Genesis 29-30 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
Jacob Meets Rachel
29 Jacob resumed his journey[a] and went to the eastern country.[b] 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. But a large stone covered the opening of the well. 3 The shepherds would roll the stone from the opening of the well and water the sheep when all the flocks[c] were gathered there. Then they would return the stone to its place over 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.
14 Laban said to him, “Yes, you are my own flesh and blood.”[f]
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 tender 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, “Since my time is complete, give me my wife, so I can sleep with[g] her.” 22 So Laban invited all the men of the place and sponsored 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.
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,[h] 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.[i]
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.[j]
35 And she conceived again, gave birth to a son, and said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” Therefore she named him Judah.[k] Then Leah stopped having children.
30 When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children, she envied her sister. “Give me sons, or I will die!” she said to Jacob.
2 Jacob became angry with Rachel and said, “Am I in God’s place, who has withheld offspring[l] from you?”
3 Then she said, “Here is my maid Bilhah. Go sleep with her, and she’ll bear children for me[m] so that through her I too can build a family.” 4 So Rachel gave her slave Bilhah to Jacob as a wife, and he slept with her. 5 Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son. 6 Rachel said, “God has vindicated me; yes, he has heard me and given me a son,” so she named him Dan.[n]
9 When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she took her slave Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife. 10 Leah’s slave Zilpah bore Jacob a son. 11 Then Leah said, “What good fortune!” [q] and she named him Gad.[r]
12 When Leah’s slave Zilpah bore Jacob a second son, 13 Leah said, “I am happy that the women call me happy,” so she named him Asher.[s]
14 Reuben went out during the wheat harvest and found some mandrakes in the field. When he brought them to his mother Leah, Rachel asked, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.”
15 But Leah replied to her, “Isn’t it enough that you have taken my husband? Now you also want to take my son’s mandrakes?”
“Well then,” Rachel said, “he can sleep with you tonight in exchange for your son’s mandrakes.”
16 When Jacob came in from the field that evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, “You must come with me, for I have hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” So Jacob slept with her that night.
17 God listened to Leah, and she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18 Leah said, “God has rewarded me for giving my slave to my husband,” and she named him Issachar.[t]
19 Then Leah conceived again and bore Jacob a sixth son. 20 “God has given me a good gift,” Leah said. “This time my husband will honor me because I have borne six sons for him,” and she named him Zebulun.[u] 21 Later, Leah bore a daughter and named her Dinah.
22 Then God remembered Rachel. He listened to her and opened her womb. 23 She conceived and bore a son, and she said, “God has taken away my disgrace.” 24 She named him Joseph[v] and said, “May the Lord add another son to me.”
Jacob’s Flocks Multiply
25 After Rachel gave birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send me on my way so that I can return to my homeland. 26 Give me my wives and my children that I have worked for, and let me go. You know how hard I have worked for you.”
27 But Laban said to him, “If I have found favor with you, stay. I have learned by divination that the Lord has blessed me because of you.” 28 Then Laban said, “Name your wages, and I will pay them.”
29 So Jacob said to him, “You know how I have served you and how your herds have fared with me. 30 For you had very little before I came, but now your wealth has increased. The Lord has blessed you because of me. And now, when will I also do something for my own family?”
31 Laban asked, “What should I give you?”
And Jacob said, “You don’t need to give me anything. If you do this one thing for me, I will continue to shepherd and keep your flock. 32 Let me go through all your sheep today and remove every sheep that is speckled or spotted, every dark-colored sheep among the lambs, and the spotted and speckled among the female goats. Such will be my wages. 33 In the future when you come to check on my wages, my honesty will testify for me. If I have any female goats that are not speckled or spotted, or any lambs that are not black, they will be considered stolen.”
34 “Good,” said Laban. “Let it be as you have said.”
35 That day Laban removed the streaked and spotted male goats and all the speckled and spotted female goats—every one that had any white on it—and every dark-colored one among the lambs, and he placed his sons in charge of them. 36 He put a three-day journey between himself and Jacob. Jacob, meanwhile, was shepherding the rest of Laban’s flock.
37 Jacob then took branches of fresh poplar, almond, and plane wood, and peeled the bark, exposing white stripes on the branches. 38 He set the peeled branches in the troughs in front of the sheep—in the water channels where the sheep came to drink. And the sheep bred when they came to drink. 39 The flocks bred in front of the branches and bore streaked, speckled, and spotted young. 40 Jacob separated the lambs and made the flocks face the streaked sheep and the completely dark sheep in Laban’s flocks. Then he set his own stock apart and didn’t put them with Laban’s sheep.
41 Whenever the stronger of the flock were breeding, Jacob placed the branches in the troughs, in full view of the flocks, and they would breed in front of the branches. 42 As for the weaklings of the flocks, he did not put out the branches. So it turned out that the weak sheep belonged to Laban and the stronger ones to Jacob. 43 And the man became very rich.[w] He had many flocks, female and male slaves, and camels and donkeys.