1. When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she became jealous of her sister, and so she said to Jacob, "Give me sons or I shall die."

2. Jacob became angry and said to her, "Is it my fault that God has deprived you of children?"

3. She then said, "Here is my servant Bilhah; sleep with her so that she may give birth on my knees; so the child will be mine."

4. And she gave Bilhah her servant as wife to Jacob.

5. She became pregnant and bore him a son.

6. Rachel then said, "God has done me justice! He has heard my prayer and given me a son. That is why she named him Dan.

7. Bilhah, Rachel's servant, bore a second son to Jacob.

8. And Rachel said, "I have had a mighty struggle with my sister and I have won!" And so she named her son Naphtali.

9. When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she took her servant, Zilpah, and gave her to Jacob as a wife.

10. Zilpah gave birth to a son for Jacob.

11. Leah said "How fortunate!" and named him Gad.

12. Leah's servant bore a second son to Jacob.

13. Leah said, "How happy I am! Women will call me happy." So she named him Asher.

14. At the time of the wheat harvest, Reuben went out to the fields and found some mandrake plants which he brought to his mother, Leah. Rachel said to Leah, "Please give me some of your son's mandrakes."

15. But Leah replied, "Isn't it enough for you to have taken my husband? Now you want to take my son's mandrakes as well!" Rachel then said, "He will sleep with you tonight in return for your son's mandrakes."

16. In the evening when Jacob came in from the fields Leah went to meet him and said, "You will sleep with me tonight for I have hired you with my son's mandrakes!" So he slept with her that night.

17. Yahweh heard Leah, and she became pregnant and bore Jacob a fifth son.

18. Leah said, "God has given me my reward because I gave my maidservant to my husband." She named the child Issachar.

19. Leah bore another son to Jacob.

20. Then she said, "God has offered me a beautiful gift; this time my husband will honor me for I have given him six children." She named the child Zebulun.

21. She later gave birth to a daughter and called her Dinah.

22. Then Yahweh remembered Rachel and let her have a child.

23. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son. "Yahweh has taken away my shame," she said.

24. And she called the child Joseph saying,"May Yahweh give me another son."

25. After Rachel had given birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, "Let me go, so that I may return to my homeland.

26. Give me my wives and my children, for whom I have served you, and let me go, for you know how well I have served you."

27. Laban said, "If I have won your friendship... I have learned from signs that Yahweh has blessed me because of you."

28. He then added, "Say what you want for wages and I will pay you."

29. Jacob said, "You know how well I have served you and how your cattle have prospered with me.

30. For you had little when I came, but since I have been with you there has been a considerable increase and Yahweh has blessed you. But now, when am I to do something for my own household?"

31. Laban asked, "What shall I give you?" Jacob replied, "You will give me nothing, but if you do for me what I ask, I will continue to pasture and look after your flock.

32. Today I shall go through your flock removing from it every black lamb, and the spotted and speckled among the goats; these shall be my wages.

33. My honesty will answer for me later, when you come to look into my wages. Any goat among my herd that is not spotted or speckled, any lamb found among the sheep in my possession that is not black will be counted as stolen."

34. Laban said, "Agreed, it will be as you say."

35. That same day Laban put aside the he-goats that were streaked, every one that had white on it, and all the black sheep. These he handed over to his sons

36. and he put a distance of a three days' journey between himself and Jacob. So Jacob looked after the rest of Laban's flock.

37. Jacob then gathered fresh branches of poplar, almond and plane. He peeled white streaks in them, letting the white of the stems be seen.

38. Then he placed the branches he had peeled in front of the channels of the watering troughs where the animals came to drink and where they could be clearly seen by the animals. And as they mated there in front of the branches when they came to drink,

39. the animals produced streaked, spotted and speckled young.

40. He put the sheep apart but made the rest face the streaked and dark colored animals that belonged to Laban. In this way he built up droves of his own and did not add them to Laban's flock.

41. Whenever the stronger of the ewes were breeding, Jacob put the branches in the channels in front of the eyes of the ewes so that they would mate there among the branches.

42. But for the feebler ewes he did not put them there so that the feebler were for Laban and the more robust for Jacob.

43. In this way he became extremely rich with a great number of sheep, maidservants and menservants, camels and donkeys.

Livros sugeridos

“As almas não são oferecidas como dom; compram-se. Vós ignorais quanto custaram a Jesus. É sempre com a mesma moeda que é preciso pagá-las”. São Padre Pio de Pietrelcina


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