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Jacob Meets Rachel
1 Jacob resumed his journey and came to the land of the people of the east. 2 He 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. 3 When 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.”
8 But 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.”
9 While he was still speaking with them, Rachel arrived with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess. 10 As 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. 11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel and wept aloud. 12 He told Rachel that he was Rebekah’s son, a relative of her father, and she ran and told her father.
13 When 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
14 Then Laban declared, “You are indeed my own flesh and blood.”
After Jacob had stayed with him a month, 15 Laban said to him, “Just because you are my relative, should you work for nothing? Tell me what your wages should be.”
16 Now Laban had two daughters; the older was named Leah, and the younger was named Rachel. 17 Leah had weak eyes, a but Rachel was shapely and beautiful. 18 Since Jacob loved Rachel, he answered, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.”
19 Laban replied, “Better that I give her to you than to another. Stay here with me.” 20 So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, yet it seemed but a few days because of his love for her.
21 Finally Jacob said to Laban, “Grant me my wife, for my time is complete, and I want to sleep with her.”
22 So Laban invited all the men of that place and prepared a feast. 23 But when evening came, Laban took his daughter Leah and gave her to Jacob, and he slept with her. 24 And Laban gave his servant girl Zilpah to his daughter Leah as her maidservant.
25 When 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?”
26 Laban replied, “It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older. 27 Finish this week’s celebration, and we will give you the younger one in return for another seven years of work.”
28 And Jacob did just that. He finished the week’s celebration, and Laban gave him his daughter Rachel as his wife. 29 Laban also gave his servant girl Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her maidservant.
30 Jacob 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
31 When the LORD saw that Leah was unloved, He opened her womb; but Rachel was barren. 32 And Leah conceived and gave birth to a son, and she named him Reuben, b for she said, “The LORD has seen my affliction. Surely my husband will love me now.”
33 Again 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. c
34 Once 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. d
35 And once more she conceived and gave birth to a son and said, “This time I will praise the LORD.” So she named him Judah. e Then Leah stopped having children.
17 a Or had delicate eyes
32 b Reuben means Look, a son and also sounds like the Hebrew for He has seen my misery .
33 c Simeon probably means one who hears .
34 d Levi sounds like the Hebrew for being attached to or feeling affection for .
35 e Judah sounds like the Hebrew for praise .