Then Jacob went on his journey, and came to the land of the people of the east.
As he looked, he saw a well in the field, and lo, three flocks of sheep lying beside it; for out of that well the flocks were watered. The stone on the well's mouth was large,
and when all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds would roll the stone from the mouth of the well, and water the sheep, and put the stone back in its place upon the mouth of the well.
Jacob said to them, "My brothers, where do you come from?" They said, "We are from Haran."
He said to them, "Do you know Laban the son of Nahor?" They said, "We know him."
He said to them, "Is it well with him?" They said, "It is well; and see, Rachel his daughter is coming with the sheep!"
He said, "Behold, it is still high day, it is not time for the animals to be gathered together; water the sheep, and go, pasture them."
But they said, "We cannot until all the flocks are gathered together, and the stone is rolled from the mouth of the well; then we water the sheep."
While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father's sheep; for she kept them.
Now when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother's brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother's brother, Jacob went up and rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother's brother.
Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and wept aloud.
And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father's kinsman, and that he was Rebekah's son; and she ran and told her father.
When Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister's son, he ran to meet him, and embraced him and kissed him, and brought him to his house. Jacob told Laban all these things,
and Laban said to him, "Surely you are my bone and my flesh!" And he stayed with him a month.
Then Laban said to Jacob, "Because you are my kinsman, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what shall your wages be?"
Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.
Leah's eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful and lovely.
Jacob loved Rachel; and he said, "I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel."
Laban said, "It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to any other man; stay with me."
So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.
Then Jacob said to Laban, "Give me my wife that I may go in to her, for my time is completed."
So Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast.
But in the evening he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob; and he went in to her.
(Laban gave his maid Zilpah to his daughter Leah to be her maid.)
And in the morning, behold, it was Leah; and Jacob said to Laban, "What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve with you for Rachel? Why then have you deceived me?"
Laban said, "It is not so done in our country, to give the younger before the first-born.
Complete the week of this one, and we will give you the other also in return for serving me another seven years."
Jacob did so, and completed her week; then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to wife.
(Laban gave his maid Bilhah to his daughter Rachel to be her maid.)
So Jacob went in to Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah, and served Laban for another seven years.
When the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb; but Rachel was barren.
And Leah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben; for she said, "Because the LORD has looked upon my affliction; surely now my husband will love me."
She conceived again and bore a son, and said, "Because the LORD has heard that I am hated, he has given me this son also"; and she called his name Simeon.
Again she conceived and bore 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.
And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, "This time I will praise the LORD"; therefore she called his name Judah; then she ceased bearing.
When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister; and she said to Jacob, "Give me children, or I shall die!"
Jacob's anger was kindled against Rachel, and he said, "Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?"
Then she said, "Here is my maid Bilhah; go in to her, that she may bear upon my knees, and even I may have children through her."
So she gave him her maid Bilhah as a wife; and Jacob went in to her.
And Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son.
Then Rachel said, "God has judged me, and has also heard my voice and given me a son"; therefore she called his name Dan.
Rachel's maid Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son.
Then Rachel said, "With mighty wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister, and have prevailed"; so she called his name Naph'tali.
When Leah saw that she had ceased bearing children, she took her maid Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife.
Then Leah's maid Zilpah bore Jacob a son.
And Leah said, "Good fortune!" so she called his name Gad.
Leah's maid Zilpah bore Jacob a second son.
And Leah said, "Happy am I! For the women will call me happy"; so she called his name Asher.
In the days of wheat harvest Reuben went and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them to his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, "Give me, I pray, some of your son's mandrakes."
But she said to her, "Is it a small matter that you have taken away my husband? Would you take away my son's mandrakes also?" Rachel said, "Then he may lie with you tonight for your son's mandrakes."
When Jacob came from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him, and said, "You must come in to me; for I have hired you with my son's mandrakes." So he lay with her that night.
And God hearkened to Leah, and she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son.
Leah said, "God has given me my hire because I gave my maid to my husband"; so she called his name Is'sachar.
And Leah conceived again, and she bore Jacob a sixth son.
Then Leah said, "God has endowed me with a good dowry; now my husband will honor me, because I have borne him six sons"; so she called his name Zeb'ulun.
Afterwards she bore a daughter, and called her name Dinah.
Then God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her and opened her womb.
She conceived and bore a son, and said, "God has taken away my reproach";
and she called his name Joseph, saying, "May the LORD add to me another son!"
When Rachel had borne Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, "Send me away, that I may go to my own home and country.
Give me my wives and my children for whom I have served you, and let me go; for you know the service which I have given you."
But Laban said to him, "If you will allow me to say so, I have learned by divination that the LORD has blessed me because of you;
name your wages, and I will give it."
Jacob said to him, "You yourself know how I have served you, and how your cattle have fared with me.
For you had little before I came, and it has increased abundantly; and the LORD has blessed you wherever I turned. But now when shall I provide for my own household also?"
He said, "What shall I give you?" Jacob said, "You shall not give me anything; if you will do this for me, I will again feed your flock and keep it:
let me pass through all your flock today, removing from it every speckled and spotted sheep and every black lamb, and the spotted and speckled among the goats; and such shall be my wages.
So my honesty will answer for me later, when you come to look into my wages with you. Every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats and black among the lambs, if found with me, shall be counted stolen."
Laban said, "Good! Let it be as you have said."
But that day Laban removed the he-goats that were striped and spotted, and all the she-goats that were speckled and spotted, every one that had white on it, and every lamb that was black, and put them in charge of his sons;
and he set a distance of three days' journey between himself and Jacob; and Jacob fed the rest of Laban's flock.
Then Jacob took fresh rods of poplar and almond and plane, and peeled white streaks in them, exposing the white of the rods.
He set the rods which he had peeled in front of the flocks in the runnels, that is, the watering troughs, where the flocks came to drink. And since they bred when they came to drink,
the flocks bred in front of the rods and so the flocks brought forth striped, speckled, and spotted.
And Jacob separated the lambs, and set the faces of the flocks toward the striped and all the black in the flock of Laban; and he put his own droves apart, and did not put them with Laban's flock.
Whenever the stronger of the flock were breeding Jacob laid the rods in the runnels before the eyes of the flock, that they might breed among the rods,
but for the feebler of the flock he did not lay them there; so the feebler were Laban's, and the stronger Jacob's.
Thus the man grew exceedingly rich, and had large flocks, maidservants and menservants, and camels and asses.
And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city.
And behold, they brought to him a paralytic, lying on his bed; and when Jesus saw their faith he said to the paralytic, "Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven."
And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, "This man is blaspheming."
But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, "Why do you think evil in your hearts?
For which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise and walk'?
But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins" --he then said to the Paralytic--"rise, take up your bed and go home."
And he rose and went home.
When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.
As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax office; and he said to him, "Follow me." And he rose and followed him.
And as he sat at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples.
And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?"
But when he heard it, he said, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.
Go and learn what this means, 'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.' For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners."
Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?"
And Jesus said to them, "Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come, when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.
And no one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made.
Neither is new wine put into old wineskins; if it is, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed; but new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved."
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (Revised Standard Version - Holy Bible)