1. Rachel, seeing that she herself gave Jacob no children, became jealous of her sister. And she said to Jacob, 'Give me children, or I shall die!'
2. This made Jacob angry with Rachel, and he retorted, 'Am I in the position of God, who has denied you motherhood?'
3. So she said, 'Here is my slave-girl, Bilhah. Sleep with her and let her give birth on my knees; through her, then, I too shall have children!'
4. So she gave him her slave-girl Bilhah as concubine. Jacob slept with her,
5. and Bilhah conceived and gave birth to a son by Jacob.
6. Then Rachel said, 'God has done me justice; yes, he has heard my prayer and given me a son.' Accordingly she named him Dan.
7. Again Rachel's slave-girl Bilhah conceived and gave birth to a second son by Jacob.
8. Then Rachel said, 'I have fought a fateful battle with my sister, and I have won!' So she named him Naphtali.
9. Now Leah, seeing that she had ceased to bear children, took her slave-girl Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as concubine.
10. So Leah's slave-girl Zilpah gave birth to a son by Jacob.
11. Then Leah exclaimed, 'What good fortune!' So she named him Gad.
12. Leah's slave-girl Zilpah gave birth to a second son by Jacob.
13. Then Leah said, 'What blessedness! Women will call me blessed!' So she named him Asher.
14. One day, at the time of the wheat harvest, Reuben found some mandrakes in the field and brought them to his mother Leah. Rachel said to Leah, 'Please give me some of your son's mandrakes.'
15. Leah replied, 'Is it not enough to have taken my husband, without your taking my son's mandrakes as well?' So Rachel said, 'Very well, he can sleep with you tonight in return for your son's mandrakes.'
16. When Jacob came back from the fields that night, Leah went out to meet him and said, 'You must come to me, for I have hired you at the price of my son's mandrakes.' So he slept with her that night.
17. God heard Leah, and she conceived and gave birth to a fifth son by Jacob.
18. Then Leah said, 'God has given me my reward for giving my slave-girl to my husband.' So she named him Issachar.
19. Again Leah conceived and gave birth to a sixth son by Jacob,
20. and said, 'God has given me a fine gift; now my husband will bring me presents, for I have borne him six sons.' So she named him Zebulun.
21. Later she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.
22. Then God remembered Rachel; he heard her and opened her womb.
23. She conceived and gave birth to a son, and said, 'God has taken away my disgrace!'
24. She named him Joseph, saying, 'May Yahweh add another son for me!'
25. When Rachel had given birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, 'Release me and let me go home to my own country.
26. Give me my wives for whom I have worked for you, and my children, and let me go. You are well aware how long I have worked for you.'
27. Laban replied, 'If I have done what pleases you . . . I have learnt by divination that Yahweh has blessed me because of you.
28. So name your wages,' he added, 'and I will pay.'
29. He replied, 'You know how hard I have worked for you, and how your stock has fared in my charge.
30. The little you had before I came has increased enormously, and Yahweh has blessed you wherever I have been. When am I to provide for my own household too?'
31. Laban said, 'How much am I to pay you?' Jacob replied, 'You need not pay me anything. I shall change my mind and go on tending your flock, if you do this one thing for me.
32. 'Go through your entire flock today and remove every black animal among the sheep, and every speckled or spotted one among the goats. These will be my wages,
33. and my uprightness will answer for me later: when you come to check my wages, every goat I have that is not speckled or spotted, and every sheep that is not black will count as stolen by me.'
34. Laban replied, 'Good, just as you say.'
35. That same day he removed the striped and speckled he-goats and all the spotted and speckled she-goats, every one that had white on it, and all the black sheep, and entrusted these to his sons.
36. Then he put a three days' journey between himself and Jacob, while Jacob grazed the rest of Laban's flock.
37. Jacob then got fresh shoots from poplar, almond and plane trees, and peeled them in white strips, laying bare the white part of the shoots.
38. He set up the shoots he had peeled in front of the animals, in the troughs, in the water-holes where the animals came to drink. Since they mated when they came to drink,
39. the goats thus mated in front of the shoots and so the goats produced striped, spotted and speckled young.
40. The ewes, on the other hand, Jacob kept apart and made these face whatever was striped or black in Laban's flock. Thus he built up droves of his own which he did not put with Laban's flocks.
41. Furthermore, whenever the sturdier animals were mating, Jacob put the shoots where the animals could see them, in the troughs, so that they would mate in front of the shoots.
42. But when the animals were feeble, he did not put them there; so Laban got the feeble, and Jacob the sturdy.
43. Thus the man grew extremely rich, and came to own large flocks, men and women slaves, camels and donkeys.