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Genesis 29

29
Jacob Arrives at Paddan-Aram
1Then Jacob hurried on, finally arriving in the land of the east. 2He saw a well in the distance. Three flocks of sheep and goats lay in an open field beside it, waiting to be watered. But a heavy stone covered the mouth of the well.
3It was the custom there to wait for all the flocks to arrive before removing the stone and watering the animals. Afterward the stone would be placed back over the mouth of the well. 4Jacob went over to the shepherds and asked, “Where are you from, my friends?”
“We are from Haran,” they answered.
5“Do you know a man there named Laban, the grandson of Nahor?” he asked.
“Yes, we do,” they replied.
6“Is he doing well?” Jacob asked.
“Yes, he’s well,” they answered. “Look, here comes his daughter Rachel with the flock now.”
7Jacob said, “Look, it’s still broad daylight—too early to round up the animals. Why don’t you water the sheep and goats so they can get back out to pasture?”
8“We can’t water the animals until all the flocks have arrived,” they replied. “Then the shepherds move the stone from the mouth of the well, and we water all the sheep and goats.”
9Jacob was still talking with them when Rachel arrived with her father’s flock, for she was a shepherd. 10And because Rachel was his cousin—the daughter of Laban, his mother’s brother—and because the sheep and goats belonged to his uncle Laban, Jacob went over to the well and moved the stone from its mouth and watered his uncle’s flock. 11Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and he wept aloud. 12He explained to Rachel that he was her cousin on her father’s side—the son of her aunt Rebekah. So Rachel quickly ran and told her father, Laban.
13As soon as Laban heard that his nephew Jacob had arrived, he ran out to meet him. He embraced and kissed him and brought him home. When Jacob had told him his story, 14Laban exclaimed, “You really are my own flesh and blood!”
Jacob Marries Leah and Rachel
After Jacob had stayed with Laban for about a month, 15Laban said to him, “You shouldn’t work for me without pay just because we are relatives. Tell me how much your wages should be.”
16Now Laban had two daughters. The older daughter was named Leah, and the younger one was Rachel. 17There was no sparkle in Leah’s eyes,#29:17 Or Leah had dull eyes, or Leah had soft eyes. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain. but Rachel had a beautiful figure and a lovely face. 18Since Jacob was in love with Rachel, he told her father, “I’ll work for you for seven years if you’ll give me Rachel, your younger daughter, as my wife.”
19“Agreed!” Laban replied. “I’d rather give her to you than to anyone else. Stay and work with me.” 20So Jacob worked seven years to pay for Rachel. But his love for her was so strong that it seemed to him but a few days.
21Finally, the time came for him to marry her. “I have fulfilled my agreement,” Jacob said to Laban. “Now give me my wife so I can sleep with her.”
22So Laban invited everyone in the neighborhood and prepared a wedding feast. 23But that night, when it was dark, Laban took Leah to Jacob, and he slept with her. 24(Laban had given Leah a servant, Zilpah, to be her maid.)
25But when Jacob woke up in the morning—it was Leah! “What have you done to me?” Jacob raged at Laban. “I worked seven years for Rachel! Why have you tricked me?”
26“It’s not our custom here to marry off a younger daughter ahead of the firstborn,” Laban replied. 27“But wait until the bridal week is over; then we’ll give you Rachel, too—provided you promise to work another seven years for me.”
28So Jacob agreed to work seven more years. A week after Jacob had married Leah, Laban gave him Rachel, too. 29(Laban gave Rachel a servant, Bilhah, to be her maid.) 30So Jacob slept with Rachel, too, and he loved her much more than Leah. He then stayed and worked for Laban the additional seven years.
Jacob’s Many Children
31When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, he enabled her to have children, but Rachel could not conceive. 32So Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben,#29:32 Reuben means “Look, a son!” It also sounds like the Hebrew for “He has seen my misery.” for she said, “The Lord has noticed my misery, and now my husband will love me.”
33She soon became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She named him Simeon,#29:33 Simeon probably means “one who hears.” for she said, “The Lord heard that I was unloved and has given me another son.”
34Then she became pregnant a third time and gave birth to another son. He was named Levi,#29:34 Levi sounds like a Hebrew term that means “being attached” or “feeling affection for.” for she said, “Surely this time my husband will feel affection for me, since I have given him three sons!”
35Once again Leah became pregnant and gave birth to another son. She named him Judah,#29:35 Judah is related to the Hebrew term for “praise.” for she said, “Now I will praise the Lord!” And then she stopped having children.
29
1Then Ya'akov went on his journey, and came into the eretz of the bnei kedem. 2And he looked, and hinei a be'er in the sadeh, and, hinei, there were shloshah edrei tzon lying by it; for out of that be'er they watered the edarim: and a great even (stone) was upon the mouth of the be'er. 3And to there were all the edarim gathered: and they rolled the even (stone) from the mouth of the be'er, and watered the tzon, and put the even (stone) again upon the mouth of the be'er in its place. 4And Ya'akov said unto them, My brethren, where are you from? And they said, Of Charan are we. 5And he said unto them, Know ye Lavan ben Nachor? And they said, We know him. 6And he said unto them, Is the shalom with him? And they said, Shalom; and, hinei, Rachel his bat cometh with the tzon. 7And he said, Look, the sun is still high, neither is it time that the flock should be gathered together; water ye the tzon, and go and feed them. 8And they said, We cannot, until all the edarim be gathered together, and till they roll the even (stone) from the mouth of the be'er; then we water the tzon. 9And while he yet spoke with them, Rachel came with the tzon of her av; for she was a ro'ah (shepherdess). 10And it came to pass, when Ya'akov saw Rachel bat Lavan achi immo, and the tzon of Lavan achi immo, that Ya'akov went near, and rolled the even (stone) from the mouth of the be'er, and watered the tzon of Lavan achi immo. 11And Ya'akov kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept. 12And Ya'akov told Rachel that he was the relative of her av, and that he was ben Rivkah; and she ran and told her av. 13And it came to pass, when Lavan heard the news of Ya'akov ben achoto, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his bais. And he told Lavan all these things. 14And Lavan said to him, Surely thou art my etzem (bone) and my basar. And he abode with him the space of a chodesh (month). 15And Lavan said unto Ya'akov, Because thou art my relative, shouldest thou therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what shall thy maskoret (wages) be? 16And Lavan had two banot: the shem of the elder was Leah, and the shem of the younger was Rachel. 17Leah had weak eyes; but Rachel was yafeh and lovely in form. 18And Ya'akov loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee sheva shanim for Rachel thy bat haketannah (younger daughter). 19And Lavan said, It is better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her to another ish; abide with me. 20And Ya'akov served sheva shanim for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few yamim, because of the ahavah he had for her. 21And Ya'akov said unto Lavan, Give me my isha, for my yamim are completed, that I may go in unto her. 22And Lavan gathered together all the anshei hamakom, and made a mishteh (feast). 23And it came to pass in the erev, that he took Leah his bat, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her. 24And Lavan gave unto his daughter Leah Zilpah shifchato (his maid) for a shifchah. 25And it came to pass, that in the boker, hinei, it was Leah! And he said to Lavan, What is this thou hast done unto me? Did not I serve with thee for Rachel? So why then hast thou deceived me? 26And Lavan said, It must not be so done in our land, to give the younger before the bechirah. 27Finish her shvu'a (week), and we will give thee this also for the avodah (service, work) which thou shalt do for me yet sheva shanim acherot. 28And Ya'akov did so, and fulfilled her shvu'a; and he gave him Rachel his bat to be his isha also. 29And Lavan gave to his bat Rachel Bilhah his shifchah to be her shifchah. 30And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served him yet sheva shanim acherot. 31And when Hashem saw that Leah was hated, He opened her womb but Rachel was barren. 32And Leah conceived, and bore a ben, and she called shmo Reuven: for she said, Surely Hashem hath looked upon my misery; now therefore my ish will love me. 33And she conceived again, and bore ben; and said, Because Hashem hath heard I was hated, He hath therefore given me this also; and she called shmo Shimon. 34And she conceived again, and bore ben; and said, Now this time will my ish yillaveh (become attached) unto me, because I have born him shloshah banim: therefore was shmo called Levi. 35And she conceived again, and bore ben; and she said, Now will odeh (I praise) Hashem; therefore she called shmo Yehudah; and stopped giving birth.