Then Jacob continued on his journey and came to the land of the eastern peoples.12
There he saw a well in the field, with three flocks of sheep lying near it because the flocks were watered from that well.2 The stone3 over the mouth of the well was large.
When all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds would roll the stone4 away from the well's mouth and water the sheep.5 Then they would return the stone to its place over the mouth of the well.
Jacob asked the shepherds, "My brothers, where are you from?"6 "We're from Haran,7" they replied.
He said to them, "Do you know Laban, Nahor's grandson?"8 "Yes, we know him," they answered.
Then Jacob asked them, "Is he well?" "Yes, he is," they said, "and here comes his daughter Rachel9 with the sheep.10"
"Look," he said, "the sun is still high; it is not time for the flocks to be gathered. Water the sheep and take them back to pasture."
"We can't," they replied, "until all the flocks are gathered and the stone11 has been rolled away from the mouth of the well. Then we will water12 the sheep."
While he was still talking with them, Rachel came with her father's sheep,13 for she was a shepherdess.
When Jacob saw Rachel14 daughter of Laban, his mother's brother, and Laban's sheep, he went over and rolled the stone15 away from the mouth of the well and watered16 his uncle's sheep.1711
Then Jacob kissed18 Rachel and began to weep aloud.1912
He had told Rachel that he was a relative20 of her father and a son of Rebekah.21 So she ran and told her father.2213
As soon as Laban23 heard the news about Jacob, his sister's son, he hurried to meet him. He embraced him24 and kissed him and brought him to his home, and there Jacob told him all these things.
Then Laban said to him, "You are my own flesh and blood."25 After Jacob had stayed with him for a whole month,
Laban said to him, "Just because you are a relative26 of mine, should you work for me for nothing? Tell me what your wages27 should be."
Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah,28 and the name of the younger was Rachel.2917
Leah had weaka eyes, but Rachel30 was lovely in form, and beautiful.3118
Jacob was in love with Rachel32 and said, "I'll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel."3319
Laban said, "It's better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay here with me."
So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel,34 but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.3521
Then Jacob said to Laban, "Give me my wife. My time is completed, and I want to lie with her.36"
So Laban brought together all the people of the place and gave a feast.3723
But when evening came, he took his daughter Leah38 and gave her to Jacob, and Jacob lay with her.
And Laban gave his servant girl Zilpah39 to his daughter as her maidservant.4025
When morning came, there was Leah! So Jacob said to Laban, "What is this you have done to me?41 I served you for Rachel, didn't I? Why have you deceived me?42"
Laban replied, "It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one.4327
Finish this daughter's bridal week;44 then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work.45"
And Jacob did so. He finished the week with Leah, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife.4629
Laban gave his servant girl Bilhah47 to his daughter Rachel as her maidservant.4830
Jacob lay with Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah.49 And he worked for Laban another seven years.50
When the LORD saw that Leah was not loved,51 he opened her womb,52 but Rachel was barren.
Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son.53 She named him Reuben,b54 for she said, "It is because the LORD has seen my misery.55 Surely my husband will love me now."
She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, "Because the LORD heard that I am not loved,56 he gave me this one too." So she named him Simeon.c5734
Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, "Now at last my husband will become attached to me,58 because I have borne him three sons." So he was named Levi.d5935
She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, "This time I will praise the LORD." So she named him Judah.e60 Then she stopped having children.61