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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
1And Ya‛aqoḇ moved on and came to the land of the people of the East.
2And he looked and saw a well in the field, and saw three flocks of sheep lying by it, for out of that well they watered the flocks, and a large stone was on the well’s mouth.
3And all the flocks would be gathered there, then they would roll the stone from the well’s mouth and water the sheep, and put the stone back in its place on the well’s mouth.
4So Ya‛aqoḇ said to them, “My brothers, where are you from?” And they said, “We are from Ḥaran.”
5And he said to them, “Do you know Laḇan son of Naḥor?” And they said, “We know him.”
6So he said to them, “Is he well?” And they said, “Well. And see, his daughter Raḥĕl is coming with the sheep.”
7And he said, “See, it is still high day, not the time for the livestock to be gathered together. Water the sheep, and go and feed them.”
8But they said, “We are not allowed until all the flocks are gathered together, and they have rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, then we shall water the sheep.”
9While he was still speaking with them, Raḥĕl came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess.
10And it came to be, when Ya‛aqoḇ saw Raḥĕl the daughter of Laḇan his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laḇan his mother’s brother, that Ya‛aqoḇ went near and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the flock of Laḇan his mother’s brother.
11And Ya‛aqoḇ kissed Raḥĕl, and lifted up his voice and wept.
12And when Ya‛aqoḇ told Raḥĕl that he was her father’s relative and that he was Riḇqah’s son, she ran and told her father.
13And it came to be, when Laḇan heard the report about Ya‛aqoḇ his sister’s son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him and kissed him, and brought him to his house. Then he told Laḇan all these matters.
14And Laḇan said to him, “You are indeed my bone and my flesh.” And he stayed with him for a new moon.
15Then Laḇan said to Ya‛aqoḇ, “Because you are my relative, should you therefore serve me for naught? Let me know, what should your wages be?”
16And Laḇan had two daughters, the name of the elder was Lĕ’ah, and the name of the younger was Raḥĕl.
17And Lĕ’ah’s eyes were weak, but Raḥĕl was beautiful of form and beautiful of appearance.
18And Ya‛aqoḇ loved Raḥĕl, so he said, “Let me serve you seven years for Raḥĕl your younger daughter.”
19And Laḇan said, “It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to another man. Stay with me.”
20So Ya‛aqoḇ served seven years for Raḥĕl, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.
21Then Ya‛aqoḇ said to Laḇan, “Give me my wife, for my days are completed, and let me go in to her.”
22And Laḇan gathered all the men of the place and made a feast.
23And it came to be in the evening, that he took Lĕ’ah his daughter and brought her to Ya‛aqoḇ. And he went in to her.
24And Laḇan gave his female servant Zilpah to his daughter Lĕ’ah as a female servant.
25And in the morning it came to be, that see, it was Lĕ’ah. So he said to Laḇan, “What is this you have done to me? Was it not for Raḥĕl that I served you? Why then have you deceived me?”
26And Laḇan said, “It is not done this way in our place, to give the younger before the first-born.
27Complete the week of this one, then we give you this one too, for the service which you shall serve with me still another seven years.
28And Ya‛aqoḇ did so and completed her week. Then he gave him his daughter Raḥĕl too, as wife.
29And Laḇan gave his female servant Bilhah to his daughter Raḥĕl as a female servant.
30And he also went in to Raḥĕl, and he also loved Raḥĕl more than Lĕ’ah. And he served with Laḇan still another seven years.
31And יהוה saw that Lĕ’ah was unloved, and He opened her womb, but Raḥĕl was barren.
32And Lĕ’ah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Re’uḇĕn, for she said, “For יהוה has looked on my affliction, because now my husband is going to love me.”
33And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Because יהוה has heard that I am unloved, He gave me this son too.” And she called his name Shim‛on.
34And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Now this time my husband is joined to me, because I have borne him three sons.” So his name was called Lĕwi.
35And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Now I praise יהוה.” So she called his name Yehuḏah. And she ceased bearing.