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21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife, that I may consummate my marriage with her, for my term is now completed.” 22 So Laban invited all the local inhabitants and gave a banquet. 23 At nightfall he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and he consummated the marriage with her. 24 Laban assigned his maidservant Zilpah to his daughter Leah as her maidservant. 25 In the morning, there was Leah! So Jacob said to Laban: “How could you do this to me! Was it not for Rachel that I served you? Why did you deceive me?” 26 Laban replied, “It is not the custom in our country to give the younger daughter before the firstborn. 27 Finish the bridal week[a] for this one, and then the other will also be given to you in return for another seven years of service with me.”(A)

28 Jacob did so. He finished the bridal week for the one, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel as a wife. 29 Laban assigned his maidservant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her maidservant. 30 Jacob then consummated his marriage with Rachel also, and he loved her more than Leah. Thus he served Laban another seven years.(B)

Jacob’s Children.[b]

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Footnotes

  1. 29:27 The bridal week: an ancient wedding lasted for seven days; cf. Jgs 14:12, 17.
  2. 29:31–30:24 The note of strife, first sounded between Jacob and Esau in chaps. 25–27, continues between the two wives, since Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah (29:30). Jacob’s neglect of Leah moves God to make her fruitful (29:31). Leah’s fertility provokes Rachel. Leah bears Jacob four sons (Reuben, Levi, Simeon, and Judah) and her maidservant Zilpah, two (Gad and Asher). Rachel’s maidservant Bilhah bears two (Dan and Naphtali). After the mandrakes (30:14–17), Leah bears Issachar and Zebulun and a daughter Dinah. Rachel then bears Joseph and, later in the land of Canaan, Benjamin (35:18).

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