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Genesis 29:15-35 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

15 Laban said to him, “Just because you’re my relative, should you work for me for nothing? Tell me what your wages should be.”

16 Now Laban had two daughters: the older was named Leah, and the younger was named Rachel. 17 Leah had ordinary[a] eyes, but Rachel was shapely and beautiful. 18 Jacob loved Rachel, so he answered Laban, “I’ll work for you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.”

19 Laban replied, “Better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay with me.” 20 So Jacob worked seven years for Rachel, and they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.

21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife, for my time is completed. I want to sleep with[b] her.” 22 So Laban invited all the men of the place to a feast. 23 That evening, Laban took his daughter Leah and gave her to Jacob, and he slept with her. 24 And Laban gave his slave Zilpah to his daughter Leah as her slave.

25 When morning came, there was Leah! So he said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Wasn’t it for Rachel that I worked for you? Why have you deceived me?”

26 Laban answered, “It is not the custom in this place to give the younger daughter in marriage before the firstborn. 27 Complete this week of wedding celebration, and we will also give you this younger one in return for working yet another seven years for me.”

28 And Jacob did just that. He finished the week of celebration, and Laban gave him his daughter Rachel as his wife. 29 And Laban gave his slave Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her slave. 30 Jacob slept with Rachel also, and indeed, he loved Rachel more than Leah. And he worked for Laban another seven years.

Jacob’s Sons

31 When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, He opened her womb; but Rachel was unable to conceive. 32 Leah conceived, gave birth to a son, and named him Reuben,[c] for she said, “The Lord has seen my affliction; surely my husband will love me now.”

33 She conceived again, gave birth to a son, and said, “The Lord heard that I am unloved and has given me this son also.” So she named him Simeon.[d]

34 She conceived again, gave birth to a son, and said, “At last, my husband will become attached to me because I have borne three sons for him.” Therefore he was named Levi.[e]

35 And she conceived again, gave birth to a son, and said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” Therefore she named him Judah.[f] Then Leah stopped having children.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 29:17 Lit tender
  2. Genesis 29:21 Lit to go to
  3. Genesis 29:32 = See, a Son; in Hb, the name Reuben sounds like “has seen my affliction.”
  4. Genesis 29:33 In Hb, the name Simeon sounds like “has heard.”
  5. Genesis 29:34 In Hb, the name Levi sounds like “attached to.”
  6. Genesis 29:35 In Hb, the name Judah sounds like “praise.”

Genesis 29:15-35 New International Version (NIV)

15 Laban said to him, “Just because you are a relative of mine, should you work for me for nothing? Tell me what your wages should be.”

16 Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah had weak[a] eyes, but Rachel had a lovely figure and was beautiful. 18 Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, “I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.”

19 Laban said, “It’s better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay here with me.” 20 So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.

21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife. My time is completed, and I want to make love to her.

22 So Laban brought together all the people of the place and gave a feast. 23 But when evening came, he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and Jacob made love to her. 24 And Laban gave his servant Zilpah to his daughter as her attendant.

25 When morning came, there was Leah! So Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn’t I? Why have you deceived me?

26 Laban replied, “It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one. 27 Finish this daughter’s bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work.

28 And Jacob did so. He finished the week with Leah, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. 29 Laban gave his servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her attendant. 30 Jacob made love to Rachel also, and his love for Rachel was greater than his love for Leah. And he worked for Laban another seven years.

Jacob’s Children

31 When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he enabled her to conceive, but Rachel remained childless. 32 Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben,[b] for she said, “It is because the Lord has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.”

33 She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Because the Lord heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too.” So she named him Simeon.[c]

34 Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” So he was named Levi.[d]

35 She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” So she named him Judah.[e] Then she stopped having children.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 29:17 Or delicate
  2. Genesis 29:32 Reuben sounds like the Hebrew for he has seen my misery; the name means see, a son.
  3. Genesis 29:33 Simeon probably means one who hears.
  4. Genesis 29:34 Levi sounds like and may be derived from the Hebrew for attached.
  5. Genesis 29:35 Judah sounds like and may be derived from the Hebrew for praise.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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