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.
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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.