let’s make a covenant, you and I. Let it be for a witness between me and you.”

Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar. Jacob said to his relatives, “Gather stones.” They took stones, and made a heap. They ate there by the heap. Laban called it Jegar Sahadutha, but Jacob called it Galeed. Laban said, “This heap is witness between me and you today.” Therefore it was named Galeed and Mizpah, for he said, “Yahweh watch between me and you, when we are absent one from another. If you afflict my daughters, or if you take wives in addition to my daughters, no man is with us; behold, God is witness between me and you.” Laban said to Jacob, “See this heap, and see the pillar, which I have set between me and you. May this heap be a witness, and the pillar be a witness, that I will not pass over this heap to you, and that you will not pass over this heap and this pillar to me, for harm. The God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us.” Then Jacob swore by the fear of his father, Isaac. Jacob offered a sacrifice in the mountain, and called his relatives to eat bread. They ate bread, and stayed all night in the mountain. Early in the morning, Laban rose up, and kissed his sons and his daughters, and blessed them. Laban departed and returned to his place.