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“… out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
(Isaiah 2:3)

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“Indeed, all who want to live a godly life united with the Messiah Yeshua will be persecuted.” (2Tim 3:12)
It is what you actually believe that determines how you walk out your faith, “but avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, quarrels and fights about the Torah; because they are worthless and futile.” (Titus 3:9)

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Please read the Introductory Notes to this commentary.

For a glossary of unfamiliar terms, CLICK HERE. For assistance in
pronouncing Hebrew terms, a pronunciation guide is located HERE.

The summary of the entire Torah is as simple as this:
Love what HaShem loves; hate what HaShem hates. All else is commentary.

Maps, when used, are are from Created
using BibleMapper 3.0. Additional data from

Source of Dates Used

בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית • B'resheet
(“In Beginning” or “At First”)
The First Book of Moses,
Commonly Called


Parashah 7: Vayetze (continued)
(“He went out”) Gen 28:10 –32:2
(Small Roman numerals in the text indicate each 'aliyah.)

~ 30 ~

5. Twelve Children Born as He Works Seven More Years For Rachel (29:31-30:24)
[1723-1716 BCE]

[Haran [MAP] December 1721 BCE]

1When Rachel saw that she wasn’t bearing children for Ya'akov, she envied her sister and said to Ya'akov, “Give me children, or else I will die.”

2Ya'akov’s became very angry at Rachel and said, “Am I in Elohim’s[GN] place? He’s the One Who is keeping you from having children.”

3Then she said, “Hinneh,[GN] here is my maidservant Bilhah. Go sleep with her so that she may bear children on my knees, so that through her I also may build a family.”[3] 4So Rachel gave Ya'akov her servant Bilhah as a “wife,”[4] and Ya'akov slept with her. 5Bilhah conceived and bore Ya'akov a son. [August 1720 BCE] 6Then Rachel said, “Elohim has vindicated me; He has heard my voice and has given me a son.” So she named him Danדָּן,“judge”.[6]

7Rachel’s servant Bilhah conceived again, and bore Ya'akov a second son. [July 1719 BCE] 8Rachel said, “In my great strugles, I have wrestled with my sister and have Won.” She named him Naftali“my wrestling”.

9When Le'ah saw that she had stopped having children, she gave her servant Zilpah to Ya'akov as a “wife.” [December 1720 BCE] 10Le'ah’s servant Zilpah bore Ya'akov a son. [August 1719 BCE] 11Le'ah said, “How fortunate!” So she named him Gad“good fortune”.[11] 12When Le'ah’s servant Zilpah bore Ya'akov a second son, [May 1718 BCE] 13Le'ah said, “How happy I am, for the women will call me happy.” So she named him Asher“happy”.


(iv) 14During the time of wheat harvest, [September 1719 BCE] Re’uven found some mandrakes in the field and brought them to his mother Le'ah. Then Rachel begged Le'ah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.”[14]

15But Le'ah replied, “Isn’t it enough that you have taken away my husband? Now you want to take my son’s mandrakes too?”

“Alright,” Rachel replied, “He may sleep with you tonight in exchange for your son’s mandrakes.”

16Ya'akov came from the field that evening, Le'ah went out to meet him, and said, “You must come sleep with me, for I have hired you with my son’s mandrakes.”[16] So he slept with her that night.

17Elohim listened to Le'ah, and she conceived and bore Ya'akov a fifth son. [May 1718 BCE] 18Then Le'ah said, “Elohim has rewarded me for giving my maidservant to my husband.” So she named him Yissakhar“hire, reward, there is recompense”. 19Le'ah conceived again and bore a sixth son to Ya'akov. [October 1718 BCE] 20Le'ah said, “Elohim has given me a god gift. Now my husband will honor me, because I have borne him six sons.” She named him Z’vulun“exalted”. 21After that, she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinahדִּינָה, (dee-naw') “controversy over rights” or “judgment”. [March 1716 BCE]

22Elohim remembered Rachel, and He listened to her, and opened her womb. 23She conceived and gave birth to son. [July 1717 BCE] She said, “Elohim has taken away my shame.” 24She named him Yosef“he increases”, and said, “May Yehovah [GN] add another son to me.”

6. Ya'akov’s Closing Days with Lavan (30:25-31:55)

a. Works Six More Years for Livestock (30:25-31:16) [March 1716-1710 BCE]

25After Rachel had borne Yosef, Ya'akov said to Lavan, “Send me on my way so I may return to my homeland. 26Give me my wives and my children that I have worked for, and let me go. You know how hard I have worked for you.”

27Lavan answered, “If I have found favor in your sight, stay here; I have learned by divination that Yehovah has blessed me because of you.” (v) 28He added, “Name your wages, and I will pay them.”

29Ya'akov answered, “You know how I have served you, and how your livestock have fared under my care. 30You had very little before I came, and now your wealth has increased many times over. Yehovah has blessed you because of me. And now, when will I provide for my own household also?”

31“What can I give you?” Lavan asked.

Ya'akov answered, “You don’t need to give me anything. If you will do this thing for me, I will keep on shepherding and keeping your flock. 32Let me go through all your flock today, removing every speckled or spotted sheep, and every dark lamb, and every spotted or speckled goat. These will be my wages. 33In the future when you come to check on my wages, my honesty will testify for me. If I have any female goat that is not speckled or spotted, or any lambs that are not dark-colored, considered them stolen.”

34Hinneh,” said Lavan, “let it be as you have said.”

35That very day Lavan removed all the male goats that were streaked or spotted, and all the female goats that were speckled or spotted, every one that had some white on it, and all the dark-colored lambs, and gave them to his sons to manage. 36Then he put a three-day journey between himself and Ya'akov while Ya'akov tended the rest of Lavan’s flocks.[36]

37Ya'akov then took branches of fresh poplar, almond, and plane tree and peeled their bark, exposing the white part of the branches. 38Then he put the peeled branches in the watering troughs in front of the sheep, where they came to drink. 39The flocks mated in front of the branches and produced streaked, speckled, and spotted young.[39] 40Ya'akov separated the lambs, and made the flocks face toward the streaked and dark sheep in Lavan’s flock. Then he set his own stock apart, and didn’t put them into Lavan’s flock. 41Whenever the stronger of the flock were mating, Ya'akov placed the branches in the watering troughs in full view of the flock, so they would breed in front of the branches. 42But he didn’t put the weak ones in front of the branches. So the weaker were Lavan’s, and the stronger were Ya'akov’s. 43The man became very rich, and had many flocks, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys.

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  3. We consider this immoral today, but it was common practice in the ancient near- and middle-East for childless women to use their servant girls as “surrogate mothers.” The servant would literally sit on the wife’s lap while the husband impregnated her. Then the servant would again literally sit on the wife’s lap for the delivery. [RETURN]

 4. The reason I have placed the word “wife” in quotes is that although the Hebrew word אִשָּׁה ('ishshah) is most frequently translated as “wife,” it is also translated as “adulteress,” “harlot,” and “woman.” Scripture later (Gen. 35:22) calls Bilhah Ya'akov’s “concubine.” Likewise in verse 9. [RETURN]

 6. The Hebrew word translated as “vindicated” is דִּין (deen), which can also be translated “to judge.” [RETURN]

11. Note that there is no short “a” (as in “cat”) sound in Hebrew; thus Gad is pronounced “Gahd” or “God,”  Asher is pronounced “Ahsher” or “Osher,” Dan is pronounced “Dahn” or “Don,” etc. [RETURN]

14. The madrake (Atropa mandragora) is a medicinal plant that has been used from earliest times as a pain reliever, sleep aid, and to relieve melancholy. Because the bifurcated root is somewhat man-shape, it has also sometimes been thought to improve fertility. It is possible that Rachel felt it may cure her infertility. [RETURN]

16. Sex is a gift from God and should never be used as a “weapon.” Nothing good can ever come from that. [RETURN]

36. Lavan took every animal that should have become Ya'akov’s and hid them three days away with his sons. [RETURN]

39. As this clearly has no basis in biology, it has to have been either sheer coincidence or HaShem’s way of miraculously increasing Ya'akov’s wealth. There is no such thing as coincidence among His people. [RETURN]

Page originally posted on Shabbat, 21 August 2021
Revised and updated on Shabbat, 15 October 2022

Page last updated on Saturday, 26 November 2022 02:27 PM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

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