Genesis 30

Study the Inner Meaning

English: American Standard Version

← Genesis 29   Genesis 31 →

1 And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and she 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; that she may bear upon my knees, and I also may obtain 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 handmaid conceived again, and bare Jacob a second son.

8 And Rachel said, With mighty wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and have prevailed: and she called his name Naphtali.

9 When Leah saw that she had left off bearing, she took Zilpah her handmaid, and gave her to Jacob to wife.

10 And Zilpah Leah's handmaid bare Jacob a son.

11 And Leah said, Fortunate! and she called his name Gad.

12 And Zilpah Leah's handmaid bare Jacob a second son.

13 And Leah said, Happy am I! for the daughters will call me happy: 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 away 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 from the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and said, Thou must come in unto me; for I have surely 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 a fifth son.

18 And Leah said, God hath given me my hire, because I gave my handmaid to my husband: and she called his name Issachar.

19 And Leah conceived again, and bare a sixth son to Jacob.

20 And Leah said, God hath endowed me with a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have borne 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, saying, Jehovah add to me another son.

25 And it came to pass, when Rachel had borne 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 wherewith I have served thee.

27 And Laban said unto him, If now I have found favor in thine eyes, [tarry]: [for] I have divined that Jehovah 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 have fared with me.

30 For it was little which thou hadst before I came, and it hath increased unto a multitude; and Jehovah hath blessed thee whithersoever I turned: 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 aught: if thou wilt do this thing for me, I will again feed thy flock and keep it.

32 I will pass through all thy flock to-day, removing from thence every speckled and spotted one, and every black one 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 hereafter, when thou shalt come concerning my hire that is before thee: every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats, and black among the sheep, that [if found] with me, shall be counted stolen.

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 ringstreaked and spotted, and all the she-goats that were speckled and spotted, every one that had white in it, and all the black ones 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 fresh poplar, and of the almond and of the plane-tree. And peeled white streaks in them, and made the white appear which was in the rods.

38 And he set the rods which he had peeled over against the flocks in the gutters in the watering-troughs where the flocks came to drink; and they conceived when they came to drink.

39 And the flocks conceived before the rods, and the flocks brought forth ringstreaked, speckled, and spotted.

40 And Jacob separated the lambs, and set the faces of the flocks toward the ringstreaked and all the black in the flock of Laban: and he put his own droves apart, and put them not unto Laban's flock.

41 And it came to pass, whensoever the stronger of the flock did conceive, that Jacob laid the rods before the eyes of the flock in the gutters, that they might conceive among the rods;

42 but when the flock 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 large flocks, and maid-servants and men-servants, and camels and asses.

← Genesis 29   Genesis 31 →
   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 2157, 2643, 2868, 3246, 3857, 3862, 3909, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 352, 358, 359


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 430, 431, 434, 435, 438, 439, 447, ...

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:




Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 13:2, 16:2, 3, 25:21, 28:15, 29:15, 20, 24, 29, 34, 35, 31:6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 38, 34:1, 35:17, 23, 24, 25, 26, 39:5, 46:15, 18, 25, 34, 50:19, 23

1 Samuel 1:10, 19

2 Kings 5:7

Proverbs 30:16

Isaiah 4:1

Luke 1:25, 48

Revelation 7:5, 6, 7, 8

Word/Phrase Explanations

Rachel
'Rachel' denotes the affection of interior truth.

saw
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

Jacob
Jacob is told twice that his name will now be Israel. The first time is when he wrestles with an angel on his journey to...

children
A child is a young boy or girl in the care of parents, older than a suckling or an infant, but not yet an adolescent....

Sister
The Lord calls people who are in truth from the good of charity from Him 'sisters,' as in Matthew 12:50. 'Sister' denotes intellectual truth, when...

said
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

give
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

die
Death in the Bible represents spiritual death, or the destruction of everything that is good and all true beliefs in someone. This happens when people...

Anger
Anger is an emotion so common to people that it requires no definition. However a couple of points of interest can be raised. 1) The...

God
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

fruit of the womb
'A son,' as in Genesis 5:28, signifies the rise of a new church. 'Son,' as in Genesis 24:3, signifies the Lord’s rationality regarding good. 'A...

fruit
In Zechariah 8:12, 'the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground her increase,' signifies that the spiritual affection of truth produces the good of...

Womb
'Womb,' as in Genesis 49:25, signifies the conjunction of good and truth. The term 'belly' is used where truths are being discussed, and the term...

go
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

bear
Like many verbs, the spiritual meaning of "bearing" something depends greatly on context – what it is that's being borne, and why. It is further...

upon
'Upon' or 'over' signifies being within.

handmaid
'A handmaid' signifies the affection of rational and scientific things. 'A handmaid,' as mentioned in Genesis 30:3, signifies the affirming medium of conjoining inner truths...

went in unto
In a general sense, men represent things of the intellect – facts, ideas, knowledge, everything from the deepest truths to the most pernicious falsities about...

judged
It’s easy to see the connection between judging and truth. In a court of law, the judge’s whole purpose is to find the truth. In...

heard
Thanks to modern science, we now understand that hearing actually happens in the brain, not the ears. The ears collect vibrations in the air and...

called
To call someone or summon someone in the Bible represents a desire for conjunction between higher and lower states of life. For instance, imagine someone...

name
It's easy to see that names are important in the Bible. Jehovah changed Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah, changed Jacob to Israel and...

Dan
The tribe of Dan (Jer. 8:16) signifies truth in its own ultimate degree of order, here truth in the church, which is contained in the...

second
The number "two" has two different meanings in the Bible. In most cases "two" indicates a joining together or unification. This is easy to see...

Mighty
Mighty,' as in Revelation 19:18, signify people who are educated about doctrine derived from the Word. By extension, 'mighty' signifies education or learning derived from...

Naphtali
'Naphtali' in a supreme sense, signifies the proper power of the Lord’s divine human. In a spiritual sense, he signifies temptation and victory and a...

Gad
Gad, in a supreme sense, signifies omnipotence; in a spiritual sense, the good of life, or use; and in a natural sense, works. Gad, in...

daughters
Marriages among people – both in the Bible and in life – represent spiritual marriage. Women represent the desire to be good and to do...

Reuben
'Reuben,' in the highest sense, signifies omniscience. In a spiritual sense, he signifies wisdom, intelligence, science, and faith. In a natural sense, he signifies sight....

days
"Day" describes a state in which we are turned toward the Lord, and are receiving light (which is truth) and heat (which is a desire...

Wheat
'Wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and vetches,' as in Ezekiel 4:9, 12, signify various kinds of good, and their derivative truths. Bread, or a cake,...

Harvest
'A harvest' symbolizes the state of the church with respect to Divine truth. The reason is that a harvest yields the grain used to make...

Mandrakes
'Mandrakes' signify the marriage of good and truth, or the conjugial which exists between good and truth.

field
When we have a desire to be good people and to do good things, the natural first questions are "What does that mean?" "What should...

mother
In general, mothers in the Bible represent the Lord's church on earth, or the church among those who know and follow the Lord. In some...

husband
In general, men are driven by intellect and women by affections, and because of this men in the Bible generally represent knowledge and truth and...

lie
When people lie or speak falsely in the Bible, It represents what Swedenborg calls "falsity of faith" and the resulting "evil of faith." This is...

came
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

evening
Since the light and warmth of the sun represent the Lord’s wisdom and love, it makes sense that evening, a time when the light and...

meet
In natural language, to "meet" someone can be positive or negative: it can be a welcoming and greeting, or it can be "meeting" them in...

night
The sun in the Bible represents the Lord, with its heat representing His love and its light representing His wisdom. “Daytime,” then, represents a state...

Hire
'Hire,' as mentioned in Genesis 30:33, referring to the Lord, signifies His proprium, that is, what was acquired from His own proper ability.

Issachar
Issachar,' in the highest sense, signifies the divine good of truth, and truth of good. In a spiritual sense, he signifies celestial conjugial love, which...

sixth
Like most numbers in the Bible, "six" can have various meanings depending on context, but has a couple that are primary. When used in relation...

good
It seems rather circular to say that “good” in the Bible represents good, but in a general sense it’s true! The case is this: The...

dwell
Many people were nomadic in Biblical times, especially the times of the Old Testament, and lived in tents that could be struck, moved and re-raised...

sons
Marriages in the Bible represent the union we all can have between the desire for good and the understanding of truth (or an understanding of...

daughter
It is because of a celestial and angelic proprium, or selfhood, that the church is called 'a woman,' 'a wife,' 'a bride,' 'a virgin,' and...

reproach
To revile something – or "reproach," as it is often translated – represents making a direct and deliberate attack on what is spiritually true, in...

Joseph
'The tribe of Zebulon' signifies the conjunction of people in the third heaven with the Lord, 'the tribe of Joseph,' the conjunction of people in...

Jehovah
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

came to pass
The phrase “it came to pass,” often also translated as “it happened,” generally indicates the end of one spiritual state and the beginning of a...

Pass
'To pass,' as in Genesis 31:52, signifies flowing in. 'To pass the night,' as in Genesis 24:54, signifies having peace. 'To pass through,' as in...

Laban
Laban' signifies the affection of good in the natural self, or the affection of external good, and properly collateral good of a common stock. The...

Send
'To send' signifies revealing.

own
In many cases, the spiritual meaning of "own," both as a verb and as an adjective, is relatively literal. When people are described as the...

Place
'A dry place,' as in Luke 11:24, signifies states of evil and falsity which are in the life of someone who does the work of...

Country
Generally in the Bible a "country" means a political subdivision ruled by a king, or sometimes a tribe with a territory ruled by a king...

wives
The Hebrew of the Old Testament has six different common words which are generally translated as "wife," which largely overlap but have different nuances. Swedenborg...

served
Generally speaking, those who are at lower levels of an organization serve those at higher levels. Bosses boss and their employees serve; coaches devise strategy...

eyes
It’s common to say “I see” when we understand something. And indeed, “seeing” in the Bible represents grasping and understanding spiritual things. So it makes...

Tarry
'To tarry,' as in Genesis 27:44, signifies almost the same thing as 'to dwell,' except that 'to tarry' relates to the life of truth with...

blessed
The Lord is perfect love expressed as perfect wisdom. He created us so that He could love us, could give us love and wisdom of...

Cattle
Animals in the Bible generally refer to spiritual activity, the things we actually do on a spiritual level. "Cattle," as typically used in the Bible,...

before
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

multitude
A company, congregation, and a multitude, in the Word, are predicated of truths.

turned
Swedenborg says that the Lord is the sun of heaven, and like the natural sun of our world shines on everyone, good or evil. What...

house
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

feed
When the Bible talks about "feeding" it is generally referring to instruction in spiritual things – teaching people the true concepts that can lead them...

Flock
A flock, as in Genesis 26, denotes interior or rational good. A flock signifies those who are in spiritual good. A flock signifies natural interior...

keep
"Keeping" in the Bible generally has to do with controlling the actual actions of life, though in some cases it can mean holding something away...

removing
As with many verbs, the meaning of "remove" in the Bible varies a good bit depending on context. It generally involves a separation of spiritual...

Spotted
'Spotted,' as in Genesis 30:39, signifies truth mixed with falsities.

one
A company might have executives setting policy and strategy, engineers designing products, line workers building them, managers handling personnel and others handling various functions. They...

black
Black cumin' denotes scientific ideas.

sheep
It’s pretty easy for most people to read the Bible and get a sense for what “sheep” means without any help. They are simple, peaceful,...

Goats
'Satyrs,' as in Isaiah 13:21, signify goods adulterated.

righteousness
The word "righteous" has taken on a bit of negative shading in modern language. That may be because we hear it most often as part...

answer
To "answer" generally indicates a state of spiritual receptivity. Ultimately this means being receptive to the Lord, who is constantly trying to pour true ideas...

Every one
The phrase “Every one,” where it occurs in Genesis 20:7, signifies every thing or all things.

Might
'Might' denotes the forces or power of truth.

Word
'Word,' as in Psalms 119:6-17, stands for doctrine in general. 'The Word,' as in Psalms 147:18, signifies divine good united with divine truth. 'Word,' as...

Speckled and spotted
In Genesis 30:35, 'speckled' signifies good mingled with evils, and 'spotted,' truth mingled with evils.

White
'White' relates to truths, because it originates in the light of the sun.

hand
In Genesis 27:22, 'voice' relates to truth, and 'hand,' to good.

three
The Writings talk about many aspects of life using the philosophical terms "end," "cause" and "effect." The "end" is someone’s goal or purpose, the ultimate...

Journey
'To journey' signifies the institutes and order of life.

the rest
In Leviticus 6:16, 'Aaron and his sons eating the remainder' signifies a person’s reciprocation and making something one's own. This represents conjunction by means of...

rest
'To slumber' and 'sleep' denotes the state of a person who is not in truths, as in Jeremiah 51:39, 57, Psalm 8:3 and 76:5, and...

rods
In a general sense, "rod" and "staff" both represent power, in particular the power of true ideas coming from the Lord. There are a number...

tree
In general, plants in the Bible represent facts, thoughts and ideas – intellectual things. This makes sense: Plants are rooted in place, but can grow...

over
Over' or 'upon' in the Word, signifies being within, because the highest part in successive order becomes inmost in simultaneous order. This is why the...

Gutters
‘Gutters,’ as in Genesis 30:38, signify the good that comes from truth in the natural level of the mind.

drink
Food in the Bible represents the desire for good, and water and other drinks represent the understanding and true ideas we need to recognize what...

Put
'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.

apart
The meaning of "apart" in the Bible is pretty straightforward; it means there is a separation in spiritual states. What those states are and how...

man
"Man" is a tricky word to discuss, because the Hebrew of the Old Testament uses six different words that are generally translated as "man," with...

Increased exceedingly
'Increased exceedingly,' as in Genesis 30:43, signifies being multiplied.

Maid-servants
'Maid-servants' signify the affections of the natural.

servants
“Servant” literally means “a person who serves another,"" and its meaning is similar in reference to the spiritual meaninngs of the Bible. Our lives in...

men
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.


 Jacob's Family - Level A
Complete lesson with activity choices: sing and dance to a song to help you learn the names of the 12 sons of Jacob, trace your hand to make a picture of your family, scripted story discussion, coloring picture, and a memory verse.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 Jacob's Family - Level B
Complete lesson with activity choices: play a game to help you learn the wives and children of Jacob, choose an activity to practice patience, scripted story discussion, coloring picture, and a memory verse.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 Jacob's Family - Level C
Complete lesson with activity choices: play family tree rummy to learn about the patriarchs of the Old Testament and their families, make a wordle (or word picture) to explore what kind of person you want to marry, and a scripted story discussion.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 14

 Jacob's Family - Level D
Complete lesson with activity choices: explore ways to cultivate patience, make a complex circular mural about the twelve sons of Jacob, and a scripted story discussion.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 15 - 17

 Jacob's Flocks - Level A
Complete lesson with activity choices: play a game about separating the flocks of Jacob and Laban, act out Jacob's long journey, scripted story discussion, coloring picture, and a memory verse.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 Jacob's Flocks - Level B
Complete lesson with activity choices: play a card game about the speckled and spotted flocks, act out Jacob fleeing from Laban, scripted story discussion, coloring picture, and a memory verse.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 Jacob's Flocks - Level C
Complete lesson with activity choices: role play various scenarios about respecting or crossing boundaries, look closer at visions and dreams in the Word, and a scripted story discussion.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 14

 Jacob's Flocks - Level D
Complete lesson with activity choices: role play various scenarios about respecting or crossing boundaries, explore the use of staffs, sticks or rods to symbolize power in the Word, and a scripted story discussion.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 15 - 17

 Overview of Jacob and Esau Levels A B C D for ages 3-18
An overview of the Youth Journey Program "Jacob and Esau", Levels A, B, D, and D, for ages 3-18.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 3 - 18

 Speckled and Spotted
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14


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