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!”
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© British and Foreign Bible Society 2012
1Then Jacob went on his journey, and came to the land of the children of the east. 2He looked, and saw a well in the field, and saw three flocks of sheep lying there by it. For out of that well they watered the flocks. The stone on the well’s mouth was large. 3There all the flocks were gathered. They rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the sheep, and put the stone back on the well’s mouth in its place. 4Jacob said to them, “My relatives, where are you from?”
They said, “We are from Haran.”
5He said to them, “Do you know Laban, the son of Nahor?”
They said, “We know him.”
6He said to them, “Is it well with him?”
They said, “It is well. See, Rachel, his daughter, is coming with the sheep.”
7He said, “Behold, it is still the middle of the day, not time to gather the livestock together. Water the sheep, and go and feed them.”
8They said, “We can’t, until all the flocks are gathered together, and they roll the stone from the well’s mouth. Then we will water the sheep.”
9While he was yet speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she kept them. 10When Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban, his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban, his mother’s brother, Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother. 11Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept. 12Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s relative, and that he was Rebekah’s son. She ran and told her father.
13When Laban heard the news of Jacob, his sister’s son, he ran to meet Jacob, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house. Jacob told Laban all these things. 14Laban said to him, “Surely you are my bone and my flesh.” Jacob stayed with him for a month. 15Laban said to Jacob, “Because you are my relative, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what will your wages be?”
16Laban had two daughters. The name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful in form and attractive. 18Jacob loved Rachel. He said, “I will serve you seven years for Rachel, your younger daughter.”
19Laban said, “It is better that I give her to you, than that I should give her to another man. Stay with me.”
20Jacob served seven years for Rachel. They seemed to him but a few days, for the love he had for her.
21Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in to her.”
22Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast. 23In the evening, he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to Jacob. He went in to her. 24Laban gave Zilpah his servant to his daughter Leah for a servant. 25In the morning, behold, it was Leah! He said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Didn’t I serve with you for Rachel? Why then have you deceived me?”
26Laban said, “It is not done so in our place, to give the younger before the firstborn. 27Fulfill the week of this one, and we will give you the other also for the service which you will serve with me for seven more years.”
28Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week. He gave him Rachel his daughter as wife. 29Laban gave Bilhah, his servant, to his daughter Rachel to be her servant. 30He went in also to Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him seven more years.
31Yahweh saw that Leah was hated, and he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. 32Leah conceived, and bore a son, and she named him Reuben. For she said, “Because Yahweh has looked at my affliction; for now my husband will love me.” 33She conceived again, and bore a son, and said, “Because Yahweh has heard that I am hated, he has therefore given me this son also.” She named him Simeon. 34She conceived again, and bore a son. She said, “Now this time my husband will be joined to me, because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore his name was called Levi. 35She conceived again, and bore a son. She said, “This time I will praise Yahweh.” Therefore she named him Judah. Then she stopped bearing.
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