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15 Laban said to him, “You shouldn’t have to work without pay, just because you are a relative of mine. What do you want me to give you?”

16-17 Laban had two daughters. Leah was older than Rachel, but her eyes didn’t sparkle,[a] while Rachel was beautiful and had a good figure. 18 Since Jacob was in love with Rachel, he answered, “If you will let me marry Rachel, I’ll work seven years for you.”

19 Laban replied, “It’s better for me to let you marry Rachel than for someone else to have her. So stay and work for me.” 20 Jacob worked seven years for Laban, but the time seemed like only a few days, because he loved Rachel so much.

21 Jacob said to Laban, “The time is up, and I want to marry Rachel now!” 22 So Laban gave a big feast and invited all their neighbors. 23 But that evening he brought Leah to Jacob, who married her and spent the night with her. 24 Laban also gave Zilpah to Leah as her servant woman.

25 The next morning Jacob found out that he had married Leah, and he asked Laban, “Why did you do this to me? Didn’t I work to get Rachel? Why did you trick me?”

26 Laban replied, “In our country the older daughter must get married first. 27 After you spend this week[b] with Leah, you may also marry Rachel. But you will have to work for me another seven years.”

28-30 At the end of the week of celebration, Laban let Jacob marry Rachel, and he gave her his servant woman Bilhah. Jacob loved Rachel more than he did Leah, but he had to work another seven years for Laban.

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Footnotes

  1. 29.16,17 but her eyes didn’t sparkle: Or “and her eyes sparkled.”
  2. 29.27 this week: The wedding feast lasted for seven days (see Judges 14.12,17).