Jacob’s Arrival in Haran
1Jacob continued on his trip and came to the land in the east. 2He looked around, and out in a field he saw a well with a large stone over the opening. Three flocks of sheep were lying down near it, because the flocks were watered from that well. 3When all the flocks were gathered there, the stone would be rolled off the opening of the well so that the sheep could be watered. Then the stone would be put back in place over the opening of the well.
4Jacob asked some people, “My friends, where are you from?”
“We’re from Haran,” they replied.
5He asked them, “Do you know Laban, Nahor’s grandson?”
They answered, “We do.”
6“How is he doing?” Jacob asked them.
“He’s fine,” they answered. “Here comes his daughter Rachel with the sheep.”
7“It’s still the middle of the day,” he said. “It isn’t time yet to gather the livestock. Water the sheep. Then let them graze.”
8They replied, “We can’t until all the flocks are gathered. When the stone is rolled off the opening of the well, we can water the sheep.”
9While he was still talking to them, Rachel arrived with her father’s sheep, because she was a shepherd. 10Jacob saw Rachel, daughter of his uncle Laban, with his uncle Laban’s sheep. He came forward and rolled the stone off the opening of the well and watered his uncle Laban’s sheep. 11Then Jacob kissed Rachel and sobbed loudly. 12When Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s nephew and that he was Rebekah’s son, she ran and told her father.
13As soon as Laban heard the news about his sister’s son Jacob, he ran to meet him. He hugged and kissed him and brought him into his home. Then Jacob told Laban all that had happened. 14Laban said to him, “You are my own flesh and blood.”
Jacob Obtains Wives
Jacob stayed with him for a whole month. 15Then Laban said to him, “Just because you’re my relative doesn’t mean that you should work for nothing. Tell me what your wages should be.”
16Laban had two daughters. The name of the older one was Leah, and the name of the younger one was Rachel. 17Leah had attractive eyes,#29:17 Or “had no sparkle in her eyes.” but Rachel had a beautiful figure and beautiful features. 18Jacob loved Rachel. So he offered, “I’ll work seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.”
19Laban responded, “It’s better that I give her to you than to any other man. Stay with me.” 20Jacob worked seven years in return for Rachel, but the years seemed like only a few days to him because he loved her.
21 ⌞At the end of the seven years⌟ Jacob said to Laban, “The time is up; give me my wife! I want to sleep with her.” 22So Laban invited all the people of that place and gave a wedding feast. 23In the evening he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob. Jacob slept with her. When morning came, he realized it was Leah.#29:23 The first part of verse 25 (in Hebrew) has been placed in verse 23 to express the complex Hebrew paragraph structure more clearly in English. 24(Laban had given his slave Zilpah to his daughter Leah as her slave.)
25“What have you done to me?” Jacob asked Laban. “Didn’t I work for you in return for Rachel? Why did you cheat me?”
26Laban answered, “It’s not our custom to give the younger daughter ⌞in marriage⌟ before the older one. 27Finish the week of wedding festivities with this daughter. Then we will give you the other one too. But you’ll have to work for me another seven years.”
28That’s what Jacob did. He finished the week with Leah. Then Laban gave his daughter Rachel to him as his wife. 29(Laban had given his slave Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her slave.) 30Jacob slept with Rachel too. He loved Rachel more than Leah. So he worked for Laban another seven years.
Leah and Rachel Compete for Jacob’s Love
31When the Lord saw Leah was unloved, he made it possible for her to have children, but Rachel had none. 32Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben [Here’s My Son], because she said, “Certainly, the Lord has seen my misery; now my husband will love me!” 33She became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She said, “Certainly, the Lord has heard that I’m unloved, and he also has given me this son.” So she named him Simeon [Hearing]. 34She became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She said, “Now at last my husband will become attached to me because I’ve given him three sons.” So she named him Levi [Attached]. 35She became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” So she named him Judah [Praise]. Then she stopped having children.
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Jacob Meets Rachel
1#Jdg 6:3; 6:33Then Jacob went on his journey and came into the land of the people of the east. 2#Ge 24:11; Ex 2:15–16As he looked, he saw a well in the field and three flocks of sheep lying by it, for out of that well the flocks were watered. A large stone was on the well’s opening. 3When all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds rolled the stone from the well’s opening, watered the sheep, then put the stone back on the well’s opening in its place.
4#Ge 28:10; 27:43Jacob said to them, “My brothers, where are you from?”
And they said, “We are from Harran.”
5#Ge 24:24; 24:29Then he said to them, “Do you know Laban the son of Nahor?”
And they said, “We know him.”
6He said to them, “Is he well?”
And they said, “He is well, and here is Rachel his daughter coming with the sheep.”
7He said, “Since it is yet midday, it is not the time that the livestock should be gathered together. Water the sheep, and go and feed them.”
8They said, “We cannot until all the flocks are gathered together and the stone is rolled from the well’s opening. Then we may water the sheep.”
9While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she kept them. 10#Ex 2:17When 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 opening and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother. 11#Ge 33:4; 43:30; 45:2Jacob kissed Rachel and wept aloud. 12#Ge 24:28; 13:8Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s relative and that he was Rebekah’s son. Then she ran and told her father.
13#Ge 24:29When Laban heard the news of Jacob his sister’s son, he ran to meet him and embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his house. Then Jacob told Laban all these things. 14#Ge 2:23; Jdg 9:2Laban said to him, “Surely you are my bone and my flesh.”
And he stayed with him for a month. 15Laban said to Jacob, “Since you are my relative, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what shall your wages be?”
Jacob Marries Leah and Rachel
16Now Laban had two daughters. The name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17#Ge 12:11Leah’s eyes were tender, but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance. 18#Hos 12:12; Ge 31:41Jacob loved Rachel, so 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.” 20#Hos 12:12So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.
21#Jdg 15:1Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, so that I may have relations with her.”
22Laban gathered together all the men of the place and prepared a feast. 23But in the evening he took Leah his daughter and brought her to Jacob, and Jacob had relations with her. 24#Ge 30:9–12Laban gave Zilpah his maid to his daughter Leah for a maidservant.
25In the morning Jacob discovered it was Leah, and he said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve you for Rachel? Why then have you tricked me?”
26Then Laban said, “It is not the custom in our country to marry off the younger before the firstborn. 27#Jdg 14:12Fulfill the period of seven days for this one, and we will give you the other also in return for serving me another seven years.”
28Jacob did so and completed her week. Then Laban gave him Rachel his daughter as his wife also. 29Laban gave Bilhah his maidservant to Rachel his daughter to be her maid. 30#Ge 31:41; 29:18So Jacob also had relations with Rachel, and he loved Rachel more than Leah and served Laban another seven years.
31#Dt 21:15; Ge 30:22When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, He opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. 32#Ex 4:31; Dt 26:7Leah conceived and gave birth to a son, and she called his name Reuben, for she said, “Surely the Lord has looked upon my affliction. Now therefore my husband will love me.”
33#Ge 34:25She conceived again and gave birth to a son and said, “Because the Lord has heard that I was unloved, He has therefore given me this son also.” Then she called his name Simeon.
34#Ge 49:5–7She conceived again and gave birth to a son and said, “Now this time my husband will be joined to me, because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore his name was called Levi.
35#Mt 1:2She conceived again and gave birth to a son, and she said, “Now I will praise the Lord!” Therefore she called his name Judah. Then she stopped giving birth.
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