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Genesis 29

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1Then Iaakob lift vp his feete and came into the East countrey. 2And as he looked about, behold there was a well in the field, and lo, three flocks of sheepe lay thereby (for at that well were the flockes watered) and there was a great stone vpon the welles mouth. 3And thither were all the flockes gathered, and they rolled the stone from the welles mouth, and watered the sheepe, and put the stone againe vpon the welles mouth in his place. 4And Iaakob sayde vnto them, My brethren, whence be ye? And they answered, We are of Haran. 5Then he sayd vnto them, Know ye Laban the sonne of Nahor? Who said, We know him. 6Againe he sayd vnto them, Is he in good health? And they answered, He is in good health, and beholde, his daughter Rahel commeth with the sheepe. 7Then he sayd, Lo, it is yet hie day, neither is it time that the cattell shoulde be gathered together: water ye the sheepe and go feede them. 8But they sayde, We may not vntill all the flocks be brought together, and till men rolle the stone from the welles mouth, that we may water the sheepe. 9While he talked with them, Rahel also came with her fathers sheepe, for she kept them. 10And assoone as Iaakob saw Rahel ye daughter of Laban his mothers brother, and the sheepe of Laban his mothers brother, then came Iaakob neere, and rolled the stone from the welles mouth, and watered ye flocke of Laban his mothers brother. 11And Iaakob kissed Rahel, and lift vp his voyce and wept. 12(For Iaakob tolde Rahel, that he was her fathers brother, and that he was Rebekahs sonne) then she ranne and tolde her father. 13And when Laban heard tell of Iaakob his sisters sonne, he ranne to meete him, and embraced him and kissed him, and brought him to his house: and he tolde Laban all these things. 14To whome Laban sayd, Well, thou art my bone and my flesh. and he abode with him the space of a moneth. 15For Laban sayde vnto Iaakob, Though thou be my brother, shouldest thou therfore serue me for nought? tell me, what shalbe thy wages? 16Now Laban had two daughters, the elder called Leah, and the yonger called Rahel. 17And Leah was tender eyed, but Rahel was beautifull and faire. 18And Iaakob loued Rahel, and sayde, I will serue thee seuen yeeres for Rahel thy yonger daughter. 19Then Laban answered, It is better that I giue her thee, then that I should giue her to another man: abide with me. 20And Iaakob serued seuen yeres for Rahel, and they seemed vnto him but a few dayes, because he loued her. 21Then Iaakob sayde to Laban, Giue me my wife, that I may goe in to her: for my terme is ended. 22Wherefore Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast. 23But whe the euening was come, he tooke Leah his daughter and brought her to him, and he went in vnto her. 24And Laban gaue his mayde Zilpah to his daughter Leah, to be her seruant. 25But when the morning was come, behold, it was Leah. Then sayde he to Laban, Wherefore hast thou done thus to mee? did not I serue thee for Rahel? wherfore then hast thou beguiled me? 26And Laban answered, It is not the maner of this place, to giue the yonger before the elder. 27Fulfill seuen yeeres for her, and we wil also giue thee this for the seruice, which thou shalt serue me yet seuen yeeres more. 28Then Iaakob did so, and fulfilled her seuen yeeres, so he gaue him Rahel his daughter to be his wife. 29Laban also gaue to Rahel his daughter Bilhah his mayde to be her seruant. 30So entred he in to Rahel also, and loued also Rahel more then Leah, and serued him yet seuen yeeres more. 31When the Lord saw that Leah was despised, he made her fruitful: but Rahel was barren. 32And Leah conceiued and bare a sonne, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Because the Lord hath looked vpon my tribulation, now therefore mine husband will loue me. 33And she conceiued againe and bare a sonne, and sayde, Because the Lord heard that I was hated, he hath therefore giuen me this sonne also, and she called his name Simeon. 34And she conceiued againe and bare a sonne, and said, Now at this time wil my husband keepe mee company, because I haue borne him three sonnes: therefore was his name called Leui. 35Moreouer shee conceiued againe and bare a sonne, saying, Nowe will I prayse the Lord: therefore shee called his name Iudah, and left bearing.
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Jacob’s Arrival in Haran
1Jacob continued on his trip and came to the land in the east. 2He looked around, and out in a field he saw a well with a large stone over the opening. Three flocks of sheep were lying down near it, because the flocks were watered from that well. 3When all the flocks were gathered there, the stone would be rolled off the opening of the well so that the sheep could be watered. Then the stone would be put back in place over the opening of the well.
4Jacob asked some people, “My friends, where are you from?”
“We’re from Haran,” they replied.
5He asked them, “Do you know Laban, Nahor’s grandson?”
They answered, “We do.”
6“How is he doing?” Jacob asked them.
“He’s fine,” they answered. “Here comes his daughter Rachel with the sheep.”
7“It’s still the middle of the day,” he said. “It isn’t time yet to gather the livestock. Water the sheep. Then let them graze.”
8They replied, “We can’t until all the flocks are gathered. When the stone is rolled off the opening of the well, we can water the sheep.”
9While he was still talking to them, Rachel arrived with her father’s sheep, because she was a shepherd. 10Jacob saw Rachel, daughter of his uncle Laban, with his uncle Laban’s sheep. He came forward and rolled the stone off the opening of the well and watered his uncle Laban’s sheep. 11Then Jacob kissed Rachel and sobbed loudly. 12When Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s nephew and that he was Rebekah’s son, she ran and told her father.
13As soon as Laban heard the news about his sister’s son Jacob, he ran to meet him. He hugged and kissed him and brought him into his home. Then Jacob told Laban all that had happened. 14Laban said to him, “You are my own flesh and blood.”
Jacob Obtains Wives
Jacob stayed with him for a whole month. 15Then Laban said to him, “Just because you’re my relative doesn’t mean that you should work for nothing. Tell me what your wages should be.”
16Laban had two daughters. The name of the older one was Leah, and the name of the younger one was Rachel. 17Leah had attractive eyes,#29:17 Or “had no sparkle in her eyes.” but Rachel had a beautiful figure and beautiful features. 18Jacob loved Rachel. So he offered, “I’ll work seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.”
19Laban responded, “It’s better that I give her to you than to any other man. Stay with me.” 20Jacob worked seven years in return for Rachel, but the years seemed like only a few days to him because he loved her.
21 ⌞At the end of the seven years⌟ Jacob said to Laban, “The time is up; give me my wife! I want to sleep with her.” 22So Laban invited all the people of that place and gave a wedding feast. 23In the evening he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob. Jacob slept with her. When morning came, he realized it was Leah.#29:23 The first part of verse 25 (in Hebrew) has been placed in verse 23 to express the complex Hebrew paragraph structure more clearly in English. 24(Laban had given his slave Zilpah to his daughter Leah as her slave.)
25“What have you done to me?” Jacob asked Laban. “Didn’t I work for you in return for Rachel? Why did you cheat me?”
26Laban answered, “It’s not our custom to give the younger daughter ⌞in marriage⌟ before the older one. 27Finish the week of wedding festivities with this daughter. Then we will give you the other one too. But you’ll have to work for me another seven years.”
28That’s what Jacob did. He finished the week with Leah. Then Laban gave his daughter Rachel to him as his wife. 29(Laban had given his slave Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her slave.) 30Jacob slept with Rachel too. He loved Rachel more than Leah. So he worked for Laban another seven years.
Leah and Rachel Compete for Jacob’s Love
31When the Lord saw Leah was unloved, he made it possible for her to have children, but Rachel had none. 32Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben [Here’s My Son], because she said, “Certainly, the Lord has seen my misery; now my husband will love me!” 33She became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She said, “Certainly, the Lord has heard that I’m unloved, and he also has given me this son.” So she named him Simeon [Hearing]. 34She became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She said, “Now at last my husband will become attached to me because I’ve given him three sons.” So she named him Levi [Attached]. 35She became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” So she named him Judah [Praise]. Then she stopped having children.