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Genesis 29

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1Jacob went quickly on his way,#29:1. “Went quickly on his way”: literally, “lifted up his feet.” and arrived in the land of the eastern people. 2As he looked around he saw a well in a field with three flocks of sheep lying down beside it, waiting to be given water. A large stone covered the top of the well. 3The usual practice was that#29:3. “The usual practice was that”: supplied for clarity. once all the flocks had arrived, the shepherds would roll away the stone from the well and give their sheep water. Then they would put the stone back again.
4Jacob asked them, “My brothers, where are you from?”
“We're from Haran,” they replied.
5“Do you know Laban, Nahor's grandson?” he asked.
“Yes, we know him,” they replied.
6“How is he?” he asked.
“He's well,” they replied. “Look! In fact here's his daughter Rachel coming with the sheep right now.”
7“Look, there's still plenty of daylight left,” said Jacob. “It's too early to round up the sheep yet. Why not let them drink so they can go back to grazing?”
8“We can't do that until all the flocks have arrived,” they told him. “Then we roll away the stone from the well and let the sheep drink.”
9While he was still talking with them Rachel arrived with the flock she was looking after for her father. 10When Jacob saw Rachel, the daughter of Laban, his mother's brother, he went over and rolled away the stone from the well so Laban's sheep could drink. 11Then Jacob kissed Rachel and wept for joy. 12(He had told her that he was the son of Laban's brother and Rebekah.) She ran and told her father what had happened.
13As soon as Laban heard the news about Jacob he ran out to meet him. He hugged him and kissed him, and took him home. After Jacob had explained everything to Laban, 14Laban told him, “No question about it—you're my own flesh and blood!” Jacob stayed with Laban for a month.
15One day Laban said to him, “You're my relative so you shouldn't be working for me for nothing! Tell me, what should I pay you?”
16Laban had two daughters. The older one was Leah, and the younger one was Rachel. 17Leah had kind#29:17. “Kind”: literally, “soft” or “gentle.” eyes, but Rachel had a shapely figure and beautiful looks. 18Jacob was in love with Rachel so he promised Laban, “I'll do seven years work#29:18. “Seven years work”: in contrast to Abraham's servant Eliezer (chapter 24) Jacob had arrived with no gifts or dowry, so he offers his service as payment in kind. for you for Rachel, your younger daughter.”
19“Well it's better for me to give her to you than anyone else,” Laban replied. “So stay here and work for me.” 20Jacob worked for Laban for seven years, but to him they seemed like just a few days because he really loved her.
21Then Jacob said to Laban, “I've completed the time we agreed. Now give me your daughter to be my wife.”
22So Laban organized a wedding banquet#29:22. “A wedding banquet”: the word actually means “a drinking party,” which is probably the only way the deception could have been successful. and invited everyone around to come. 23But once it was dark Laban brought his daughter Leah to Jacob, and he slept with her. 24(Laban also arranged for his servant Zilpah to be Leah's personal maid.)
25When morning came, he saw it was Leah! He went to Laban and asked angrily, “What have you done to me? It was for Rachel that I worked for you! Why have you deceived me?”
26“Here we don't give the younger daughter in marriage before the firstborn,” Laban replied. 27“Finish this week of wedding celebrations and then I'll give you the other daughter as well, as long as you work another seven years for me.”
28Jacob agreed. He finished the week of wedding celebrations for Leah, and then Laban gave Jacob his daughter Rachel as his wife as well. 29(Laban also arranged for his servant Bilhah to be Rachel's personal maid.) 30So Jacob slept with Rachel as well, and he loved Rachel more than Leah. He worked for Laban another seven years for Rachel.
31The Lord saw that Leah wasn't loved he helped Leah to have children, but not Rachel. 32Leah became pregnant, and had a son she named Reuben,#29:32. “Reuben”: means “Look, a son!” and also sounds like “he saw my suffering.” for she said, “The Lord saw how much I was suffering and now my husband will love me!”
33Then Leah became pregnant again, and had another son. She said, “The Lord has heard that I'm not loved so he gave me this son.” So she named him Simeon.#29:33. “Simeon”: means “he hears.”
34Leah became pregnant for the third time, and had another son. She said, “Finally my husband will be attached to me because now I've given him three sons.” That's why he was named Levi.#29:34. “Levi”: means “attached” or “joined.”
35Once again Leah became pregnant and had another son. She named him Judah,#29:35. “Judah”: means “praise.” for she said, “Now I can really praise the Lord!” After that she had no more children.
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Jacob Meets Rachel
1Then Jacob #Lit lifted up his feetset out on his journey, and went to the land of the #Lit sonspeople of the east. 2He looked, and #Lit beholdsaw a well in the field, and behold, three flocks of sheep were lying there beside it, because they watered the flocks from that well. Now the stone on the mouth of the well was large. 3When all the flocks were gathered there, they would roll the stone from the mouth of the well and water the sheep. Then they would put the stone back in its place on the mouth of the well.
4Jacob said to them, “My brothers, where are you from?” And they said, “We are from Haran.” 5So he said to them, “Do you know Laban the son of Nahor?” And they said, “We know him.6And he said to them, “Is it well with him?” And they said, “It is well, and here is his daughter Rachel coming with the sheep.” 7Then he said, “Look, it is still high day; it is not time for the livestock to be gathered. Water the sheep, and go, pasture them.” 8But they said, “We cannot, until all the flocks are gathered, and they roll the stone from the mouth of the well; then we water the sheep.”
9While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess. 10When Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of his mother’s brother Laban, and the sheep of his mother’s brother Laban, Jacob went up and rolled the stone from the mouth of the well, and watered the flock of his mother’s brother Laban. 11Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and raised his voice and wept. 12Jacob told Rachel that he was a relative of her father and that he was Rebekah’s son, and she ran and told her father.
13So when Laban heard the news about Jacob, his sister’s son, he ran to meet him, and embraced him and kissed him, and brought him to his house. Then he told Laban all these things. 14And Laban said to him, “You certainly are my bone and my flesh.” And he stayed with him a month.
15Then Laban said to Jacob, “Because you are my relative, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what shall your wages be?” 16Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17And Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful in figure and appearance. 18Now Jacob loved Rachel, so he said, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.” 19Laban said, “It is better that I give her to you than to give her to another man; stay with me.” 20So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him like only a few days because of his love for her.
Laban’s Treachery
21Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife, for my #Lit days aretime is completed, that I may have relations with her.” 22So Laban gathered all the people of the place and held a feast. 23Now in the evening he took his daughter Leah and brought her to him; and Jacob had relations with her. 24Laban also gave his female slave Zilpah to his daughter Leah as a slave. 25So it came about in the morning that, behold, it was Leah! And he said to Laban, “What is this that you have done to me? Was it not for Rachel that I served with you? Why then have you deceived me?” 26But Laban said, “It is not #Lit done thus inthe practice in our place to #Lit givemarry off the younger before the firstborn. 27Complete the week of this one, and we will give you the other also for the service which you shall serve with me, for another seven years.” 28Jacob did so and completed her week, and he gave him his daughter Rachel as his wife. 29Laban also gave his female slave Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her slave. 30So Jacob had relations with Rachel also, and indeed he loved Rachel more than Leah, and he served with #Lit himLaban for another seven years.
31Now the Lord saw that Leah was #Lit hatedunloved, and He opened her womb, but Rachel was unable to have children. 32Leah conceived and gave birth to a son, and named him #I.e., see, a sonReuben, for she said, “Because the Lord has #Lit looked atseen my affliction; surely now my husband will love me.” 33Then she conceived again and gave birth to a son, and said, “Because the Lord has #Heb shama, related to Simeonheard that I am #Lit hatedunloved, He has therefore given me this son also.” So she named him Simeon. 34And she conceived again and gave birth to a son, and said, “Now this time my husband will become #Heb lavah, related to Leviattached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore he was named Levi. 35And she conceived again and gave birth to a son, and said, “This time I will #Heb Jadah, related to Judahpraise the Lord.” Therefore she named him #Heb JehudahJudah. Then she stopped having children.