New International Reader's Version

Genesis 30:1-43

1Rachel saw that she wasn’t having any children by Jacob. So she became jealous of her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I’ll die!”

2Jacob became angry with her. He said, “Do you think I’m God? He’s the one who has kept you from having children.”

3Then she said, “Here’s my servant Bilhah. Sleep with her so that she can have children for me. Then I too can have a family through her.”

4So Rachel gave Jacob her servant Bilhah as a wife. Jacob slept with her. 5And Bilhah became pregnant. She had a son by him. 6Then Rachel said, “God has stood up for my rights. He has listened to my prayer and given me a son.” So she named him Dan.

7Rachel’s servant Bilhah became pregnant again. She had a second son by Jacob. 8Then Rachel said, “I’ve had a great struggle with my sister. Now I’ve won.” So she named him Naphtali.

9Leah saw that she had stopped having children. So she gave her servant Zilpah to Jacob as a wife. 10Leah’s servant Zilpah had a son by Jacob. 11Then Leah said, “What good fortune!” So she named him Gad.

12Leah’s servant Zilpah had a second son by Jacob. 13Then Leah said, “I’m so happy! The women will call me happy.” So she named him Asher.

14While the wheat harvest was being gathered, Reuben went out into the fields. He found some mandrake plants. He brought them to his mother Leah. Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.”

15But Leah said to her, “Isn’t it enough that you took my husband away? Are you going to take my son’s mandrakes too?”

Rachel said, “All right. Jacob can sleep with you tonight if you give me your son’s mandrakes.”

16Jacob came in from the fields that evening. Leah went out to meet him. “You have to sleep with me tonight,” she said. “I’ve traded my son’s mandrakes for that time with you.” So he slept with her that night.

17God listened to Leah. She became pregnant and had a fifth son by Jacob. 18Then Leah said, “God has rewarded me because I gave my female servant to my husband.” So she named the boy Issachar.

19Leah became pregnant again. She had a sixth son by Jacob. 20Then Leah said, “God has given me a priceless gift. This time my husband will treat me with honor. I’ve had six sons by him.” So she named the boy Zebulun.

21Some time later she had a daughter. She named her Dinah.

22Then God listened to Rachel. He showed concern for her. He made it possible for her to have children. 23She became pregnant and had a son. Then she said, “God has taken away my shame.” 24She said, “May the Lord give me another son.” So she named him Joseph.

Jacob Becomes the Owner of Large Flocks

25After Rachel had Joseph, Jacob spoke to Laban. He said, “Send me on my way. I want to go back to my own home and country. 26Give me my wives and children. I worked for you to get them. So I’ll be on my way. You know how much work I’ve done for you.”

27But Laban said to him, “If you are pleased with me, stay here. I’ve discovered that the Lord has blessed me because of you.” 28He continued, “Name your pay. I’ll give it to you.”

29Jacob said to him, “You know how hard I’ve worked for you. You know that your livestock has done better under my care. 30You had only a little before I came. But that little has become a lot. The Lord has blessed you everywhere I’ve been. But when can I do something for my own family?”

31“What should I give you?” Laban asked.

“Don’t give me anything,” Jacob replied. “Just do one thing for me. Then I’ll go on taking care of your flocks and watching over them. 32Let me go through all your flocks today. Let me remove every speckled or spotted sheep. Let me remove every dark-colored lamb. Let me remove every speckled or spotted goat. They will be my pay. 33My honesty will be a witness about me in days to come. It will be a witness every time you check on what you have paid me. Suppose I have a goat that doesn’t have speckles or spots. Or suppose I have a lamb that isn’t dark colored. Then it will be considered stolen.”

34“I agree,” said Laban. “Let’s do what you have said.” 35That same day Laban removed all the male goats that had stripes or spots. He removed all the female goats that had speckles or spots. They were the ones that had white on them. He also removed all the dark-colored lambs. He had his sons take care of them. 36Then he put a journey of three days between himself and Jacob. But Jacob continued to take care of the rest of Laban’s flocks.

37Jacob took freshly cut branches from poplar, almond and plane trees. He made white stripes on the branches by peeling off their bark. 38Then he placed the peeled branches in all the stone tubs where the animals drank water. He placed them there so they would be right in front of the flocks when they came to drink. The flocks were ready to mate when they came to drink. 39So they mated in front of the branches. And the flocks gave birth to striped, speckled or spotted little ones. 40Jacob put the little ones of the flock to one side by themselves. But he made the older ones face the striped and dark-colored animals that belonged to Laban. In that way, he made separate flocks for himself. He didn’t put them with Laban’s animals. 41Every time the stronger females were ready to mate, Jacob would place the branches in the stone tubs. He would place them in front of the animals so they would mate near the branches. 42But if the animals were weak, he wouldn’t place the branches there. So the weak animals went to Laban. And the strong ones went to Jacob. 43That’s how Jacob became very rich. He became the owner of large flocks. He also had many male and female servants. And he had many camels and donkeys.

Japanese Contemporary Bible

創世記 30:1-43



2ヤコブは腹を立てて言いました。「何だって? 私は神様ではない。おまえに子どもが与えられないのは、神様がそうしておられるからだろう。」

3「そう、では召使のビルハと寝てください。あの子にあなたの子どもができたら、私の子どもにするから。」 4こうして、ヤコブはビルハをそばめとしました。 5やがてビルハは男の子を産みました。 6ラケルは、「神様は正義を行ってくださった。願いどおり息子を下さったのだから」と言って、その子をダン〔「正義」の意〕と名づけました。 7ラケルの女奴隷ビルハは、二人目の男の子を産みました。 8ラケルは、「死に物狂いの争いだったけど、とうとう姉さんに勝った」と言って、その子をナフタリ〔「争い」の意〕と名づけました。

9一方レアは、もう子どもが産めなくなったので、召使のジルパをヤコブのそばめにしました。 10-11やがて、ジルパは男の子を産み、レアはその子をガド〔「運が開ける」の意〕と名づけました。 12ジルパはまた男の子を産んだので、 13レアは、「私は幸せ者だわ。ほかの女たちもきっとそう思うでしょう」と言って、その子にアシェル〔「幸福」の意〕という名をつけました。


15レアは腹を立てて言いました。「夫を取っただけではまだ不足なの? 私の息子が見つけて来た恋なすびまで取り上げるなんて、あんまりじゃない。」


16夕方、畑から戻ったヤコブをレアが出迎えました。「今夜は私のところへ来てくださいね。ルベンが見つけた恋なすびをラケルにあげた交換条件ですから。」彼はそうしました。 17神はレアの祈りに答え、彼女に五人目の男の子を授けてくださいました。 18彼女は、「夫に私の女奴隷を与えたので、神様が報いてくださった」と喜んで、その子の名をイッサカル〔「報酬」の意〕としました。 19その後またレアに、六人目の男の子が生まれました。 20彼女は、「神様は、夫が一番喜ぶ贈り物を下さった。六人も男の子を産んだのだから、今度こそ、あの人も私を大切にしてくれるでしょう」と言って、ゼブルン〔「贈り物」の意〕と名づけました。 21そのあと、今度は女の子が生まれ、ディナと名づけられました。

22神はラケルを忘れてはいませんでした。ラケルの苦しみを見て、祈りに答え、男の子をお与えになりました。 23-24男の子が生まれた時、彼女は、「神様は私の恥を取り除いてくださった」と言って、ヨセフ〔「もう一人、子どもが授かるように」の意〕と名づけました。「男の子をもう一人授けてください」と願ったからです。


25ヨセフが生まれてしばらくたって、ヤコブは突然、ラバンに言いました。「そろそろ国へ帰りたいと考えています。 26もちろん妻と子どもたちもいっしょです。それだけのことはしてきたつもりです。こんなに長い間、あなたのために身を粉にして働いたことは、よくご存じでしょう。」

27「そんなことを言わず、ここにいてくれないか。実は、占い師に見てもらったのだ。そうしたら、私がこんなに恵まれてるのは、全部おまえのおかげだというではないか。 28報酬が不足なら、上げてやってもいい。ここにいてくれるなら、おまえの望む額を喜んで出そうじゃないか。」

29「知ってのとおり、私は長年あなたのために忠実に働きました。それで、あなたの家畜がこんなに増えたのです。 30私が来たばかりの時は、財産といってもほんの少ししかなかったのに、今はかなりのものです。それというのも、神様が、私のすることは何でも祝福してくださったからです。それなのに、当の私はどうでしょう。いつになれば自分の財産が持てるのですか。」

31-32「で? 何が欲しいのだ。」

「条件は一つだけです。それさえのんでもらえれば、また喜んで働きます。今日、私はお義父さんの群れの番をしますが、まだらやぶちのあるやぎと、黒い毛の羊は、すべて別にしますから、それを私に下さい。 33あとで、もし私の群れの中に白いやぎや羊が一匹でもいれば、私があなたのものを盗んだことになる、というわけです。」



37彼はまず、ポプラ、アーモンド、プラタナスの若枝を切り、皮をむいて白い木肌を出しました。 38それを、群れが水を飲みに来たとき自然に見えるように、水飲み場のそばに置きました。家畜は水を飲みに来たとき交尾するので、 39-40そうしておくと、やぎは白いしまのある枝を見ながら交尾することになり、その結果、ぶちやしまのある子が生まれるというのです(そのように信じられていた)。それはみな、ヤコブのものになりました。次に、ラバンの群れから雌羊を取り出し、自分の黒い雄羊とだけ交尾させるようにしました。ヤコブの群れは増える一方です。 41そればかりではありません。彼は、力の強そうなのが交尾している時は、皮をむいた枝をそばに置き、 42弱そうなのが来た時は、置かないようにしたのです。それで、あまり丈夫でない子羊はラバンのものとなり、丈夫なのはヤコブのものとなりました。 43当然、ヤコブの群れはどんどん増え、らくだやろばも増えました。彼は召使も大ぜいかかえ、たいへんな資産家となりました。