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Genesis 29

29
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.
29
1-3Jacob set out again on his way to the people of the east. He noticed a well out in an open field with three flocks of sheep bedded down around it. This was the common well from which the flocks were watered. The stone over the mouth of the well was huge. When all the flocks were gathered, the shepherds would roll the stone from the well and water the sheep; then they would return the stone, covering the well.
4Jacob said, “Hello friends. Where are you from?”
They said, “We’re from Haran.”
5Jacob asked, “Do you know Laban son of Nahor?”
“We do.”
6“Are things well with him?” Jacob continued.
“Very well,” they said. “And here is his daughter Rachel coming with the flock.”
7Jacob said, “There’s a lot of daylight still left; it isn’t time to round up the sheep yet, is it? So why not water the flocks and go back to grazing?”
8“We can’t,” they said. “Not until all the shepherds get here. It takes all of us to roll the stone from the well. Not until then can we water the flocks.”
9-13While Jacob was in conversation with them, Rachel came up with her father’s sheep. She was the shepherd. The moment Jacob spotted Rachel, daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, saw her arriving with his uncle Laban’s sheep, he went and single-handedly rolled the stone from the mouth of the well and watered the sheep of his uncle Laban. Then he kissed Rachel and broke into tears. He told Rachel that he was related to her father, that he was Rebekah’s son. She ran and told her father. When Laban heard the news—Jacob, his sister’s son!—he ran out to meet him, embraced and kissed him and brought him home. Jacob told Laban the story of everything that had happened.
14-15Laban said, “You’re family! My flesh and blood!”
When Jacob had been with him for a month, Laban said, “Just because you’re my nephew, you shouldn’t work for me for nothing. Tell me what you want to be paid. What’s a fair wage?”
16-18Now Laban had two daughters; Leah was the older and Rachel the younger. Leah had nice eyes, but Rachel was stunningly beautiful. And it was Rachel that Jacob loved.
So Jacob answered, “I will work for you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.”
19“It is far better,” said Laban, “that I give her to you than marry her to some outsider. Yes. Stay here with me.”
20So Jacob worked seven years for Rachel. But it only seemed like a few days, he loved her so much.
21-24Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife; I’ve completed what we agreed I’d do. I’m ready to consummate my marriage.” Laban invited everyone around and threw a big feast. At evening, though, he got his daughter Leah and brought her to the marriage bed, and Jacob slept with her. (Laban gave his maid Zilpah to his daughter Leah as her maid.)
25Morning came: There was Leah in the marriage bed!
Jacob confronted Laban, “What have you done to me? Didn’t I work all this time for the hand of Rachel? Why did you cheat me?”
26-27“We don’t do it that way in our country,” said Laban. “We don’t marry off the younger daughter before the older. Enjoy your week of honeymoon, and then we’ll give you the other one also. But it will cost you another seven years of work.”
28-30Jacob agreed. When he’d completed the honeymoon week, Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. (Laban gave his maid Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her maid.) Jacob then slept with her. And he loved Rachel more than Leah. He worked for Laban another seven years.
31-32When God realized that Leah was unloved, he opened her womb. But Rachel was barren. Leah became pregnant and had a son. She named him Reuben (Look-It’s-a-Boy!). “This is a sign,” she said, “that God has seen my misery; and a sign that now my husband will love me.”
33-35She became pregnant again and had another son. “God heard,” she said, “that I was unloved and so he gave me this son also.” She named this one Simeon (God-Heard). She became pregnant yet again—another son. She said, “Now maybe my husband will connect with me—I’ve given him three sons!” That’s why she named him Levi (Connect). She became pregnant a final time and had a fourth son. She said, “This time I’ll praise God.” So she named him Judah (Praise-God). Then she stopped having children.