Genesis 29

1 And Jacob lifteth up his feet, and goeth towards the land of the sons of the east;
2 and he looketh, and lo, a well in the field, and lo, there three droves of a flock crouching by it, for from that well they water the droves, and the great stone [is] on the mouth of the well.
3 (When thither have all the droves been gathered, and they have rolled the stone from off the mouth of the well, and have watered the flock, then they have turned back the stone on the mouth of the well to its place.)
4 And Jacob saith to them, `My brethren, from whence [are] ye?' and they say, `We [are] from Haran.'
5 And he saith to them, `Have ye known Laban, son of Nahor?' and they say, `We have known.'
6 And he saith to them, `Hath he peace?' and they say, `Peace; and lo, Rachel his daughter is coming with the flock.'
7 And he saith, `Lo, the day [is] still great, [it is] not time for the cattle to be gathered; water ye the flock, and go, delight yourselves.'
8 And they say, `We are not able, till that all the droves be gathered together, and they have rolled away the stone from the mouth of the well, and we have watered the flock.'
9 He is yet speaking with them, and Rachel hath come with the flock which her father hath, for she [is] shepherdess;
10 and it cometh to pass when Jacob hath seen Rachel, daughter of Laban his mother's brother, and the flock of Laban his mother's brother, that Jacob cometh nigh and rolleth the stone from off the mouth of the well, and watereth the flock of Laban his mother's brother.
11 And Jacob kisseth Rachel, and lifteth up his voice, and weepeth,
12 and Jacob declareth to Rachel that he [is] her father's brother, and that he [is] Rebekah's son, and she runneth and declareth to her father.
13 And it cometh to pass, when Laban heareth the report of Jacob his sister's son, that he runneth to meet him, and embraceth him, and kisseth him, and bringeth him in unto his house; and he recounteth to Laban all these things,
14 and Laban saith to him, `Only my bone and my flesh [art] thou;' and he dwelleth with him a month of days.
15 And Laban saith to Jacob, `Is it because thou [art] my brother that thou hast served me for nought? declare to me what [is] thy hire.'
16 And Laban hath two daughters, the name of the elder [is] Leah, and the name of the younger Rachel,
17 and the eyes of Leah [are] tender, and Rachel hath been fair of form and fair of appearance.
18 And Jacob loveth Rachel, and saith, `I serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter:'
19 and Laban saith, `It is better for me to give her to thee than to give her to another man; dwell with me;'
20 and Jacob serveth for Rachel seven years; and they are in his eyes as some days, because of his loving her.
21 And Jacob saith unto Laban, `Give up my wife, for my days have been fulfilled, and I go in unto her;'
22 and Laban gathereth all the men of the place, and maketh a banquet.
23 And it cometh to pass in the evening, that he taketh Leah, his daughter, and bringeth her in unto him, and he goeth in unto her;
24 and Laban giveth to her Zilpah, his maid-servant, to Leah his daughter, a maid-servant.
25 And it cometh to pass in the morning, that lo, it [is] Leah; and he saith unto Laban, `What [is] this thou hast done to me? for Rachel have I not served with thee? and why hast thou deceived me?'
26 And Laban saith, `It is not done so in our place, to give the younger before the first-born;
27 fulfil the week of this one, and we give to thee also this one, for the service which thou dost serve with me yet seven other years.'
28 And Jacob doth so, and fulfilleth the week of this one, and he giveth to him Rachel his daughter, to him for a wife;
29 and Laban giveth to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his maid-servant, for a maid-servant to her.
30 And he goeth in also unto Rachel, and he also loveth Rachel more than Leah; and he serveth with him yet seven other years.
31 And Jehovah seeth that Leah [is] the hated one, and He openeth her womb, and Rachel [is] barren;
32 and Leah conceiveth, and beareth a son, and calleth his name Reuben, for she said, `Because Jehovah hath looked on mine affliction; because now doth my husband love me.'
33 And she conceiveth again, and beareth a son, and saith, `Because Jehovah hath heard that I [am] the hated one, He also giveth to me even this [one];' and she calleth his name Simeon.
34 And she conceiveth again, and beareth a son, and saith, `Now [is] the time, my husband is joined unto me, because I have born to him three sons,' therefore hath [one] called his name Levi.
35 And she conceiveth again, and beareth a son, and saith this time, `I praise Jehovah;' therefore hath she called his name Judah; and she ceaseth from bearing.

Images for Genesis 29

Genesis 29 Commentary

Chapter 29

Jacob comes to the well of Haran. (1-8) His interview with Rachel, Laban entertains him. (9-14) Jacob's covenant for Rachel, Laban's deceit. (15-30) Leah's sons. (31-35)

Verses 1-8 Jacob proceeded cheerfully in his journey, after the sweet communion he had with God at Beth-el. Providence brought him to the field where his uncle's flocks were to be watered. What is said of the care of the shepherds for their sheep, may remind us of the tender concern which our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, has for his flock the church; for he is the good Shepherd, that knows his sheep, and is known of them. The stone at the well's mouth was to secure it; water was scarce, it was not there for every one's use: but separate interests should not take us from helping one another. When all the shepherds came together with their flocks, then, like loving neighbours, they watered their flocks together. The law of kindness in the tongue has a commanding power, ( Proverbs 31:26 ) . Jacob was civil to these strangers, and he found them civil to him.

Verses 9-14 See Rachel's humility and industry. Nobody needs to be ashamed of honest, useful labour, nor ought it to hinder any one's preferment. When Jacob understood that this was his kinswoman, he was very ready to serve her. Laban, though not the best humoured, bade him welcome, and was satisfied with the account Jacob gave of himself. While we avoid being foolishly ready to believe every thing which is told us, we must take heed of being uncharitably suspicious.

Verses 15-30 During the month that Jacob spent as a guest, he was not idle. Wherever we are, it is good to employ ourselves in some useful business. Laban was desirous that Jacob should continue with him. Inferior relations must not be imposed upon; it is our duty to reward them. Jacob made known to Laban the affection he had for his daughter Rachel. And having no wordly goods with which to endow her, he promises seven years' service Love makes long and hard services short and easy; hence we read of the labour of love, ( Hebrews 6:10 ) . If we know how to value the happiness of heaven, the sufferings of this present time will be as nothing to us. An age of work will be but as a few days to those that love God, and long for Christ's appearing. Jacob, who had imposed upon his father, is imposed upon by Laban, his father-in-law, by a like deception. Herein, how unrighteous soever Laban was, the Lord was righteous: see ( Judges 1:7 ) . Even the righteous, if they take a false step, are sometimes thus recompensed in the earth. And many who are not, like Jacob, in their marriage, disappointed in person, soon find themselves, as much to their grief, disappointed in the character. The choice of that relation ought to be made with good advice and thought on both sides. There is reason to believe that Laban's excuse was not true. His way of settling the matter made bad worse. Jacob was drawn into the disquiet of multiplying wives. He could not refuse Rachel, for he had espoused her; still less could he refuse Leah. As yet there was no express command against marrying more than one wife. It was in the patriarchs a sin of ignorance; but it will not justify the like practice now, when God's will is plainly made known by the Divine law, ( Leviticus 18:18 ) , and more fully since, by our Saviour, that one man and woman ( 1 Corinthians. 7:2 )

Verses 31-35 The names Leah gave her children, expressed her respect and regard, both to God and to her husband. Reuben, or See a son, with this thought, Now will my husband love me; Levi, or joined, expecting, Now will my husband be joined unto me. Mutual affection is both the duty and comfort of the married relation; and yoke-fellows should study to recommend themselves to each ( 1 Corinthians. 7:33 1 Corinthians. 7:34 ) providence of God in hearing her. Whatever supports and comforts us under afflictions, or tends to our deliverance from them, God must be owned in it. Her fourth son she called Judah, or praise, saying, Now will I praise the Lord. This was he, of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came. Whatever is the matter of our rejoicing, ought to be the matter of our thanksgiving. Fresh favours should quicken us to praise God for former favours; Now will I praise the Lord more and better than I have done. All our praises must centre in Christ, both as the matter of them, and as the Mediator of them. He descended after the flesh from him whose name was "Praise," and He is our praise. Is Christ formed in my heart? Now will I praise the Lord.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO GENESIS 29

This chapter informs us of Jacob's coming to a well near Haran, where meeting with some shepherds he inquires after Laban, Ge 29:1-8; and there also with Rachel his daughter, the shepherds made known to him, and acquainted her who he was, Ge 29:9-12; upon which she ran to her father, and told him who was at the well, who went forth and brought him to his house, and kindly entertained him, Ge 29:13,14; with whom he agreed to stay and serve seven years for Rachel his daughter, Ge 29:15-20; at the end of which Jacob demands his wife, but instead of Rachel, Leah was brought to him as his wife, Ge 29:21-25; which being discovered, and complained of, it was proposed he should have Rachel also, provided he would serve yet seven years more, to which he agreed, Ge 29:26-30; and the chapter is concluded with an account of four sons being born to Jacob of Leah, Ge 29:31-35.

Genesis 29 Commentaries