1. Then Rachel, discerning that she was infertile, envied her sister, and so she said to her husband, “Give me children, otherwise I will die.”
2. Jacob, being angry, responded to her, “Am I in the place of God, who has deprived you of the fruit of your womb?”
3. But she said: “I have a handmaid Bilhah. Go in to her, so that she may give birth upon my knees, and I may have sons by her.”
4. And she gave him Bilhah in marriage.
5. And when her husband had gone in to her, she conceived and bore a son.
6. And Rachel said, “The Lord has judged for me, and he has heeded my voice, giving me a son.” And because of this, she called his name Dan.
7. And conceiving again, Bilhah bore another,
8. about whom Rachel said, “God has compared me with my sister, and I have prevailed.” And she called him Naphtali.
9. Leah, perceiving that she had desisted from child-bearing, delivered Zilpah, her handmaid, to her husband.
10. And she, after having borne a son with difficulty,
11. said: “Happiness!” And for this reason, she called his name Gad.
12. Likewise, Zilpah bore another.
13. And Leah said, “This one is for my happiness. Indeed, women will call me blessed.” Because of this, she called him Asher.
14. Then Reuben, going out into the field at the time of the wheat harvest, found mandrakes. These he brought to his mother Leah. And Rachel said, “Give me a portion of your son’s mandrakes.”
15. She responded, “Does it seem like such a small matter to you, that you have usurped from me my husband, unless you will also take my son’s mandrakes?” Rachel said, “He will sleep with you this night because of your son’s mandrakes.”
16. And when Jacob returned from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him, and she said, “You will enter to me, because I have hired you for the reward of my son’s mandrakes.” And he slept with her that night.
17. And God heard her prayers. And she conceived and bore a fifth son.
18. And she said, “God has given a reward to me, because I gave my handmaid to my husband.” And she called his name Issachar.
19. Conceiving again, Leah bore a sixth son.
20. And she said: “God has endowed me with a good dowry. And now, at this turn, my husband will be with me, because I have conceived six sons for him.” And therefore she called his name Zebulun.
21. After him, she bore a daughter, named Dinah.
22. The Lord, likewise remembering Rachel, heeded her and opened her womb.
23. And she conceived and bore a son, saying, “God has taken away my reproach.”
24. And she called his name Joseph, saying, “The Lord has added to me another son.”
25. But when Joseph was born, Jacob said to his father-in-law: “Release me, so that I may return to my native country and to my land.
26. Give me my wives, and my children, for whom I have served you, so that I may depart. You know the servitude with which I have served you.”
27. Laban said to him: “May I find grace in your sight. I have learned by experience that God has blessed me because of you.
28. Choose your wages, which I will give you.”
29. But he responded: “You know how I have served you, and how great your possession became in my hands.
30. You had little before I came to you, and now you have achieved riches. And the Lord has blessed you since my arrival. It is just, therefore, that at sometime I also should provide for my own house.”
31. And Laban said, “What shall I give to you?” But he said, “I want nothing. But if you will do what I ask, I will feed and guard your sheep again.
32. Go around through all your flocks and separate all the sheep of variegated or spotted fleece; and whatever will be darkened or blemished or variegated, as much among the sheep as among the goats, will be my wages.
33. And my justice will answer on my behalf tomorrow, when the time of settlement arrives before you. And all that is not variegated or blemished or darkened, as much among the sheep as among the goats, these will prove me to be a thief.”
34. And Laban said, “I hold favor for this request.”
35. And on that day he separated the she-goats, and the sheep, and the he-goats, and the rams with variegations or with blemishes. But every one of the flock which was of one color, that is, of white or of black fleece, he delivered into the hands of his sons.
36. And he established a distance of three days journey between himself and his son-in-law, who pastured the remainder of his flock.
37. Then Jacob, taking green branches of poplar, and almond, and sycamore trees, debarked them in part. And when the bark was pulled off, in the parts that were stripped, there appeared whiteness, yet the parts that were left whole, remained green. And so, in this way the color was made variegated.
38. And he placed them in the troughs, where the water was poured out, so that when the flocks had arrived to drink, they would have the branches before their eyes, and in their sight they might conceive.
39. And it happened that, in the very heat of joining together, the sheep looked upon the branches, and they bore the blemished and the variegated, those speckled with diverse color.
40. And Jacob divided the flock, and he set the branches in the troughs before the eyes of the rams. Now whatever was white or black belonged to Laban, but, in truth, the others belonged to Jacob, for the flocks were dispersed among one another.
41. Therefore, when the first to arrive were climbing on the ewes, Jacob placed the branches in the troughs of water before the eyes of the rams and the sheep, so that they might conceive while they were gazing upon them.
42. Yet when the late arrivals and the last to conceive were let in, he did not place these. And so those that arrived late became Laban’s, and those that arrived first became Jacob’s.
43. And the man was enriched beyond limit, and he had many flocks, women servants and men servants, camels and donkeys.