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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Berĕshith (Genesis) 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.
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