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Genesis 29

29
1Then Jacob went on in his journey, and came into the east country.
2And he saw a well in the field, and three flocks of sheep lying by it: for the beasts were watered out of it, and the mouth thereof was closed with a great stone.
3And the custom was, when all the sheep were gathered together, to roll away the stone, and after the sheep were watered, to put it on the mouth of the well again.
4And he said to the shepherds: Brethren, whence are you? They answered: Of Haran.
5And he asked them, saying: Know you Laban the son of Nachor? They said: We know him.
6He said: Is he in health? He is in health, say they: and behold Rachel his daughter cometh with his flock.
7And Jacob said: There is yet much day remaining, neither is it time to bring the flocks into the folds again. First give the sheep drink, and so lead them back to feed.
8They answered: We cannot, till all the cattle be gathered together, and we remove the stone from the well's mouth, that we may water the flocks.
9They were yet speaking, and behold Rachel came with her father's sheep: for she fed the flock.
10And when Jacob saw her, and knew her to be his cousin-german, and that they were the sheep of Laban, his uncle: he removed the stone wherewith the well was closed.
11And having watered the flock, he kissed her: and lifting up his voice, wept.
12And he told her that he was her father's brother, and the son of Rebecca. But she went in haste and told her father.
13Who, when he heard that Jacob his sister's son was come, ran forth to meet him; and embracing him, and heartily kissing him, brought him into his house. And when he had heard the causes of his journey,
14He answered: Thou art my bone and my flesh. And after the days of one month were expired,
15He said to him: Because thou art my brother, shalt thou serve me without wages? Tell me what wages thou wilt have.
16Now he had two daughters, the name of the elder was Lia: and the younger was called Rachel.
17But Lia was blear eyed: Rachel was well favoured, and of a beautiful countenance.
18And Jacob being in love with her said: I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter.
19Lahan answered: It is better that I give her to thee than to another man; stay with me.
20So Jacob served seven years for Rachel: and they seemed but a few days, because of the greatness of his love.
21And he said to Laban: Give me my wife; for now the time is fulfilled, that I may go in unto her.
22And he, having invited a great number of his friends to the feast, made the marriage.
23And at night he brought in Lia, his daughter, to him,
24Giving his daughter a handmaid, named Zalpha. Now when Jacob had gone in to her according to custom, when morning was come he saw it was Lia:
25And he said to his father-in-law: What is it that thou didst mean to do? did not I serve thee for Rachel? Why hast thou deceived me?
26Laban answered: It is not the custom in this plac, to give the younger in marriage first.
27Make up the week of days of this match: and I will give thee her also, for the service that thou shalt render me other seven years.
28He yielded to his pleasure: and after the week was past, he married Rachel.
29To whom her father gave Bala for her servant.
30And having at length obtained the marriage he wished for, he preferred the love of the latter before the former, and served with him other seven years.
31And the Lord seeing that he despised Lia, opened her womb, but her sister remained barren.
32And she conceived and bore a son, and called his name Ruben, saying: The Lord saw my affliction, now my husband will love me.
33And again she conceived and bore a son, and said: Because the Lord heard that I was despised, he hath given this also to me. And she called his name Simeon.
34And she conceived the third time, and bore another son: and said: Now also my husband will be joined to me, because I have borne him three sons. And therefore she called his name Levi.
35The fourth time she conceived and bore a son, and said: Now will I praise the Lord. And for this she called him Juda. And she 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.