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Genesis 29

29
Jacob Meets Rachel
1Jacob resumed his journey#29:1 Lit Jacob picked up his feet and went to the eastern country.#29:1 Lit the land of the children of the east#Nm 23:7; Jdg 6:3 2He looked and saw a well in a field. Three flocks of sheep were lying there beside it because the sheep were watered from this well. But a large stone covered the opening of the well. 3The shepherds would roll the stone from the opening of the well and water the sheep when all the flocks#29:3 Sam, some LXX mss read flocks and the shepherds were gathered there. Then they would return the stone to its place over the well’s opening.
4Jacob asked the men at the well, “My brothers! Where are you from?”
“We’re from Haran,” they answered.
5“Do you know Laban, Nahor’s grandson?” Jacob asked them.
They answered, “We know him.”
6“Is he well?” Jacob asked.
“Yes,” they said, “and here is his daughter Rachel, coming with his sheep.”
7Then Jacob said, “Look, it is still broad daylight. It’s not time for the animals to be gathered. Water the flock, then go out and let them graze.”
8But they replied, “We can’t until all the flocks have been gathered and the stone is rolled from the well’s opening. Then we will water the sheep.”
9While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess. 10As soon as Jacob saw his uncle Laban’s daughter Rachel with his sheep,#29:10 Lit with the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother he went up and rolled the stone from the opening and watered his uncle Laban’s sheep. 11Then Jacob kissed Rachel and wept loudly.#29:11 Lit and he lifted his voice and wept 12He told Rachel that he was her father’s relative, Rebekah’s son. She ran and told her father.
Jacob Deceived
13When Laban heard the news about his sister’s son Jacob, he ran to meet him, hugged him, and kissed him. Then he took him to his house, and Jacob told him all that had happened.
14Laban said to him, “Yes, you are my own flesh and blood.”#29:14 Lit my bone and my flesh#Gn 2:23; 37:27; Jdg 9:2; 2Sm 5:1; 19:12–13; 1Ch 11:1
After Jacob had stayed with him a month, 15Laban said to him, “Just because you’re my relative, should you work for me for nothing? Tell me what your wages should be.”
16Now Laban had two daughters: the older was named Leah, and the younger was named Rachel. 17Leah had tender eyes, but Rachel was shapely and beautiful. 18Jacob loved Rachel, so he answered Laban, “I’ll work for you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.”#Gn 30:26; 31:41; Hs 12:12
19Laban replied, “Better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay with me.” 20So Jacob worked seven years for Rachel, and they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.
21Then Jacob said to Laban, “Since my time is complete, give me my wife, so I can sleep with#29:21 Lit can go to her.” 22So Laban invited all the men of the place and sponsored a feast. 23That evening, Laban took his daughter Leah and gave her to Jacob, and he slept with her. 24And Laban gave his slave Zilpah to his daughter Leah as her slave.
25When morning came, there was Leah! So he said to Laban, “What have you done to me? Wasn’t it for Rachel that I worked for you? Why have you deceived me?”
26Laban answered, “It is not the custom in our country to give the younger daughter in marriage before the firstborn. 27Complete this week of wedding celebration, and we will also give you this younger one in return for working yet another seven years for me.”
28And Jacob did just that. He finished the week of celebration, and Laban gave him his daughter Rachel as his wife. 29And Laban gave his slave Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her slave. 30Jacob slept with Rachel also, and indeed, he loved Rachel more than Leah. And he worked for Laban another seven years.#Gn 31:41
Jacob’s Sons
31When the Lord saw that Leah was neglected,#Gn 25:28; Dt 21:15–16; 22:13; 24:3; Lk 14:26; 16:13 he opened her womb;#Gn 30:22 but Rachel was unable to conceive.#Gn 11:30; 25:21; Jdg 13:2–3; 1Sm 2:5; Lk 1:36 32Leah conceived, gave birth to a son, and named him Reuben,#29:32 = See, a Son; in Hb, the name Reuben sounds like “has seen my affliction.” for she said, “The Lord has seen my affliction;#Gn 31:42; Ex 3:7; 4:31; Dt 26:7 surely my husband will love me now.”
33She conceived again, gave birth to a son, and said, “The Lord heard that I am neglected and has given me this son also.” So she named him Simeon.#29:33 In Hb, the name Simeon sounds like “has heard.”
34She conceived again, gave birth to a son, and said, “At last, my husband will become attached to me because I have borne three sons for him.” Therefore he was named Levi.#29:34 In Hb, the name Levi sounds like “attached to.”
35And she conceived again, gave birth to a son, and said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” Therefore she named him Judah.#29:35 In Hb, the name Judah sounds like “praise.”#Gn 49:8; Mt 1:2 Then Leah stopped having children.
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.