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Spots on goats/sheep caused from wooden rods

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MitashiaR's picture
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: 09/14/12
Spots on goats/sheep caused from wooden rods

I'm not sure if there are any other Christians here, but whether or not you believe the Bible, this should be interesting!

Here's the passage that caught my interest:

31 So he said, “What shall I give you?” And Jacob said, “You shall not give me anything. If you will do this one thing for me, I will again pasture and keep your flock: let me pass through your entire flock today, removing from there everyspeckled and spotted sheep and every black one among the lambs and the spotted and speckled among the goats; and such shall be my wages. So my honesty will answer for me later, when you come concerning my wages. Every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats and black among the lambs, if found with me, will be considered stolen.”Laban said, “Good, let it be according to your word.” So he removed on that day the striped and spotted male goats and all the speckled and spotted female goats, every one with white in it, and all the black ones among the sheep, and gave them into the care of his sons. And he put a distance of three days’ journey between himself and Jacob, and Jacob fed the rest of Laban’s flocks.

Then Jacob took fresh rods of poplar and almond and plane trees, and peeled white stripes in them, exposing the white which was in the rods. He set the rods which he had peeled in front of the flocks in the gutters, even in the watering troughs, where the flocks came to drink; and they mated when they came to drink. So the flocks mated by the rods, and the flocks brought forth striped, speckled, and spotted. Jacob separated the lambs, and made the flocks face toward the striped and all the black in the flock of Laban; and he put his own herds apart, and did not put them with Laban’s flock. Moreover, whenever the stronger of the flock were mating, Jacob would place the rods in the sight of the flock in the gutters, so that they might mate by the rods; but when the flock was feeble, he did not put them in; so the feebler were Laban’s and the stronger Jacob’s.

Also, different versions of this vary. NASB (as above) say the flocks were of sheep, while other versions say goats (and supposedly one says cattle).

This reminded me of how horses from a certain country (I think it was Argentina) randomly come up with spots, and don't have any similar white patterns in their heritage.

Some say Jacob was just superstitious and God blessed him regardless of that. I'm leaning towards believing the wooden rods actually caused a mutation (or something similar) to the flocks and therefore caused them to conceive spotted offspring. It sounds as if the spots were not hereditary either, judging from the last few verses.

What do you all think? Does anyone know about certain chemicals in wood that may cause something like this?


Daylene Alford
Last seen: 3 weeks 3 days ago
Joined: 02/12/09
I think I agree with the

I think I agree with the interpretation of Jacob being superstitious and God blessing him anyway.   That is how I've always thought about it.  But we do know that environmental causes can cause mutations and/or variations in the amount of white so...???  

I would be interesting for something to try to duplicate it lol  


EDIT:  I put suspicious  Instead of superstitious lol

colorfan's picture
Last seen: 3 years 5 months ago
Joined: 03/14/09
Interesting subject.  Many

Interesting subject.  Many ideas from the Bible have been dismissed as myth or old wives tales only to be found to have scientific basis.

I can't imagine what influence the rods had unless it was simple obedience to God.  However I wouldn't be surprised if someone examined the type of wood if there is a reason.

When I ride I feel His pleasure.