ImmerseBeginnings NLT - Page 56


done to me?” Jacob raged at Laban. “I worked seven years for Rachel! Why
have you tricked me?”
“It’s not our custom here to marry off a younger daughter ahead of the
firstborn,” Laban replied. “But wait until the bridal week is over; then we’ll
give you Rachel, ­too—­provided you promise to work another seven years
for me.”
So Jacob agreed to work seven more years. A week after Jacob had married Leah, Laban gave him Rachel, too. (Laban gave Rachel a servant,
Bilhah, to be her maid.) So Jacob slept with Rachel, too, and he loved
her much more than Leah. He then stayed and worked for Laban the additional seven years.
When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, he enabled her to have children, but Rachel could not conceive. So Leah became pregnant and gave
birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, “The Lord has noticed my misery, and now my husband will love me.”
She soon became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She
named him Simeon, for she said, “The Lord heard that I was unloved and
has given me another son.”
Then she became pregnant a third time and gave birth to another son.
He was named Levi, for she said, “Surely this time my husband will feel
affection for me, since I have given him three sons!”
Once again Leah became pregnant and gave birth to another son. She
named him Judah, for she said, “Now I will praise the Lord!” And then
she stopped having children.
When Rachel saw that she wasn’t having any children for Jacob, she
became jealous of her sister. She pleaded with Jacob, “Give me children,
or I’ll die!”
Then Jacob became furious with Rachel. “Am I God?” he asked. “He’s
the one who has kept you from having children!”
Then Rachel told him, “Take my maid, Bilhah, and sleep with her. She
will bear children for me, and through her I can have a family, too.” So
Rachel gave her servant, Bilhah, to Jacob as a wife, and he slept with her.
Bilhah became pregnant and presented him with a son. Rachel named
him Dan, for she said, “God has vindicated me! He has heard my request
and given me a son.” Then Bilhah became pregnant again and gave Jacob
a second son. Rachel named him Naphtali, for she said, “I have struggled
hard with my sister, and I’m winning!”
Meanwhile, Leah realized that she wasn’t getting pregnant anymore, so
she took her servant, Zilpah, and gave her to Jacob as a wife. Soon Zilpah presented him with a son. Leah named him Gad, for she said, “How

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