ImmerseBeginnings NLT - Page 57

G enesis
fortunate I am!” Then Zilpah gave Jacob a second son. And Leah named
him Asher, for she said, “What joy is mine! Now the other women will
celebrate with me.”
One day during the wheat harvest, Reuben found some mandrakes
growing in a field and brought them to his mother, Leah. Rachel begged
Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.”
But Leah angrily replied, “Wasn’t it enough that you stole my husband?
Now will you steal my son’s mandrakes, too?”
Rachel answered, “I will let Jacob sleep with you tonight if you give me
some of the mandrakes.”
So that evening, as Jacob was coming home from the fields, Leah went
out to meet him. “You must come and sleep with me tonight!” she said. “I
have paid for you with some mandrakes that my son found.” So that night
he slept with Leah. And God answered Leah’s prayers. She became pregnant again and gave birth to a fifth son for Jacob. She named him Issachar,
for she said, “God has rewarded me for giving my servant to my husband
as a wife.” Then Leah became pregnant again and gave birth to a sixth son
for Jacob. She named him Zebulun, for she said, “God has given me a good
reward. Now my husband will treat me with respect, for I have given him
six sons.” Later she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.
Then God remembered Rachel’s plight and answered her prayers by enabling her to have children. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son.
“God has removed my disgrace,” she said. And she named him Joseph, for
she said, “May the Lord add yet another son to my family.”
Soon after Rachel had given birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Please
release me so I can go home to my own country. Let me take my wives and
children, for I have earned them by serving you, and let me be on my way.
You certainly know how hard I have worked for you.”
“Please listen to me,” Laban replied. “I have become wealthy, for the
Lord has blessed me because of you. Tell me how much I owe you. Whatever it is, I’ll pay it.”
Jacob replied, “You know how hard I’ve worked for you, and how your
flocks and herds have grown under my care. You had little indeed before
I came, but your wealth has increased enormously. The Lord has blessed
you through everything I’ve done. But now, what about me? When can I
start providing for my own family?”
“What wages do you want?” Laban asked again.
Jacob replied, “Don’t give me anything. Just do this one thing, and I’ll
continue to tend and watch over your flocks. Let me inspect your flocks

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