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Jacob Flees to Haran

29 And Jacob continued his journey[a] and went to the land of the Easterners.[b] And he looked, and behold, there was a well in the field, and behold, there were three flocks of sheep lying beside it, for out of that well the flocks were watered. And the stone on the mouth of the well was large. And when all the flocks were gathered there, they rolled away the stone from the mouth of the well. And they watered the sheep and returned the stone upon the mouth of the well to its place. And Jacob said to them, “My brothers, where are you from?” And they said, “We are from Haran.” And he said to them, “Do you know Laban, son of Nahor?” And they said, “We know him.” And he said to them, “Is he well?”[c] And they said, “He is well. Now look, Rachel his daughter is coming with the sheep.” And he said, “Look, it is still broad daylight;[d] it is not the time for the livestock to be gathered. Give water to the sheep and go, pasture them.” And they said, “We are not able, until all the flocks are gathered. Then the stone is rolled away from the mouth of the well, and we water the sheep.” While he was speaking with them, Rachel came with the sheep which belonged to her father, for she was pasturing them. 10 And it happened that, when Jacob saw Rachel, the daughter of Laban, his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban, his mother’s brother, Jacob drew near and rolled away the stone from the mouth of the well and watered the sheep of Laban, his mother’s brother. 11 And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice and wept. 12 And Jacob told Rachel that he was the relative of her father, and that he was the son of Rebekah. And she ran and told her father. 13 And it happened that when Laban heard the message about Jacob, the son of his sister, he ran to meet him. And he embraced him and kissed him, and brought him to his house. And he told Laban all these things. 14 And Laban said to him, “Surely you are my flesh and my bone!” And he stayed with him a month.

Jacob’s Marriages

15 Then Laban said to Jacob, “Just because you are my brother should you work for me for nothing? Tell me what your wage should be.” 16 Now Laban had two daughters. The name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Now the eyes of Leah were dull, but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance. 18 And Jacob loved Rachel and said, “I will serve you seven years for Rachel your younger daughter.” 19 Then Laban said, “Better that I give her to you than I give her to another man. Stay with me.” 20 And Jacob worked for Rachel seven years, but they were as a few days in his eyes because he loved her. 21 And Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife, that I may go in to her, for my time[e] is completed.” 22 So Laban gathered all the men of the place and prepared a feast. 23 And it happened that in the evening he took Leah his daughter and brought her to him, and he went in to her. 24 And Laban gave Zilpah his female servant to her, to Leah his daughter as a female servant. 25 And it happened that in the morning, behold, it was Leah! And he said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve with you for Rachel? Now why did you deceive me?” 26 Then Laban said, “It is not the custom[f] in our country to give the younger before the firstborn. 27 Complete the week of this one,[g] then I will also give you the other, on the condition that you will work for me[h] another seven years.” 28 And Jacob did so. So he completed the week of this one,[i] then he gave Rachel his daughter to him as a wife. 29 And Laban gave Bilhah his female servant to Rachel his daughter as a female servant. 30 Then he also went in to Rachel, and he loved Rachel more than Leah. And he served with him yet another seven years.

Jacob’s Children

31 When Yahweh saw that Leah was unloved he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. 32 Then Leah conceived and gave birth to a son, and she called his name Reuben, for she said, “Because Yahweh has noticed my misery, that I am unloved. Now my husband will love me.” 33 And she conceived again and gave birth to a son. And she said, “It is because Yahweh has heard that I am unloved that he gave me this son also.” And she called his name Simeon. 34 And she conceived again and gave birth to a son. Then she said, “Now this time my husband will be joined to me, for I have borne him three sons.” Therefore, she called his name Levi. 35 And she conceived again and gave birth to a son. And she said, “This time I will praise Yahweh.” Therefore she called his name Judah. And she ceased bearing children.


  1. Genesis 29:1 Literally “lifted up his feet”
  2. Genesis 29:1 Or “children of the east”
  3. Genesis 29:6 Literally “Is it well for him?”
  4. Genesis 29:7 Literally “high day”
  5. Genesis 29:21 Literally “my days”
  6. Genesis 29:26 Literally “it is not thus done”
  7. Genesis 29:27 Leah; the wedding feast would last one week
  8. Genesis 29:27 Literally “with respect to the work that you will work with me yet”
  9. Genesis 29:28 That is, Leah