Genesis 30b

Jacob’s Wages
Genesis 30:25-43

When Rachel had born Joseph, Jacob spoke to Laban about leaving.

Jacob (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. You know my service which I have done for you.

Laban: If I have found favor in your eyes, stay. I have learned by experience that the Lord has blessed me for your sake. Appoint me your wages, and I will give it to you.

Jacob: You know how I have served you, and how your cattle was with me. You had little before I came, and it has now increased to a multitude. The Lord has blessed you since my coming. When shall I provide for my own house also?

Laban: What shall I give you?

Jacob: You shall not give me any thing. If you will do this thing for me, I will again feed and keep your flock. I will pass through all your flock today, and remove all the speckled and spotted cattle, and all the brown among the sheep, and the spotted and speckled among the goats: and that shall be my hire. My righteousness shall answer for me in time to come, when it shall come for my hire before your face. Every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats, and brown among the sheep shall be as counted stolen with me.

Laban: Let it be according to your word.

However, that day Laban removed 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 to his sons. And he put three days’ journey between himself and Jacob.

Jacob fed the rest of Laban’s flocks.

Laban removed these animals so that spotted, speckled, ring-streaked and brown offspring, which would belong to Jacob, would not be born. He was trying to cheat Jacob.

Jacob took rods of green poplar and of the hazel and chestnut tree; and peeled white streaks in them, and made the white appear which was in the rods. And he set the rods which he had peeled 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. And the flocks conceived before the rods, and brought forth cattle ring-streaked, speckled, and spotted.  

And Jacob separated the lambs, and set the faces of the flocks toward the ring-streaked, and all the brown in the flock of Laban; and he put his own flocks by themselves, and put them not to Laban’s cattle.

Whenever the stronger cattle conceived, Jacob laid the rods before the eyes of the cattle in the gutters, that they might conceive among the rods. But when the cattle were feeble, he did not put the rods in the gutters. As a result, the feebler animals were Laban’s, and the stronger Jacob’s.

Jacob increased exceedingly and had much cattle, and maidservants, and menservants, and camels, and asses.


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