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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.
29
1Then Ya'akov went on his journey, and came into the eretz of the bnei kedem. 2And he looked, and hinei a be'er in the sadeh, and, hinei, there were shloshah edrei tzon lying by it; for out of that be'er they watered the edarim: and a great even (stone) was upon the mouth of the be'er. 3And to there were all the edarim gathered: and they rolled the even (stone) from the mouth of the be'er, and watered the tzon, and put the even (stone) again upon the mouth of the be'er in its place. 4And Ya'akov said unto them, My brethren, where are you from? And they said, Of Charan are we. 5And he said unto them, Know ye Lavan ben Nachor? And they said, We know him. 6And he said unto them, Is the shalom with him? And they said, Shalom; and, hinei, Rachel his bat cometh with the tzon. 7And he said, Look, the sun is still high, neither is it time that the flock should be gathered together; water ye the tzon, and go and feed them. 8And they said, We cannot, until all the edarim be gathered together, and till they roll the even (stone) from the mouth of the be'er; then we water the tzon. 9And while he yet spoke with them, Rachel came with the tzon of her av; for she was a ro'ah (shepherdess). 10And it came to pass, when Ya'akov saw Rachel bat Lavan achi immo, and the tzon of Lavan achi immo, that Ya'akov went near, and rolled the even (stone) from the mouth of the be'er, and watered the tzon of Lavan achi immo. 11And Ya'akov kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept. 12And Ya'akov told Rachel that he was the relative of her av, and that he was ben Rivkah; and she ran and told her av. 13And it came to pass, when Lavan heard the news of Ya'akov ben achoto, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his bais. And he told Lavan all these things. 14And Lavan said to him, Surely thou art my etzem (bone) and my basar. And he abode with him the space of a chodesh (month). 15And Lavan said unto Ya'akov, Because thou art my relative, shouldest thou therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what shall thy maskoret (wages) be? 16And Lavan had two banot: the shem of the elder was Leah, and the shem of the younger was Rachel. 17Leah had weak eyes; but Rachel was yafeh and lovely in form. 18And Ya'akov loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee sheva shanim for Rachel thy bat haketannah (younger daughter). 19And Lavan said, It is better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her to another ish; abide with me. 20And Ya'akov served sheva shanim for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few yamim, because of the ahavah he had for her. 21And Ya'akov said unto Lavan, Give me my isha, for my yamim are completed, that I may go in unto her. 22And Lavan gathered together all the anshei hamakom, and made a mishteh (feast). 23And it came to pass in the erev, that he took Leah his bat, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her. 24And Lavan gave unto his daughter Leah Zilpah shifchato (his maid) for a shifchah. 25And it came to pass, that in the boker, hinei, it was Leah! And he said to Lavan, What is this thou hast done unto me? Did not I serve with thee for Rachel? So why then hast thou deceived me? 26And Lavan said, It must not be so done in our land, to give the younger before the bechirah. 27Finish her shvu'a (week), and we will give thee this also for the avodah (service, work) which thou shalt do for me yet sheva shanim acherot. 28And Ya'akov did so, and fulfilled her shvu'a; and he gave him Rachel his bat to be his isha also. 29And Lavan gave to his bat Rachel Bilhah his shifchah to be her shifchah. 30And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served him yet sheva shanim acherot. 31And when Hashem saw that Leah was hated, He opened her womb but Rachel was barren. 32And Leah conceived, and bore a ben, and she called shmo Reuven: for she said, Surely Hashem hath looked upon my misery; now therefore my ish will love me. 33And she conceived again, and bore ben; and said, Because Hashem hath heard I was hated, He hath therefore given me this also; and she called shmo Shimon. 34And she conceived again, and bore ben; and said, Now this time will my ish yillaveh (become attached) unto me, because I have born him shloshah banim: therefore was shmo called Levi. 35And she conceived again, and bore ben; and she said, Now will odeh (I praise) Hashem; therefore she called shmo Yehudah; and stopped giving birth.