Genesis 29

1 Therefore Jacob passed forth, and came into the east land;
2 and he saw a well in the field, and three flocks of sheep resting beside it, for why (the) sheep were watered thereof, and the mouth thereof was closed with a great stone.
3 And the custom was that when all the sheep were gathered together, they should turn away the stone, and when the flocks were watered, they should put it (back) again on the mouth of the well.
4 And Jacob said to the shepherds, Brethren, of whence be ye? Which answered, Of Haran (And they answered, We come from Haran).
5 And he asked them and said, Whether ye know Laban, the son of Nahor? (And) They said, We know him.
6 Jacob said, Is he whole? (Jacob asked, Is he well?) (And) They said, He is in (a) good state; and lo! Rachel, his daughter, cometh with his flock.
7 And Jacob said, Yet much of the day is to come, and it is not (the) time that the flocks be led again to the folds; soothly give ye drink to the sheep, and so lead ye them again to meat (and then take ye them back to the pasture).
8 Which answered, We may not till all the sheep be gathered together, and till we remove the stone from the mouth of the well, to water the flocks (then we shall water the flocks).
9 Yet (while) they spake, and lo! Rachel came with the sheep of her father.
10 And when Jacob saw her, and knew (her to be) the daughter of (Laban,) his mother's brother, and the sheep (to be) of Laban his uncle, he removed the stone with which the well was closed; and when the flock was watered,
11 he kissed her, and he wept with voice raised (and with his voice raised up, he wept for joy).
12 And Jacob showed to her that he was the brother of her father, and the son of Rebecca; and she hasted, and told to her father. (And Jacob told her that he was her father's kinsman, and Rebecca's son; and she hastened home, and told her father.)
13 And when he had heard, that Jacob, the son of his sister, came, he ran to meet him, and he embraced Jacob, and kissed him, and led him into his house. Forsooth when the causes of the journey were heard,
14 Laban answered, Thou art my bone and my flesh. And after that the days of a month were filled,
15 Laban said to Jacob, Whether for thou art my brother, thou shalt serve me freely? say thou what meed thou shalt take. (Laban said to Jacob, Though thou art my kinsman, shalt thou serve me for nothing? Nay! say what reward thou shalt take.)
16 Forsooth Laban had two daughters, the name of the elder was Leah, soothly the younger was called Rachel;
17 but Leah was bleary-eyed, and Rachel was of fair face, and lovely in sight. (and Leah was blurry-eyed, but Rachel had a beautiful face, and was lovely to look at.)
18 And Jacob loved Rachel, and (so he) said, I shall serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter.
19 Laban answered, It is better that I give her to thee than to another man; dwell thou with me.
20 Therefore Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and the days seemed few to him for the greatness of (his) love.
21 And (at last) he said to Laban, Give thou my wife to me, for the time is fulfilled that I enter [in] to her.
22 And (so) when many companies of friends were called to the feast, he made [the] weddings,
23 and in the eventide Laban brought in to him Leah his daughter, (but in the evening, Laban brought in his daughter Leah to Jacob, but Jacob was too drunk to know,)
24 and gave an handmaid (and Laban gave his slave-girl), Zilpah by name, to his daughter.
25 And when Jacob had entered [in] to her (as) by custom, when the morrowtide was made, he saw Leah, and he said to his wife's father, What is it that thou wouldest do? whether I served not thee for Rachel? why hast thou deceived me? (And after Jacob had slept with his wife, as by custom, when the morning was made, he saw that it was Leah, and he said to his wife's father, What hast thou done to me? did I not serve thee for Rachel? why hast thou deceived me?)
26 Laban answered, It is not custom in our place that we give first the younger daughter to weddings; (And Laban answered, It is not the custom in our place that we give the younger daughter first in a wedding;)
27 fulfill thou the week of days of this wedding, and I shall give to thee also this Rachel, for the work in which thou shalt serve me by other seven years. (so fulfill thou a week of days, or seven days, for this wedding, and then I shall also give thee Rachel, for the work in which thou shalt serve me for another seven years.)
28 Jacob assented to the covenant, and when the week was passed, he wedded Rachel,
29 to whom her father had given Bilhah (for) an handmaid. (to whom her father had given his slave-girl Bilhah.)
30 And at the last Jacob used the weddings desired, and set the love of the latter wife before the first; and Jacob served Laban seven other years. (And so at last Jacob had the desired wedding, and put the love of the latter wife ahead of the first wife; and Jacob served Laban for another seven years.)
31 Forsooth the Lord saw that Jacob despised Leah, that is, (that he) loved her less than Rachel, and (so) he opened Leah's womb, while her sister dwelled barren.
32 And Leah childed a son conceived (And Leah conceived, and bare a son), and she called his name Reuben, and said, The Lord hath seen my meekness; now mine husband shall love me.
33 And again she conceived, and childed a son, and said, For the Lord saw that I was despised, he gave also this son to me (he also gave me this son); and she called his name Simeon.
34 And she conceived the third time, and childed another son, and she said also (and then she said), Now mine husband shall be coupled to me, for I have childed three sons to him; and therefore she called his name Levi.
35 The fourth time she conceived, and childed a son, and said, Now I shall acknowledge to the Lord; and therefore she called his name Judah; and ceased to child. (And the fourth time she conceived, and bare a son, she said, Now I shall praise the Lord; and so she called his name Judah; and ceased to bear any more children.)

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Genesis 29 Commentaries

Copyright © 2001 by Terence P. Noble. For personal use only.