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Genesis 29

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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.
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1And Jacob continued his journey, and went into the land of the children of the east. 2And he looked, and behold, there was a well in the fields, and behold there, three flocks of sheep were lying by it; for out of that well they watered the flocks, and a great stone was at the mouth of the well. 3And when all the flocks were gathered there, they rolled the stone from the mouth of the well, and watered the sheep, and put the stone again on the mouth of the well in its place. 4And Jacob said to them, My brethren, whence are ye? And they said, Of Haran are we. 5And he said to them, Do ye know Laban the son of Nahor? And they said, We do know him. 6And he said to them, Is he well? And they said, He is well; and behold, there comes Rachel his daughter with the sheep. 7And he said, Behold, it is yet high day; it is not time that the cattle should be gathered together; water the sheep, and go, feed them. 8And they said, We cannot until all the flocks are gathered together, and they roll the stone from the mouth of the well, and we water the sheep.
9While he was still speaking to them, Rachel came with her father's sheep, for she was a shepherdess. 10And it came to pass when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother's brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother's brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the mouth of the well, and watered the sheep of Laban his mother's brother. 11And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice and wept. 12And Jacob told Rachel that he was a brother of her father, and that he was Rebecca's son; and she ran and told her father. 13And it came to pass when Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister's son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house; and he told Laban all these things. 14And Laban said to him, Thou art indeed my bone and my flesh. And he abode with him a month's time.
15And Laban said to Jacob, Because thou art my brother, shouldest thou serve me for nothing? tell me, what shall be thy wages? 16And Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger, Rachel. 17And the eyes of Leah were tender; but Rachel was of beautiful form and beautiful countenance. 18And Jacob loved Rachel, and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter. 19And Laban said, It is better that I give her to thee than that I should give her to another man: abide with me. 20And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they were in his eyes as single days, because he loved her. 21And Jacob said to Laban, Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in to her. 22And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast. 23And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in to her. 24And Laban gave to her Zilpah, his maidservant, to be maidservant to Leah his daughter. 25And it came to pass in the morning, that behold, it was Leah. And he said to Laban, What is this thou hast done to me? Have I not served thee for Rachel? Why then hast thou deceived me? 26And Laban said, It is not so done in our place, to give the younger before the firstborn. 27Fulfil the week with this one: then we will give thee the other one also, for the service that thou shalt serve me yet seven other years. 28And Jacob did so, and fulfilled the week with this one, and he gave him Rachel his daughter to be his wife. 29And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter, Bilhah, his maidservant, to be her maidservant. 30And he went in also to Rachel; and he loved also Rachel more than Leah. And he served with him yet seven other years.
31And when Jehovah saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb; but Rachel was barren. 32And Leah conceived, and bore a son, and called his name Reuben; for she said, Because Jehovah has looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me. 33And she again conceived, and bore a son, and said, Because Jehovah has heard that I am hated, he has therefore given me this one also; and she called his name Simeon. 34And she again conceived, and bore a son, and said, Now this time will my husband be united to me, for I have borne him three sons; therefore was his name called Levi. 35And she again conceived, and bore a son, and said, This time will I praise Jehovah; therefore she called his name Judah. And she ceased to bear.