Jacob arrives at Laban's home
1As Jacob continued on his way to the east, 2he looked out in a field and saw a well where shepherds took their sheep for water. Three flocks of sheep were lying around the well, which was covered with a large rock. 3Shepherds would roll the rock away when all their sheep had gathered there. Then after the sheep had been watered, the shepherds would roll the rock back over the mouth of the well.
4Jacob asked the shepherds, “Where are you from?”
“We're from Haran,” they answered.
5Then he asked, “Do you know Nahor's grandson Laban?”
“Yes we do,” they replied.
6“How is he?” Jacob asked.
“He's fine,” they answered. “And here comes his daughter Rachel with the sheep.”
7Jacob told them, “Look, the sun is still high up in the sky, and it's too early to bring in the rest of the flocks. Water your sheep and take them back to the pasture.”
8But they replied, “We can't do that until they all get here, and the rock has been rolled away from the well.”
9While Jacob was still talking with the men, his cousin Rachel came up with her father's sheep. 10When Jacob saw her and his uncle's sheep, he rolled the rock away and watered the sheep. 11He then kissed Rachel and started crying because he was so happy. 12He told her that he was the son of her aunt Rebekah, and she ran and told her father about him.
13As soon as Laban heard the news, he ran out to meet Jacob. He hugged and kissed him and brought him to his home, where Jacob told him everything that had happened. 14Laban said, “You are my nephew, and you are like one of my own family.”
Jacob marries Leah and Rachel
After Jacob had been there for a month, 15Laban said to him, “You shouldn't have to work without pay, just because you are a relative of mine. What do you want me to give you?”
16-17Laban had two daughters. Leah was older than Rachel, but her eyes didn't sparkle,#29.16-17 but her eyes didn't sparkle: Or “and her eyes sparkled”. while Rachel was beautiful and had a good figure. 18Since Jacob was in love with Rachel, he answered, “If you will let me marry Rachel, I'll work seven years for you.”
19Laban replied, “It's better for me to let you marry Rachel than for someone else to have her. So stay and work for me.” 20Jacob worked seven years for Laban, but the time seemed like only a few days, because he loved Rachel so much.
21Jacob said to Laban, “The time is up, and I want to marry Rachel now!” 22So Laban gave a big feast and invited all their neighbours. 23But that evening he brought Leah to Jacob, who married her and spent the night with her. 24Laban also gave Zilpah to Leah as her servant woman.
25The next morning Jacob found out that he had married Leah, and he asked Laban, “Why did you do this to me? Didn't I work to get Rachel? Why did you trick me?”
26Laban replied, “In our country the elder daughter must get married first. 27After you spend this week#29.27 this week: The wedding feast lasted for seven days (see Judges 14.12,17). with Leah, you may also marry Rachel. But you will have to work for me another seven years.”
28-30At the end of the week of celebration, Laban let Jacob marry Rachel, and he gave her his servant woman Bilhah. Jacob loved Rachel more than he did Leah, but he had to work another seven years for Laban.
31The LORD knew that Jacob loved Rachel more than he did Leah, and so he gave children to Leah, but not to Rachel. 32Leah gave birth to a son and named him Reuben,#29.32 Reuben: In Hebrew “Reuben” means, “Look, a son!” because she said, “The LORD has taken away my sorrow. Now my husband will love me more than he does Rachel.” 33She had a second son and named him Simeon,#29.33 Simeon: In Hebrew “Simeon” sounds like “someone who hears”. because she said, “The LORD has heard that my husband doesn't love me.” 34When Leah's third son was born, she said, “Now my husband will hold me close.” So this son was named Levi.#29.34 hold me close…Levi: In Hebrew “Levi” sounds like “hold (someone) close”. 35She had one more son and named him Judah,#29.35 Judah: In Hebrew “Judah” sounds like “praise”. because she said, “I'll praise the LORD!”
Learn More About Contemporary English Version (Anglicised) 2012
© British and Foreign Bible Society 2012
1Then Jacob went on his journey, and came to the land of the children of the east. 2And he looked, and, behold, a well in the field, and, lo, three flocks of sheep lying there by it; for out of that well they watered the flocks: and the stone upon the well’s mouth was great. 3And thither were all the flocks gathered: and they rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the sheep, and put the stone again upon the well’s mouth in its place. 4And Jacob said unto them, My brethren, whence are ye? And they said, Of Haran are we. 5And he said unto them, Know ye Laban the son of Nahor? And they said, We know him. 6And he said unto them, Is it well with him? And they said, It is well: and, behold, Rachel his daughter cometh with the sheep. 7And he said, Lo, it is yet high day, neither is it time that the cattle should be gathered together: water ye the sheep, and go and feed them. 8And they said, We cannot, until all the flocks be gathered together, and they roll the stone from the well’s mouth; then we water the sheep. 9While he was yet speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep; for she kept them. 10And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother. 11And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept. 12And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s brother, and that he was Rebekah’s son: and she ran and told her father.
13And it came to pass, when Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister’s son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house. And he told Laban all these things. 14And Laban said to him, Surely thou art my bone and my flesh. And he abode with him the space of a month. 15And Laban said unto Jacob, Because thou art my brother, shouldest thou therefore serve me for nought? tell me, what shall thy wages be? 16And Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17And Leah’s eyes were tender; but Rachel was beautiful and well favored. 18And Jacob loved Rachel; and he said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter. 19And Laban said, It is better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her to another man: abide with me. 20And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her.
21And Jacob said unto Laban, Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in unto her. 22And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast. 23And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her. 24And Laban gave Zilpah his handmaid unto his daughter Leah for a handmaid. 25And it came to pass in the morning that, behold, it was Leah: and he said to Laban, What is this thou hast done unto me? did not I serve with thee for Rachel? wherefore then hast thou beguiled me? 26And Laban said, It is not so done in our place, to give the younger before the first-born. 27Fulfil the week of this one, and we will give thee the other also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years. 28And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife. 29And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her handmaid. 30And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years.
31And Jehovah saw that Leah was hated, and he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren. 32And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Because Jehovah hath looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me. 33And she conceived again, and bare a son: and said, Because Jehovah hath heard that I am hated, he hath therefore given me this son also: and she called his name Simeon. 34And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have borne him three sons: therefore was his name called Levi. 35And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, This time will I praise Jehovah: therefore she called his name Judah; and she left off bearing.