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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
1And Ya‛aqoḇ moved on and came to the land of the people of the East.
2And he looked and saw a well in the field, and saw three flocks of sheep lying by it, for out of that well they watered the flocks, and a large stone was on the well’s mouth.
3And all the flocks would be gathered there, then they would roll the stone from the well’s mouth and water the sheep, and put the stone back in its place on the well’s mouth.
4So Ya‛aqoḇ said to them, “My brothers, where are you from?” And they said, “We are from Ḥaran.”
5And he said to them, “Do you know Laḇan son of Naḥor?” And they said, “We know him.”
6So he said to them, “Is he well?” And they said, “Well. And see, his daughter Raḥĕl is coming with the sheep.”
7And he said, “See, it is still high day, not the time for the livestock to be gathered together. Water the sheep, and go and feed them.”
8But they said, “We are not allowed until all the flocks are gathered together, and they have rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, then we shall water the sheep.”
9While he was still speaking with them, Raḥĕl came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess.
10And it came to be, when Ya‛aqoḇ saw Raḥĕl the daughter of Laḇan his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laḇan his mother’s brother, that Ya‛aqoḇ went near and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the flock of Laḇan his mother’s brother.
11And Ya‛aqoḇ kissed Raḥĕl, and lifted up his voice and wept.
12And when Ya‛aqoḇ told Raḥĕl that he was her father’s relative and that he was Riḇqah’s son, she ran and told her father.
13And it came to be, when Laḇan heard the report about Ya‛aqoḇ his sister’s son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him and kissed him, and brought him to his house. Then he told Laḇan all these matters.
14And Laḇan said to him, “You are indeed my bone and my flesh.” And he stayed with him for a new moon.
15Then Laḇan said to Ya‛aqoḇ, “Because you are my relative, should you therefore serve me for naught? Let me know, what should your wages be?”
16And Laḇan had two daughters, the name of the elder was Lĕ’ah, and the name of the younger was Raḥĕl.
17And Lĕ’ah’s eyes were weak, but Raḥĕl was beautiful of form and beautiful of appearance.
18And Ya‛aqoḇ loved Raḥĕl, so he said, “Let me serve you seven years for Raḥĕl your younger daughter.”
19And Laḇan said, “It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to another man. Stay with me.”
20So Ya‛aqoḇ served seven years for Raḥĕl, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.
21Then Ya‛aqoḇ said to Laḇan, “Give me my wife, for my days are completed, and let me go in to her.”
22And Laḇan gathered all the men of the place and made a feast.
23And it came to be in the evening, that he took Lĕ’ah his daughter and brought her to Ya‛aqoḇ. And he went in to her.
24And Laḇan gave his female servant Zilpah to his daughter Lĕ’ah as a female servant.
25And in the morning it came to be, that see, it was Lĕ’ah. So he said to Laḇan, “What is this you have done to me? Was it not for Raḥĕl that I served you? Why then have you deceived me?”
26And Laḇan said, “It is not done this way in our place, to give the younger before the first-born.
27Complete the week of this one, then we give you this one too, for the service which you shall serve with me still another seven years.
28And Ya‛aqoḇ did so and completed her week. Then he gave him his daughter Raḥĕl too, as wife.
29And Laḇan gave his female servant Bilhah to his daughter Raḥĕl as a female servant.
30And he also went in to Raḥĕl, and he also loved Raḥĕl more than Lĕ’ah. And he served with Laḇan still another seven years.
31And יהוה saw that Lĕ’ah was unloved, and He opened her womb, but Raḥĕl was barren.
32And Lĕ’ah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Re’uḇĕn, for she said, “For יהוה has looked on my affliction, because now my husband is going to love me.”
33And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Because יהוה has heard that I am unloved, He gave me this son too.” And she called his name Shim‛on.
34And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Now this time my husband is joined to me, because I have borne him three sons.” So his name was called Lĕwi.
35And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Now I praise יהוה.” So she called his name Yehuḏah. And she ceased bearing.