Genesis 31:10 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 31:10, NIV: "In breeding season I once had a dream in which I looked up and saw that the male goats mating with the flock were streaked, speckled or spotted."

Genesis 31:10, ESV: "In the breeding season of the flock I lifted up my eyes and saw in a dream that the goats that mated with the flock were striped, spotted, and mottled."

Genesis 31:10, KJV: "And it came to pass at the time that the cattle conceived, that I lifted up mine eyes, and saw in a dream, and, behold, the rams which leaped upon the cattle were ringstraked, speckled, and grisled."

Genesis 31:10, NASB: "And it came about at the time when the flock was breeding that I raised my eyes and saw in a dream—and behold—the male goats that were mating were striped, speckled, or mottled."

Genesis 31:10, NLT: "'One time during the mating season, I had a dream and saw that the male goats mating with the females were streaked, speckled, and spotted."

Genesis 31:10, CSB: ""When the flocks were breeding, I saw in a dream that the streaked, spotted, and speckled males were mating with the females."

What does Genesis 31:10 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jacob is in the process of explaining to his wives, Leah and Rachel, why he feels it is time to abandon their father, Laban, and head back to Jacob's family in Canaan. This mostly revolves around Laban's persistent dishonesty and cheating at Jacob's expense. Now, he backs up to explain to his wives how it came to be that he made the arrangement with Laban in the first place to claim the spotted, striped, and mottled goats as his wages from the flock. After all, the normal course of things was that most of the flock would have been made up of black goats and white sheep.

Here, Jacob resolves a seemingly odd passage from the prior chapter. Jacob appeared to have used striped sticks to cause the flocks to breed in certain colors (Genesis 30:37–43). Verses 10 through 12 explain that he made this arrangement, and utilized the sticks, only after being told by God in a dream, what the outcome would be. In short, the Lord gave Jacob a dream in which male goats mating with the flock were not solidly colored. They were striped, spotted, and mottled.

Jacob continues to insist to his wives that the Lord is trustworthy. God is the reason for their great wealth and protection, not their father. He is building up to telling his wives it is time to leave their homeland.