The toiling and scheming of men is the result of ignorance of God’s Grace,
and inability to put implicit confidence in God’s promises.
1 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.
2 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?
3 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.
4 And she gave him Bilhah her handmaid to wife: and Jacob went in unto her.
5 And Bilhah conceived, and bare Jacob a son.
6 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.
7 And Bilhah Rachel’s maid conceived again, and bare Jacob a second son.
8 And Rachel said, With great wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and I have prevailed: and she called his name Naphtali.
9 When Leah saw that she had left bearing, she took Zilpah her maid, and gave her Jacob to wife.
10 And Zilpah Leah’s maid bare Jacob a son.
11 And Leah said, A troop cometh: and she called his name Gad.
12 And Zilpah Leah’s maid bare Jacob a second son.
13 And Leah said, Happy am I, for the daughters will call me blessed: and she called his name Asher.
14 ¶ 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.
15 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.
16 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.
17 And God hearkened unto Leah, and she conceived, and bare Jacob the fifth son.
18 And Leah said, God hath given me my hire, because I have given my maiden to my husband: and she called his name Issachar.
19 And Leah conceived again, and bare Jacob the sixth son.
20 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.
21 And afterwards she bare a daughter, and called her name Dinah.
22 ¶ And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb.
23 And she conceived, and bare a son; and said, God hath taken away my reproach:
24 And she called his name Joseph; and said, The LORD shall add to me another son.
25 ¶ 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.
26 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.
27 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.
28 And he said, Appoint me thy wages, and I will give it.
29 And he said unto him, Thou knowest how I have served thee, and how thy cattle was with me.
30 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?
31 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 thy flock:
32 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.
33 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 with me.
34 And Laban said, Behold, I would it might be according to thy word.
35 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.
36 And he set three days’ journey betwixt himself and Jacob: and Jacob fed the rest of Laban’s flocks.
37 ¶ 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.
38 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 drink.
39 And the flocks conceived before the rods, and brought forth cattle ringstraked, speckled, and spotted.
40 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.
41 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.
42 But when the cattle were feeble, he put them not in: so the feebler were Laban’s, and the stronger Jacob’s.
43 And the man increased exceedingly, and had much cattle, and maidservants, and menservants, and camels, and asses.
Genesis 30:1-24 – J. Vernon McGee
Genesis 30:25-30 – J. Vernon McGee
Genesis 30:31-39 – J. Vernon McGee
Genesis 30:1-24 – Sons Born to Jacob
The details of this paragraph are given with great minuteness, because they concern the twelve sons of Jacob, the forefathers of Israel. After all, history is made in the nursery, and we are very much what our mothers have made us in the formative years. An old Spanish proverb says, “An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy.” Leah’s influence on her boys, as judged by their subsequent life, was anything but healthy; yet with Jacob being the man he was, there was poor chance for them to realize the highest ideals. Rachel’s anguish of heart led her to earnest prayer. Compare Genesis 30:1, 22. Wait on God, oh, anguished ones: ye shall surely have reason to praise him. Was it not worth waiting for, to bear a Joseph, whose branches were to run over the wall in blessing? There are more compensations in life than we think for. If Rachel had her husband’s love, Leah had a large family of boys. In the saddest lives there are glints of sunshine. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Genesis 30:25-43 – Jacob’s Flocks Increase
There is little in this story to the credit of Jacob, and nothing to choose between him and Laban. They are well matched one against another; and if anything, Jacob excelled in cunning. The heir of the promises deals with the child of this world on the principles of which men of honor would refuse to make use. We feel inclined to pity Laban, who had never seen the angel-ladder, or shared the great promises which had surrounded the path of his relative. He trusted this man of the chosen tribe, but was to be woefully deceived. But are there not many professing Christians who are playing Jacob’s part today? While holding high positions in the religious world, they stoop to practices to which men of the world would be no parties. We hear but little more of Laban, but Jacob is destined to pass through the fire of trouble, by which the dross will be consumed and his soul made white and purified. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Genesis 30:27 – The LORD hath blessed me for thy sake.
Laban requested the longer stay of Jacob because he felt sure that the Divine blessings had been brought by him into his home. It was a selfish, low, motive for desiring the postponement of his departure; and Laban was destined, alas! to be terribly undeceived. He would wake up one day, to find that during his sojourn with him, and under the cloak of religion, Jacob had been ruthlessly plundering his property. It was a shameful betrayal of trust on Jacob’s part; and it conveys a searching warning to those who, because of their religious professions, are trusted by their relatives or others:–
With their property.—Always do the best possible for your employer or friend, who has entrusted his interests to you, acting towards him as the servant and steward of God. Bear in mind that God has bidden you undertake the office for Himself, and accepts your fidelity as rendered to Him: He will recompense.
With their friendship.—Be very careful here. God puts us into one another’s lives, that we may be the medium through which his love and tenderness may enter them; but there is such danger of our monopolizing for ourselves the place that He would fill. Sometimes we almost unconsciously deteriorate rather than elevate our friends by the intrusion of our own personality.
With their Christian instruction and training.—Ministers of God’s holy gospel must specially guard against the tendency to make name, fame, money, out of a position which they should occupy only as God’s stewards. There is such subtleness in the temptation to attract men to ourselves, instead of attaching them to Christ. —Our Daily Homily