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Genesis 29

29
Jacob Meets Rachel
1Jacob resumed his journey and came to the land of the people of the east. 2He looked and saw a well in the field, and near it lay three flocks of sheep, because the sheep were watered from this well. And a large stone covered the mouth of the well. 3When all the flocks had been gathered there, the shepherds would roll away the stone from the mouth of the well and water the sheep. Then they would return the stone to its place over the mouth of the well.
4“My brothers,” Jacob asked the shepherds, “where are you from?”
“We are from Haran,” they answered.
5“Do you know Laban the grandson of Nahor?” Jacob asked.
“We know him,” they replied.
6“Is he well?” Jacob inquired.
“Yes,” they answered, “and here comes his daughter Rachel with his sheep.”
7“Look,” said Jacob, “it is still broad daylight; it is not yet time to gather the livestock. Water the sheep and take them back to pasture.”
8But they replied, “We cannot, until all the flocks have been gathered and the stone has been rolled away from the mouth of the well. Then we will water the sheep.”
9While he was still speaking with them, Rachel arrived with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess. 10As soon as Jacob saw Rachel, the daughter of his mother’s brother Laban, with Laban’s sheep, he went up and rolled the stone away from the mouth of the well and watered his uncle’s sheep. 11Then Jacob kissed Rachel and wept aloud. 12He told Rachel that he was Rebekah’s son, a relative of her father, and she ran and told her father.
13When Laban heard the news about his sister’s son Jacob, he ran out to meet him. He embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his home, where Jacob told him all that had happened.
Jacob Marries Leah and Rachel
14Then Laban declared, “You are indeed my own flesh and blood.”
After Jacob had stayed with him a month, 15Laban said to him, “Just because you are my relative, should you work for nothing? Tell me what your wages should be.”
16Now Laban had two daughters; the older was named Leah, and the younger was named Rachel. 17Leah had weak eyes,#29:17 Or had delicate eyes but Rachel was shapely and beautiful. 18Since Jacob loved Rachel, he answered, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.”
19Laban replied, “Better that I give her to you than to another. Stay here with me.” 20So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, yet it seemed but a few days because of his love for her.
21Finally Jacob said to Laban, “Grant me my wife, for my time is complete, and I want to sleep with her.”
22So Laban invited all the men of that place and prepared a feast. 23But when evening came, Laban took his daughter Leah and gave her to Jacob, and he slept with her. 24And Laban gave his servant girl Zilpah to his daughter Leah as her maidservant.
25When morning came, there was Leah! “What have you done to me?” Jacob said to Laban. “Wasn’t it for Rachel that I served you? Why have you deceived me?”
26Laban replied, “It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older. 27Finish this week’s celebration, and we will give you the younger one in return for another seven years of work.”
28And Jacob did just that. He finished the week’s celebration, and Laban gave him his daughter Rachel as his wife. 29Laban also gave his servant girl Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her maidservant.
30Jacob slept with Rachel as well, and indeed, he loved Rachel more than Leah. So he worked for Laban another seven years.
Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah
31When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, He opened her womb; but Rachel was barren. 32And Leah conceived and gave birth to a son, and she named him Reuben,#29:32 Reuben means Look, a son and also sounds like the Hebrew for He has seen my misery. for she said, “The Lord has seen my affliction. Surely my husband will love me now.”
33Again she conceived and gave birth to a son, and she said, “Because the Lord has heard that I am unloved, He has given me this son as well.” So she named him Simeon.#29:33 Simeon probably means one who hears.
34Once again Leah conceived and gave birth to a son, and she said, “Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” So he was named Levi.#29:34 Levi sounds like the Hebrew for being attached to or feeling affection for.
35And once more she conceived and gave birth to a son and said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” So she named him Judah.#29:35 Judah sounds like the Hebrew for praise. Then Leah stopped having children.

Genesis 29

29
Jacob Arrives in Northwest Mesopotamia
1Then Jacob continued his journey. He came to the land of the people of the East. 2He looked and saw a well in the field. Three flocks of sheep were lying nearby, because they drank water from this well. A large stone covered the mouth of the well. 3All the flocks would gather there. The shepherds would roll the stone away from the well and water the sheep. Then they would put the stone back in its place.
4Jacob said to the shepherds there, “My brothers, where are you from?”
They answered, “We are from Haran.”
5Then Jacob asked, “Do you know Laban grandson of Nahor?”
They answered, “We know him.”
6Then Jacob asked, “How is he?”
They answered, “He is well. Look, his daughter Rachel is coming now with his sheep.”
7Jacob said, “But look, it is still the middle part of the day. It is not time for the sheep to be gathered for the night. So give them water and let them go back into the pasture.”
8But they said, “We cannot do that until all the flocks are gathered. Then we will roll away the stone from the mouth of the well and water the sheep.”
9While Jacob was talking with the shepherds, Rachel came with her father’s sheep. It was her job to take care of the sheep. 10Then Jacob saw Laban’s daughter Rachel and Laban’s sheep. So he went to the well and rolled the stone from its mouth. Then he watered Laban’s sheep. Now Laban was the brother of Rebekah, Jacob’s mother. 11Then Jacob kissed Rachel and cried. 12He told her that he was from her father’s family. He said that he was the son of Rebekah. So Rachel ran home and told her father.
13When Laban heard the news about his sister’s son Jacob, Laban ran to meet him. Laban hugged him and kissed him and brought him to his house. Jacob told Laban everything that had happened.
14Then Laban said, “You are my own flesh and blood.”
Jacob Is Tricked
So Jacob stayed there a month. 15Then Laban said to Jacob, “You are my relative. But it is not right for you to keep on working for me without pay. What would you like me to pay you?”
16Now Laban had two daughters. The older was Leah, and the younger was Rachel. 17Leah had weak eyes, but Rachel was very beautiful. 18Jacob loved Rachel. So he said to Laban, “Let me marry your younger daughter Rachel. If you will, I will work seven years for you.”
19Laban said, “It would be better for her to marry you than someone else. So stay here with me.” 20So Jacob worked for Laban seven years so he could marry Rachel. But they seemed to him like just a few days. This was because he loved Rachel very much.
21After seven years Jacob said to Laban, “Give me Rachel so that I may marry her. The time I promised to work for you is over.”
22So Laban gave a feast for all the people there. 23That evening Laban brought his daughter Leah to Jacob. Jacob and Leah had intimate relations together. 24(Laban gave his slave girl Zilpah to his daughter to be her servant.) 25In the morning Jacob saw that he had had intimate relations with Leah! He said to Laban, “What have you done to me? I worked hard for you so that I could marry Rachel! Why did you trick me?”
26Laban said, “In our country we do not allow the younger daughter to marry before the older daughter. 27But complete the full week of the marriage ceremony with Leah. I will give you Rachel to marry also. But you must serve me another seven years.”
28So Jacob did this and completed the week with Leah. Then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel as a wife. 29(Laban gave his slave girl Bilhah to his daughter Rachel to be her servant.) 30So Jacob had intimate relations with Rachel also. And Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah. Jacob worked for Laban for another seven years.
Jacob’s Family Grows
31The Lord saw that Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah. So the Lord made it possible for Leah to have children. But Rachel did not have any children. 32Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben,# This name sounds like the Hebrew word for “he has seen my troubles.” because she said, “The Lord has seen my troubles. Surely now my husband will love me.”
33Leah became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She named him Simeon.# This name sounds like the Hebrew word for “has heard.” She said, “The Lord has heard that I am not loved. So he gave me this son.”
34Leah became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She named him Levi.# This name sounds like the Hebrew word for “be close to.” Leah said, “Now, surely my husband will be close to me. I have given him three sons.”
35Then Leah gave birth to another son. She named him Judah.# This name sounds like the Hebrew word for “praise.” Leah named him this because she said, “Now I will praise the Lord.” Then Leah stopped having children.