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And he set the rods which he had pilled before the flocks in the gutters in the watering troughs when the flocks came to drink, that they should conceive when they came to drink.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

30:38 rods which he had pilled. These striped rods were not for the purpose of inducing some “pre-natal influence” on the animals, as critics have scoffed. With his seventy years or more of practical experience with large flocks, Jacob knew better than that. Either the chemicals from the wood or the sight of the streaked rods must have served as an aphrodisiac for the animals, inducing them to mate as they came to the troughs. Jacob only used the rods with the stronger animals, so that the progeny would also be strong. Under usual conditions, this stratagem should have greatly benefited Laban’s flocks.

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