Holman Christian Standard Bible
Jacob Meets Rachel
29 Jacob resumed his journey[a] and went to the eastern country.[b](A) 2 He looked and saw a well in a field. Three flocks of sheep were lying there beside it because the sheep were watered from this well. A large stone covered the opening of the well. 3 When all the flocks[c] were gathered there, the shepherds would roll the stone from the opening of the well and water the sheep. The stone was then placed back on the well’s opening.
4 Jacob asked the men at the well, “My brothers! Where are you from?”
“We’re from Haran,” they answered.
5 “Do you know Laban grandson of Nahor?” Jacob asked them.
They answered, “We know him.”
6 “Is he well?” Jacob asked.
“Yes,” they said, “and here is his daughter Rachel, coming with his sheep.”
7 Then Jacob said, “Look, it is still broad daylight. It’s not time for the animals to be gathered. Water the flock, then go out and let them graze.”
8 But they replied, “We can’t until all the flocks have been gathered and the stone is rolled from the well’s opening. Then we will water the sheep.”
9 While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess. 10 As soon as Jacob saw his uncle Laban’s daughter Rachel with his sheep,[d] he went up and rolled the stone from the opening and watered his uncle Laban’s sheep. 11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel and wept loudly.[e] 12 He told Rachel that he was her father’s relative, Rebekah’s son. She ran and told her father.
13 When Laban heard the news about his sister’s son Jacob, he ran to meet him, hugged him, and kissed him. Then he took him to his house, and Jacob told him all that had happened.
After Jacob had stayed with him a month, 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[g] 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.”(C)
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[h] 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.(D)
31 When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved,(E) He opened her womb;(F) but Rachel was unable to conceive.(G) 32 Leah conceived, gave birth to a son, and named him Reuben,[i] for she said, “The Lord has seen my affliction;(H) 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.[j]
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.[k]
- Genesis 29:1 Lit Jacob picked up his feet
- Genesis 29:1 Lit the land of the children of the east
- Genesis 29:3 Sam, some LXX mss read flocks and the shepherds
- Genesis 29:10 Lit with the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother
- Genesis 29:11 Lit and he lifted his voice and wept
- Genesis 29:14 Lit my bone and my flesh
- Genesis 29:17 Lit tender
- Genesis 29:21 Lit to go to
- Genesis 29:32 = See, a Son; in Hb, the name Reuben sounds like “has seen my affliction.”
- Genesis 29:33 In Hb, the name Simeon sounds like “has heard.”
- Genesis 29:34 In Hb, the name Levi sounds like “attached to.”
- Genesis 29:35 In Hb, the name Judah sounds like “praise.”