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Genesis 29

29
1-3Jacob set out again on his way to the people of the east. He noticed a well out in an open field with three flocks of sheep bedded down around it. This was the common well from which the flocks were watered. The stone over the mouth of the well was huge. When all the flocks were gathered, the shepherds would roll the stone from the well and water the sheep; then they would return the stone, covering the well.
4Jacob said, “Hello friends. Where are you from?”
They said, “We’re from Haran.”
5Jacob asked, “Do you know Laban son of Nahor?”
“We do.”
6“Are things well with him?” Jacob continued.
“Very well,” they said. “And here is his daughter Rachel coming with the flock.”
7Jacob said, “There’s a lot of daylight still left; it isn’t time to round up the sheep yet, is it? So why not water the flocks and go back to grazing?”
8“We can’t,” they said. “Not until all the shepherds get here. It takes all of us to roll the stone from the well. Not until then can we water the flocks.”
9-13While Jacob was in conversation with them, Rachel came up with her father’s sheep. She was the shepherd. The moment Jacob spotted Rachel, daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, saw her arriving with his uncle Laban’s sheep, he went and single-handedly rolled the stone from the mouth of the well and watered the sheep of his uncle Laban. Then he kissed Rachel and broke into tears. He told Rachel that he was related to her father, that he was Rebekah’s son. She ran and told her father. When Laban heard the news—Jacob, his sister’s son!—he ran out to meet him, embraced and kissed him and brought him home. Jacob told Laban the story of everything that had happened.
14-15Laban said, “You’re family! My flesh and blood!”
When Jacob had been with him for a month, Laban said, “Just because you’re my nephew, you shouldn’t work for me for nothing. Tell me what you want to be paid. What’s a fair wage?”
16-18Now Laban had two daughters; Leah was the older and Rachel the younger. Leah had nice eyes, but Rachel was stunningly beautiful. And it was Rachel that Jacob loved.
So Jacob answered, “I will work for you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.”
19“It is far better,” said Laban, “that I give her to you than marry her to some outsider. Yes. Stay here with me.”
20So Jacob worked seven years for Rachel. But it only seemed like a few days, he loved her so much.
21-24Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife; I’ve completed what we agreed I’d do. I’m ready to consummate my marriage.” Laban invited everyone around and threw a big feast. At evening, though, he got his daughter Leah and brought her to the marriage bed, and Jacob slept with her. (Laban gave his maid Zilpah to his daughter Leah as her maid.)
25Morning came: There was Leah in the marriage bed!
Jacob confronted Laban, “What have you done to me? Didn’t I work all this time for the hand of Rachel? Why did you cheat me?”
26-27“We don’t do it that way in our country,” said Laban. “We don’t marry off the younger daughter before the older. Enjoy your week of honeymoon, and then we’ll give you the other one also. But it will cost you another seven years of work.”
28-30Jacob agreed. When he’d completed the honeymoon week, Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. (Laban gave his maid Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her maid.) Jacob then slept with her. And he loved Rachel more than Leah. He worked for Laban another seven years.
31-32When God realized that Leah was unloved, he opened her womb. But Rachel was barren. Leah became pregnant and had a son. She named him Reuben (Look-It’s-a-Boy!). “This is a sign,” she said, “that God has seen my misery; and a sign that now my husband will love me.”
33-35She became pregnant again and had another son. “God heard,” she said, “that I was unloved and so he gave me this son also.” She named this one Simeon (God-Heard). She became pregnant yet again—another son. She said, “Now maybe my husband will connect with me—I’ve given him three sons!” That’s why she named him Levi (Connect). She became pregnant a final time and had a fourth son. She said, “This time I’ll praise God.” So she named him Judah (Praise-God). Then she stopped having children.

Genesis 29

29
Jacob Meets Rachel
1Jacob resumed his journey and came to the land of the people of the east. 2He looked and saw a well in the field, and near it lay three flocks of sheep, because the sheep were watered from this well. And a large stone covered the mouth of the well. 3When all the flocks had been gathered there, the shepherds would roll away the stone from the mouth of the well and water the sheep. Then they would return the stone to its place over the mouth of the well.
4“My brothers,” Jacob asked the shepherds, “where are you from?”
“We are from Haran,” they answered.
5“Do you know Laban the grandson of Nahor?” Jacob asked.
“We know him,” they replied.
6“Is he well?” Jacob inquired.
“Yes,” they answered, “and here comes his daughter Rachel with his sheep.”
7“Look,” said Jacob, “it is still broad daylight; it is not yet time to gather the livestock. Water the sheep and take them back to pasture.”
8But they replied, “We cannot, until all the flocks have been gathered and the stone has been rolled away from the mouth of the well. Then we will water the sheep.”
9While he was still speaking with them, Rachel arrived with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess. 10As soon as Jacob saw Rachel, the daughter of his mother’s brother Laban, with Laban’s sheep, he went up and rolled the stone away from the mouth of the well and watered his uncle’s sheep. 11Then Jacob kissed Rachel and wept aloud. 12He told Rachel that he was Rebekah’s son, a relative of her father, and she ran and told her father.
13When Laban heard the news about his sister’s son Jacob, he ran out to meet him. He embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his home, where Jacob told him all that had happened.
Jacob Marries Leah and Rachel
14Then Laban declared, “You are indeed my own flesh and blood.”
After Jacob had stayed with him a month, 15Laban said to him, “Just because you are my relative, should you work for nothing? Tell me what your wages should be.”
16Now Laban had two daughters; the older was named Leah, and the younger was named Rachel. 17Leah had weak eyes,#29:17 Or had delicate eyes but Rachel was shapely and beautiful. 18Since Jacob loved Rachel, he answered, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.”
19Laban replied, “Better that I give her to you than to another. Stay here with me.” 20So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, yet it seemed but a few days because of his love for her.
21Finally Jacob said to Laban, “Grant me my wife, for my time is complete, and I want to sleep with her.”
22So Laban invited all the men of that place and prepared a feast. 23But when evening came, Laban took his daughter Leah and gave her to Jacob, and he slept with her. 24And Laban gave his servant girl Zilpah to his daughter Leah as her maidservant.
25When morning came, there was Leah! “What have you done to me?” Jacob said to Laban. “Wasn’t it for Rachel that I served you? Why have you deceived me?”
26Laban replied, “It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older. 27Finish this week’s celebration, and we will give you the younger one in return for another seven years of work.”
28And Jacob did just that. He finished the week’s celebration, and Laban gave him his daughter Rachel as his wife. 29Laban also gave his servant girl Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her maidservant.
30Jacob slept with Rachel as well, and indeed, he loved Rachel more than Leah. So he worked for Laban another seven years.
Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah
31When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, He opened her womb; but Rachel was barren. 32And Leah conceived and gave birth to a son, and she named him Reuben,#29:32 Reuben means Look, a son and also sounds like the Hebrew for He has seen my misery. for she said, “The Lord has seen my affliction. Surely my husband will love me now.”
33Again she conceived and gave birth to a son, and she said, “Because the Lord has heard that I am unloved, He has given me this son as well.” So she named him Simeon.#29:33 Simeon probably means one who hears.
34Once again Leah conceived and gave birth to a son, and she said, “Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” So he was named Levi.#29:34 Levi sounds like the Hebrew for being attached to or feeling affection for.
35And once more she conceived and gave birth to a son and said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” So she named him Judah.#29:35 Judah sounds like the Hebrew for praise. Then Leah stopped having children.