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B'resheet (Gen) 29

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1(ii) Continuing his journey, Ya‘akov came to the land of the people of the east. 2As he looked, he saw a well in a field; and there were three flocks of sheep lying there next to it; because they watered the sheep from that well. The stone on the well’s mouth was large, 3and only when all the flocks had gathered there would they roll the stone away from the opening of the well and water the sheep. Then they would put the stone back in its place on the well’s opening.
4Ya‘akov said to them, “My brothers, where are you from?” They answered, “We’re from Haran.” 5He asked them, “Do you know Lavan the [grand]son of Nachor?” They said, “We do.” 6He asked them, “Are things going well with him?” “Yes,” they answered, “and here comes his daughter Rachel with the sheep.” 7He said, “Look, there’s still plenty of daylight left; and it isn’t time to bring the animals home; so water the sheep; then go, and put them out to pasture.” 8They answered, “We can’t, not until all the flocks have been gathered together, and they roll the stone away from the opening of the well. That’s when we water the sheep.”
9While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, because she took care of them. 10When Ya‘akov saw Rachel the daughter of Lavan his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Lavan his mother’s brother, Ya‘akov went up and rolled the stone away from the opening of the well and watered the flock of Lavan his mother’s brother. 11Ya‘akov kissed Rachel and wept aloud. 12Ya‘akov told Rachel that he was her father’s relative, and that he was Rivkah’s son; and she ran and told her father. 13When Lavan heard the news of Ya‘akov his sister’s son, he ran to meet him, hugged him and kissed him, and brought him to his house. Ya‘akov told Lavan all that had happened. 14Lavan said to him, “You are indeed my own flesh and blood.”
After Ya‘akov had stayed with him for a whole month, 15Lavan said to him, “Why should you work for me for nothing, just because you are my relative? Tell me how much I should pay you.” 16Now Lavan had two daughters; the name of the older was Le’ah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17Le’ah’s eyes were weak; but Rachel was good-looking, with beautiful features.
(iii) 18Ya‘akov had fallen in love with Rachel and said, “I will work for you seven years in exchange for Rachel your younger daughter.” 19Lavan answered, “Better that I give her to you than to someone else; stay with me.” 20So Ya‘akov worked seven years for Rachel, and it seemed only a few days to him, because he was so much in love with her.
21Ya‘akov said to Lavan, “Give me my wife, since my time is finished, so that I can start living with her.” 22Lavan gathered all the men of the place and gave a banquet. 23In the evening he took Le’ah his daughter and brought her to Ya‘akov, and he went in and slept with her. 24Lavan also gave his slave-girl Zilpah to his daughter Le’ah as her slave-girl.
25In the morning Ya‘akov saw that he was with Le’ah, and he said to Lavan, “What kind of thing is this that you’ve done to me? Didn’t I work for you for Rachel? Why have you deceived me?” 26Lavan answered, “In our place that isn’t how it’s done, to give the younger daughter before the firstborn. 27Finish the marriage week of this one, and we’ll give you the other one also in exchange for the work you will do for me during yet another seven years.” 28Ya‘akov agreed to this, so he finished her week, and Lavan gave him his daughter Rachel as his wife. 29Lavan also gave to his daughter Rachel his slave-girl Bilhah as her slave-girl. 30So not only did Ya‘akov go in and sleep with Rachel, but he also loved Rachel more than Le’ah. Then he served Lavan another seven years.
31Adonai saw that Le’ah was unloved, so he made her fertile, while Rachel remained childless. 32Le’ah conceived and gave birth to a son, whom she named Re’uven [see, a son!], for she said, “It is because Adonai has seen how humiliated I have been, but now my husband will love me.” 33She conceived again, gave birth to a son and said, “It is because Adonai has heard that I am unloved; therefore he has given me this son also.” So she named him Shim‘on [hearing]. 34Once more she conceived and had a son; and she said, “Now this time my husband will be joined to me, because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore she named him Levi [joining]. 35She conceived yet again, had a son and said, “This time I will praise Adonai”; therefore she named him Y’hudah [praise]. Then she stopped having children.
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Jacob Meets Rachel
1#Jdg 6:3; 6:33Then Jacob went on his journey and came into the land of the people of the east. 2#Ge 24:11; Ex 2:15–16As he looked, he saw a well in the field and three flocks of sheep lying by it, for out of that well the flocks were watered. A large stone was on the well’s opening. 3When all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds rolled the stone from the well’s opening, watered the sheep, then put the stone back on the well’s opening in its place.
4#Ge 28:10; 27:43Jacob said to them, “My brothers, where are you from?”
And they said, “We are from Harran.”
5#Ge 24:24; 24:29Then he said to them, “Do you know Laban the son of Nahor?”
And they said, “We know him.”
6He said to them, “Is he well?”
And they said, “He is well, and here is Rachel his daughter coming with the sheep.”
7He said, “Since it is yet midday, it is not the time that the livestock should be gathered together. Water the sheep, and go and feed them.”
8They said, “We cannot until all the flocks are gathered together and the stone is rolled from the well’s opening. Then we may water the sheep.”
9While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she kept them. 10#Ex 2:17When Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, Jacob went near and rolled the stone from the well’s opening and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother. 11#Ge 33:4; 43:30; 45:2Jacob kissed Rachel and wept aloud. 12#Ge 24:28; 13:8Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s relative and that he was Rebekah’s son. Then she ran and told her father.
13#Ge 24:29When Laban heard the news of Jacob his sister’s son, he ran to meet him and embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his house. Then Jacob told Laban all these things. 14#Ge 2:23; Jdg 9:2Laban said to him, “Surely you are my bone and my flesh.”
And he stayed with him for a month. 15Laban said to Jacob, “Since you are my relative, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what shall your wages be?”
Jacob Marries Leah and Rachel
16Now Laban had two daughters. The name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17#Ge 12:11Leah’s eyes were tender, but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance. 18#Hos 12:12; Ge 31:41Jacob loved Rachel, so he said, “I will serve you seven years for Rachel your younger daughter.”
19Laban said, “It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to another man. Stay with me.” 20#Hos 12:12So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.
21#Jdg 15:1Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, so that I may have relations with her.”
22Laban gathered together all the men of the place and prepared a feast. 23But in the evening he took Leah his daughter and brought her to Jacob, and Jacob had relations with her. 24#Ge 30:9–12Laban gave Zilpah his maid to his daughter Leah for a maidservant.
25In the morning Jacob discovered it was Leah, and he said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve you for Rachel? Why then have you tricked me?”
26Then Laban said, “It is not the custom in our country to marry off the younger before the firstborn. 27#Jdg 14:12Fulfill the period of seven days for this one, and we will give you the other also in return for serving me another seven years.”
28Jacob did so and completed her week. Then Laban gave him Rachel his daughter as his wife also. 29Laban gave Bilhah his maidservant to Rachel his daughter to be her maid. 30#Ge 31:41; 29:18So Jacob also had relations with Rachel, and he loved Rachel more than Leah and served Laban another seven years.
Jacob’s Children
31#Dt 21:15; Ge 30:22When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, He opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. 32#Ex 4:31; Dt 26:7Leah conceived and gave birth to a son, and she called his name Reuben, for she said, “Surely the Lord has looked upon my affliction. Now therefore my husband will love me.”
33#Ge 34:25She conceived again and gave birth to a son and said, “Because the Lord has heard that I was unloved, He has therefore given me this son also.” Then she called his name Simeon.
34#Ge 49:5–7She conceived again and gave birth to a son and said, “Now this time my husband will be joined to me, because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore his name was called Levi.
35#Mt 1:2She conceived again and gave birth to a son, and she said, “Now I will praise the Lord!” Therefore she called his name Judah. Then she stopped giving birth.