Then Jacob hurried on, finally arriving in the land of the east.
He saw a well in the distance. Three flocks of sheep and goats lay in an open field beside it, waiting to be watered. But a heavy stone covered the mouth of the well.
It was the custom there to wait for all the flocks to arrive before removing the stone and watering the animals. Afterward the stone would be placed back over the mouth of the well.
Jacob went over to the shepherds and asked, “Where are you from, my friends?” “We are from Haran,” they answered.
“Do you know a man there named Laban, the grandson of Nahor?” he asked. “Yes, we do,” they replied.
“Is he doing well?” Jacob asked. “Yes, he’s well,” they answered. “Look, here comes his daughter Rachel with the flock now.”
Jacob said, “Look, it’s still broad daylight—too early to round up the animals. Why don’t you water the sheep and goats so they can get back out to pasture?”
“We can’t water the animals until all the flocks have arrived,” they replied. “Then the shepherds move the stone from the mouth of the well, and we water all the sheep and goats.”
Jacob was still talking with them when Rachel arrived with her father’s flock, for she was a shepherd.