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Genesis 29

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CHAPTER 29
1Therefore Jacob passed forth, and came into the east land;
2and he saw a pit or well in the field, and three flocks of sheep resting beside it, for why sheep were watered thereof, and the mouth thereof was closed with a great stone.
3And the custom was that when all the sheep were gathered together, they should turn away the stone, and when the flocks were watered, they should put it again on the mouth of the pit.
4And Jacob said to the shepherds, Brethren, of whence be ye? Which answered, Of Haran.
5And he asked them and said, Whether ye know Laban, the son of Nahor? They said, We know him.
6Jacob said, Is he whole? They said, He is in good state; and lo! Rachel, his daughter, cometh with his flock.
7And Jacob said, Yet much of the day is to come, and it is not time that the flocks be led again to the folds; soothly give ye drink to the sheep, and so lead ye them again to meat or feeding.
8Which answered, We may not till all the sheep be gathered together, and till we remove the stone from the mouth of the pit, to water the flocks.
9Yet they spake, and lo! Rachel came with the sheep of her father.
10And when Jacob saw her, and knew her to be the daughter of his mother’s brother, and the sheep to be of Laban his uncle, he removed the stone with which the pit was closed; and when the flock was watered,
11he kissed her, and he wept with voice raised.
12And Jacob showed to her that he was the brother of her father, and the son of Rebecca; and she hasted, and told to her father.
13And when he had heard, that Jacob, the son of his sister, came, he ran to meet him, and he embraced Jacob, and kissed him, and led him into his house. Forsooth when the causes of the journey were heard,
14Laban answered, Thou art my bone and my flesh. And after that the days of a month were filled,
15Laban said to Jacob, Whether for thou art my brother, thou shalt serve me freely? say thou what meed thou shalt take.
16Forsooth Laban had two daughters, the name of the elder was Leah, soothly the younger was called Rachel;
17but Leah was bleary-eyed, and Rachel was of fair face, and lovely in sight.
18And Jacob loved Rachel, and said, I shall serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter.
19Laban answered, It is better that I give her to thee than to another man; dwell thou with me.
20Therefore Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and the days seemed few to him for the greatness of his love.
21And at last he said to Laban, Give thou my wife to me, for the time is fulfilled that I enter [in] to her.
22And when many companies of friends were called to the feast, he made [the] weddings,
23and in the eventide Laban brought in to him Leah his daughter,
24and gave an handmaid, Zilpah by name, to his daughter.
25And when Jacob had entered [in] to her by custom, when the morrow-tide was made, he saw Leah, and he said to his wife’s father, What is it that thou wouldest do? whether I served not thee for Rachel? why hast thou deceived me?
26Laban answered, It is not custom in our place that we give first the younger daughter to weddings;
27fulfill thou the week of days of this wedding, and I shall give to thee also this Rachel, for the work in which thou shalt serve me by other seven years.
28Jacob assented to the covenant, and when the week was passed, he wedded Rachel,
29to whom her father had given Bilhah an handmaid.
30And at the last Jacob used the weddings desired, and set the love of the latter wife before the first; and Jacob served Laban seven other years.
31Forsooth the Lord saw that Jacob despised Leah, that is, loved her less than Rachel, and he opened Leah’s womb, while her sister dwelled barren.
32And Leah childed a son conceived, and she called his name Reuben, and said, The Lord hath seen my meek-ness; now mine husband shall love me.
33And again she conceived, and childed a son, and said, For the Lord saw that I was despised, he gave also this son to me; and she called his name Simeon.
34And she conceived the third time, and childed another son, and she said also, Now mine husband shall be coupled to me, for I have childed three sons to him; and therefore she called his name Levi.
35The fourth time she conceived, and childed a son, and said, Now I shall acknowledge to the Lord; and therefore she called his name Judah; and ceased to child.
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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.