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Genesis 29 (Common English Bible)

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Jacob meets Rachel

1 Jacob got to his feet and set out for the land of the easterners. 2 He saw a well in the field in front of him, near which three flocks of sheep were lying down. That well was their source for water because the flocks drank from that well. A huge stone covered the well's opening. 3 When all of the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds would roll the stone from the well's opening, water the sheep, and return the stone to its place at the well's opening. 4 Jacob said to them, "Where are you from, my brothers?" They said, "We're from Haran." 5 Then he said to them, "Do you know Laban, Nahor's grandson?" They said, "We know him." 6 He said to them, "Is he well?" They said, "He's fine. In fact, this is his daughter Rachel now, coming with the flock." 7 He said to them, "It's now only the middle of the day. It's not time yet to gather the animals. Water the flock, and then go, put them out to pasture." 8 They said to him, "We can't until all the herds are gathered, and then wea roll the stone away from the well's opening and water the flock." 9 While he was still talking to them, Rachel came with her father's flock since she was its shepherd. 10 When Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his uncle, and the flock of Laban, Jacob came up, rolled the stone from the well's opening, and watered the flock of his uncle Laban. 11 Jacob kissed Rachel and wept aloud. 12 Jacob told Rachel that he was related to her father and that he was Rebekah's son. She then ran to tell her father. 13 When Laban heard about Jacob his sister's son, he ran to meet him. Laban embraced him, kissed him, and invited him into his house, where Jacob recounted to Laban everything that had happened.

Jacob marries Leah and Rachel

14 Laban said to him, "Yes, you are my flesh and blood." After Jacob had stayed with Laban for a month, 15 Laban said to Jacob, "You shouldn't have to work for free just because you are my relative. Tell me what you would like to be paid." 16 Now Laban had two daughters: the older was named Leah and the younger Rachel. 17 Leah had delicate eyes,b but Rachel had a beautiful figure and was good-looking. 18 Jacob loved Rachel and said, "I will work for you for seven years for Rachel, your younger daughter." 19 Laban said, "I'd rather give her to you than to another man. Stay with me." 20 Jacob worked for Rachel for seven years, but it seemed like a few days because he loved her. 21 Jacob said to Laban, "The time has come. Give me my wife so that I may sleep with her." 22 So Laban invited all the people of that place and prepared a banquet. 23 However, in the evening, he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and he slept with her. 24 Laban had given his servant Zilpah to his daughter Leah as her servant. 25 In the morning, there she was—Leah! Jacob said to Laban, "What have you done to me? Didn't I work for you to have Rachel? Why did you betray me?" 26 Laban said, "Where we live, we don't give the younger woman before the oldest. 27 Complete the celebratory week with this woman. Then I will givec you this other woman too for your work, if you work for me seven more years." 28 So that is what Jacob did. He completed the celebratory week with this woman, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel as his wife. 29 Laban had given his servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her servant. 30 Jacob slept with Rachel, and he loved Rachel more than Leah. He worked for Laban seven more years.

Jacob’s sons are born

31 When the LORD saw that Leah was unloved, he opened her womb; but Rachel was unable to have children. 32 Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reubend because she said, "The LORD saw my harsh treatment, and now my husband will love me." 33 She became pregnant again and gave birth to a son. She said, "The LORD heard that I was unloved, so he gave me this son too," and she named him Simeon.e 34 She became pregnant again and gave birth to a son. She said, "Now, this time my husband will embrace me,f since I have given birth to three sons for him." So she named him Levi.g 35 She became pregnant again and gave birth to a son. She said, "This time I will praise the LORD." So she named him Judah.h Then she stopped bearing children.
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