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Genesis 29

29
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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Jacob Flees to Haran
1And Jacob continued his journey#Literally “lifted up his feet” and went to the land of the Easterners.#Or “children of the east” 2And he looked, and behold, there was a well in the field, and behold, there were three flocks of sheep lying beside it, for out of that well the flocks were watered. And the stone on the mouth of the well was large. 3And when all the flocks were gathered there, they rolled away the stone from the mouth of the well. And they watered the sheep and returned the stone upon the mouth of the well to its place. 4And Jacob said to them, “My brothers, where are you from?” And they said, “We are from Haran.” 5And he said to them, “Do you know Laban, son of Nahor?” And they said, “We know him.” 6And he said to them, “Is he well?”#Literally “Is it well for him?” And they said, “He is well. Now look, Rachel his daughter is coming with the sheep.” 7And he said, “Look, it is still broad daylight;#Literally “high day” it is not the time for the livestock to be gathered. Give water to the sheep and go, pasture them.” 8And they said, “We are not able, until all the flocks are gathered. Then the stone is rolled away from the mouth of the well, and we water the sheep.” 9While he was speaking with them, Rachel came with the sheep which belonged to her father, for she was pasturing them. 10And it happened that, when Jacob saw Rachel, the daughter of Laban, his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban, his mother’s brother, Jacob drew near and rolled away 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 the relative of her father, and that he was the son of Rebekah. And she ran and told her father.13And it happened that when Laban heard the message about Jacob, the son of his sister, he ran to meet him. And he embraced him and kissed him, and brought him to his house. And he told Laban all these things. 14And Laban said to him, “Surely you are my flesh and my bone!” And he stayed with him a month.
Jacob’s Marriages
15Then Laban said to Jacob, “Just because you are my brother should you work for me for nothing? Tell me what your wage should be.” 16Now Laban had two daughters. The name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17Now the eyes of Leah were dull, but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance. 18And Jacob loved Rachel and said, “I will serve you seven years for Rachel your younger daughter.” 19Then Laban said, “Better that I give her to you than I give her to another man. Stay with me.” 20And Jacob worked for Rachel seven years, but they were as a few days in his eyes because he loved her. 21And Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife, that I may go in to her, for my time#Literally “my days” is completed.” 22So Laban gathered all the men of the place and prepared a feast. 23And it happened that in the evening he took Leah his daughter and brought her to him, and he went in to her. 24And Laban gave Zilpah his female servant to her, to Leah his daughter as a female servant. 25And it happened that in the morning, behold, it was Leah! And he said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve with you for Rachel? Now why did you deceive me?” 26Then Laban said, “It is not the custom#Literally “it is not thus done” in our country to give the younger before the firstborn. 27Complete the week of this one,#Leah; the wedding feast would last one week then I will also give you the other, on the condition that you will work for me#Literally “with respect to the work that you will work with me yet” another seven years.” 28And Jacob did so. So he completed the week of this one,#That is, Leah then he gave Rachel his daughter to him as a wife. 29And Laban gave Bilhah his female servant to Rachel his daughter as a female servant. 30Then he also went in to Rachel, and he loved Rachel more than Leah. And he served with him yet another seven years.
Jacob’s Children
31When Yahweh saw that Leah was unloved he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. 32Then Leah conceived and gave birth to a son, and she called his name Reuben, for she said, “Because Yahweh has noticed my misery, that I am unloved. Now my husband will love me.” 33And she conceived again and gave birth to a son. And she said, “It is because Yahweh has heard that I am unloved that he gave me this son also.” And she called his name Simeon. 34And she conceived again and gave birth to a son. Then she said, “Now this time my husband will be joined to me, for I have borne him three sons.” Therefore, she called his name Levi. 35And she conceived again and gave birth to a son. And she said, “This time I will praise Yahweh.” Therefore she called his name Judah. And she ceased bearing children.