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Genesis 29

29
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.
29
1Jacob went quickly on his way,#29:1. “Went quickly on his way”: literally, “lifted up his feet.” and arrived in the land of the eastern people. 2As he looked around he saw a well in a field with three flocks of sheep lying down beside it, waiting to be given water. A large stone covered the top of the well. 3The usual practice was that#29:3. “The usual practice was that”: supplied for clarity. once all the flocks had arrived, the shepherds would roll away the stone from the well and give their sheep water. Then they would put the stone back again.
4Jacob asked them, “My brothers, where are you from?”
“We're from Haran,” they replied.
5“Do you know Laban, Nahor's grandson?” he asked.
“Yes, we know him,” they replied.
6“How is he?” he asked.
“He's well,” they replied. “Look! In fact here's his daughter Rachel coming with the sheep right now.”
7“Look, there's still plenty of daylight left,” said Jacob. “It's too early to round up the sheep yet. Why not let them drink so they can go back to grazing?”
8“We can't do that until all the flocks have arrived,” they told him. “Then we roll away the stone from the well and let the sheep drink.”
9While he was still talking with them Rachel arrived with the flock she was looking after for her father. 10When Jacob saw Rachel, the daughter of Laban, his mother's brother, he went over and rolled away the stone from the well so Laban's sheep could drink. 11Then Jacob kissed Rachel and wept for joy. 12(He had told her that he was the son of Laban's brother and Rebekah.) She ran and told her father what had happened.
13As soon as Laban heard the news about Jacob he ran out to meet him. He hugged him and kissed him, and took him home. After Jacob had explained everything to Laban, 14Laban told him, “No question about it—you're my own flesh and blood!” Jacob stayed with Laban for a month.
15One day Laban said to him, “You're my relative so you shouldn't be working for me for nothing! Tell me, what should I pay you?”
16Laban had two daughters. The older one was Leah, and the younger one was Rachel. 17Leah had kind#29:17. “Kind”: literally, “soft” or “gentle.” eyes, but Rachel had a shapely figure and beautiful looks. 18Jacob was in love with Rachel so he promised Laban, “I'll do seven years work#29:18. “Seven years work”: in contrast to Abraham's servant Eliezer (chapter 24) Jacob had arrived with no gifts or dowry, so he offers his service as payment in kind. for you for Rachel, your younger daughter.”
19“Well it's better for me to give her to you than anyone else,” Laban replied. “So stay here and work for me.” 20Jacob worked for Laban for seven years, but to him they seemed like just a few days because he really loved her.
21Then Jacob said to Laban, “I've completed the time we agreed. Now give me your daughter to be my wife.”
22So Laban organized a wedding banquet#29:22. “A wedding banquet”: the word actually means “a drinking party,” which is probably the only way the deception could have been successful. and invited everyone around to come. 23But once it was dark Laban brought his daughter Leah to Jacob, and he slept with her. 24(Laban also arranged for his servant Zilpah to be Leah's personal maid.)
25When morning came, he saw it was Leah! He went to Laban and asked angrily, “What have you done to me? It was for Rachel that I worked for you! Why have you deceived me?”
26“Here we don't give the younger daughter in marriage before the firstborn,” Laban replied. 27“Finish this week of wedding celebrations and then I'll give you the other daughter as well, as long as you work another seven years for me.”
28Jacob agreed. He finished the week of wedding celebrations for Leah, and then Laban gave Jacob his daughter Rachel as his wife as well. 29(Laban also arranged for his servant Bilhah to be Rachel's personal maid.) 30So Jacob slept with Rachel as well, and he loved Rachel more than Leah. He worked for Laban another seven years for Rachel.
31The Lord saw that Leah wasn't loved he helped Leah to have children, but not Rachel. 32Leah became pregnant, and had a son she named Reuben,#29:32. “Reuben”: means “Look, a son!” and also sounds like “he saw my suffering.” for she said, “The Lord saw how much I was suffering and now my husband will love me!”
33Then Leah became pregnant again, and had another son. She said, “The Lord has heard that I'm not loved so he gave me this son.” So she named him Simeon.#29:33. “Simeon”: means “he hears.”
34Leah became pregnant for the third time, and had another son. She said, “Finally my husband will be attached to me because now I've given him three sons.” That's why he was named Levi.#29:34. “Levi”: means “attached” or “joined.”
35Once again Leah became pregnant and had another son. She named him Judah,#29:35. “Judah”: means “praise.” for she said, “Now I can really praise the Lord!” After that she had no more children.