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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.
29
Jacob Arrives at Paddan-Aram
1Then Jacob hurried on, finally arriving in the land of the east. 2He saw a well in the distance. Three flocks of sheep and goats lay in an open field beside it, waiting to be watered. But a heavy stone covered the mouth of the well.
3It was the custom there to wait for all the flocks to arrive before removing the stone and watering the animals. Afterward the stone would be placed back over the mouth of the well. 4Jacob went over to the shepherds and asked, “Where are you from, my friends?”
“We are from Haran,” they answered.
5“Do you know a man there named Laban, the grandson of Nahor?” he asked.
“Yes, we do,” they replied.
6“Is he doing well?” Jacob asked.
“Yes, he’s well,” they answered. “Look, here comes his daughter Rachel with the flock now.”
7Jacob said, “Look, it’s still broad daylight—too early to round up the animals. Why don’t you water the sheep and goats so they can get back out to pasture?”
8“We can’t water the animals until all the flocks have arrived,” they replied. “Then the shepherds move the stone from the mouth of the well, and we water all the sheep and goats.”
9Jacob was still talking with them when Rachel arrived with her father’s flock, for she was a shepherd. 10And because Rachel was his cousin—the daughter of Laban, his mother’s brother—and because the sheep and goats belonged to his uncle Laban, Jacob went over to the well and moved the stone from its mouth and watered his uncle’s flock. 11Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and he wept aloud. 12He explained to Rachel that he was her cousin on her father’s side—the son of her aunt Rebekah. So Rachel quickly ran and told her father, Laban.
13As soon as Laban heard that his nephew Jacob had arrived, he ran out to meet him. He embraced and kissed him and brought him home. When Jacob had told him his story, 14Laban exclaimed, “You really are my own flesh and blood!”
Jacob Marries Leah and Rachel
After Jacob had stayed with Laban for about a month, 15Laban said to him, “You shouldn’t work for me without pay just because we are relatives. Tell me how much your wages should be.”
16Now Laban had two daughters. The older daughter was named Leah, and the younger one was Rachel. 17There was no sparkle in Leah’s eyes,#29:17 Or Leah had dull eyes, or Leah had soft eyes. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain. but Rachel had a beautiful figure and a lovely face. 18Since Jacob was in love with Rachel, he told her father, “I’ll work for you for seven years if you’ll give me Rachel, your younger daughter, as my wife.”
19“Agreed!” Laban replied. “I’d rather give her to you than to anyone else. Stay and work with me.” 20So Jacob worked seven years to pay for Rachel. But his love for her was so strong that it seemed to him but a few days.
21Finally, the time came for him to marry her. “I have fulfilled my agreement,” Jacob said to Laban. “Now give me my wife so I can sleep with her.”
22So Laban invited everyone in the neighborhood and prepared a wedding feast. 23But that night, when it was dark, Laban took Leah to Jacob, and he slept with her. 24(Laban had given Leah a servant, Zilpah, to be her maid.)
25But when Jacob woke up in the morning—it was Leah! “What have you done to me?” Jacob raged at Laban. “I worked seven years for Rachel! Why have you tricked me?”
26“It’s not our custom here to marry off a younger daughter ahead of the firstborn,” Laban replied. 27“But wait until the bridal week is over; then we’ll give you Rachel, too—provided you promise to work another seven years for me.”
28So Jacob agreed to work seven more years. A week after Jacob had married Leah, Laban gave him Rachel, too. 29(Laban gave Rachel a servant, Bilhah, to be her maid.) 30So Jacob slept with Rachel, too, and he loved her much more than Leah. He then stayed and worked for Laban the additional seven years.
Jacob’s Many Children
31When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, he enabled her to have children, but Rachel could not conceive. 32So Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben,#29:32 Reuben means “Look, a son!” It also sounds like the Hebrew for “He has seen my misery.” for she said, “The Lord has noticed my misery, and now my husband will love me.”
33She soon became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She named him Simeon,#29:33 Simeon probably means “one who hears.” for she said, “The Lord heard that I was unloved and has given me another son.”
34Then she became pregnant a third time and gave birth to another son. He was named Levi,#29:34 Levi sounds like a Hebrew term that means “being attached” or “feeling affection for.” for she said, “Surely this time my husband will feel affection for me, since I have given him three sons!”
35Once again Leah became pregnant and gave birth to another son. She named him Judah,#29:35 Judah is related to the Hebrew term for “praise.” for she said, “Now I will praise the Lord!” And then she stopped having children.