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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
1So Jacob went on his journey #Gen. 25:6; Num. 23:7; Judg. 6:3, 33; Hos. 12:12and came to the land of the people of the East. 2And he looked, and saw a #Gen. 24:10, 11; Ex. 2:15, 16well in the field; and behold, there were three flocks of sheep lying by it; for out of that well they watered the flocks. A large stone was on the well’s mouth. 3Now all the flocks would be gathered there; and they would roll the stone from the well’s mouth, water the sheep, and put the stone back in its place on the well’s mouth.
4And Jacob said to them, “My brethren, where are you from?”
And they said, “We are from #Gen. 11:31; 28:10Haran.”
5Then he said to them, “Do you know #Gen. 24:24, 29; 28:2Laban the son of Nahor?”
And they said, “We know him.”
6So he said to them, #Gen. 43:27“Is he well?”
And they said, “He is well. And look, his daughter Rachel #Gen. 24:11; Ex. 2:16, 17is coming with the sheep.”
7Then he said, “Look, it is still high day; it is not time for the cattle to be gathered together. Water the sheep, and go and feed them.
8But they said, “We cannot until all the flocks are gathered together, and they have rolled the stone from the well’s mouth; then we water the sheep.”
9Now while he was still speaking with them, #Ex. 2:16Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess. 10And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, that Jacob went near and #Ex. 2:17rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother. 11Then Jacob #Gen. 33:4; 45:14, 15kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice and wept. 12And Jacob told Rachel that he was #Gen. 13:8; 14:14, 16; 28:5her father’s relative and that he was Rebekah’s son. #Gen. 24:28So she ran and told her father.
13Then it came to pass, when Laban heard the report about Jacob his sister’s son, that #Gen. 24:29–31; Luke 15:20he ran to meet him, and embraced him and kissed him, and brought him to his house. So he told Laban all these things. 14And Laban said to him, #Gen. 2:23; 37:27; Judg. 9:2; 2 Sam. 5:1; 19:12, 13“Surely you are my bone and my flesh.” And he stayed with him for a month.
Jacob Marries Leah and Rachel
15Then Laban said to Jacob, “Because you are my relative, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, #Gen. 30:28; 31:41what should your wages be?16Now Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17Leah’s eyes were delicate, but Rachel was #Gen. 12:11, 14; 26:7beautiful of form and appearance.
18Now Jacob loved Rachel; so he said, #Gen. 31:41; 2 Sam. 3:14; Hos. 12:12“I will serve you seven years for Rachel your younger daughter.”
19And Laban said, “It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to another man. Stay with me.” 20So Jacob #Gen. 30:26; Hos. 12:12served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her.
21Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may #Judg. 15:1go in to her.” 22And Laban gathered together all the men of the place and #Judg. 14:10; John 2:1, 2made a feast. 23Now it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter and brought her to Jacob; and he went in to her. 24And Laban gave his maid #Gen. 30:9, 10Zilpah to his daughter Leah as a maid. 25So it came to pass in the morning, that behold, it was Leah. And he said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Was it not for Rachel that I served you? Why then have you #Gen. 27:35; 31:7; 1 Sam. 28:12deceived me?”
26And Laban said, “It must not be done so in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn. 27#Gen. 31:41; Judg. 14:2Fulfill her week, and we will give you this one also for the service which you will serve with me still another seven years.”
28Then Jacob did so and fulfilled her week. So he gave him his daughter Rachel as wife also. 29And Laban gave his maid #Gen. 30:3–5Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as a maid. 30Then Jacob also went in to Rachel, and he also #Gen. 29:17–20; Deut. 21:15–17loved Rachel more than Leah. And he served with Laban #Gen. 30:26; 31:41; Hos. 12:12still another seven years.
The Children of Jacob
31When the Lord #Ps. 127:3saw that Leah was unloved, He #Gen. 30:1opened her womb; but Rachel was barren. 32So Leah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben; for she said, “The Lord has surely #Gen. 16:11; 31:42; Ex. 3:7; 4:31; Deut. 26:7; Ps. 25:18looked on my affliction. Now therefore, my husband will love me.” 33Then she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Because the Lord has heard that I am unloved, He has therefore given me this son also.” And she called his name Simeon. 34She conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Now this time my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore his name was called Levi. 35And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Now I will praise the Lord.” Therefore she called his name #Gen. 49:8; Matt. 1:2Judah. Then she stopped bearing.