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The Jewish Study Bible Contextualizes the Hebrew Bible with accompanying scholarly text on Jewish traditions and history.

Chapter 29

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1Jacob b‐ Lit. “lifted up his feet.” resumed his journey ‐b Lit. “lifted up his feet.” and came to the land of the Easterners. 2There before his eyes was a well in the open. Three flocks of sheep were lying there beside it, for the flocks were watered from that well. The stone on the mouth of the well was large. 3When all the flocks were gathered there, the stone would be rolled from the mouth of the well and the sheep watered; then the stone would be put back in its place on the mouth of the well.

4Jacob said to them, “My friends, where are you from?” And they said, “We are from Haran.” 5He said to them, “Do you know Laban the son of Nahor?” And they said, “Yes, we do.” 6He continued, “Is he well?” They answered, “Yes, he is; and there is his daughter Rachel, coming with the flock.” 7He said, “It is still broad daylight, too early to round up the animals; water the flock and take them to pasture.” 8But they said, “We cannot, until all the flocks are rounded up; then the stone is rolled off the mouth of the well and we water the sheep.”

9While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father's flock; for she was a shepherdess. 10Andwhen Jacob saw Rachel, the daughter of his uncle a Lit. “his mother's brother.” Laban, and the flock of his uncle Laban, Jacob went up and rolled the stone off the mouth of the well, and watered the flock of his uncle Laban. 11Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and broke into tears. 12Jacob told Rachel that he was her father's kinsman, that he was Rebekah's son; and she ran and told her father. 13On hearing the news of his sister's son Jacob, Laban ran to greet him; he embraced him and kissed him, and took him into his house. He told Laban all that had happened, 14and Laban said to him, “You are truly my bone and flesh.”

When he had stayed with him a month's time, 15Laban said to Jacob, “Just because you are a kinsman, should you serve me for nothing? Tell me, what shall your wages be?” 16Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older one was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17Leah had weak eyes; Rachel was shapely and beautiful. 18Jacob loved Rachel; so he answered, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.” 19Laban said, “Better that I give her to you than that I should give her to an outsider. Stay with me.” 20So Jacob served seven years for Rachel and they seemed to him but a few days because of his love for her.

21Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife, for my time is fulfilled, that I may cohabit with her.” 22And Laban gathered all the people of the place and made a feast. 23When evening came, he took his daughter Leah and brought her to him; and he cohabited with her.—24Laban had given his maidservant Zilpah to his daughter Leah as her maid.—25When morning came, there was Leah! So he said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? I was in your service for Rachel! Why did you deceive me?” 26Laban said, “It is not the practice in our place to marry off the younger before the older. 27Wait until the bridal week of this one is over and we will give you that one too, provided you serve me another seven years.” 28Jacob did so; he waited out the bridal week of the one, and then he gave him his daughter Rachel as wife.—29Laban had given his maidservant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her maid.—30And Jacob cohabited with Rachel also; indeed, he loved Rachel more than Leah. And he served him another seven years.

31The LORD saw that Leah was unloved and he opened her womb; but Rachel was barren. 32Leah conceived and bore a son, and named him Reuben; b Understood as “See a son.” for she declared, “Itmeans: ‘The LORD has seen a Heb. ra’ah, connected with the first part of “Reuben.” my affliction’; it also means: ‘Now my husband will love me.’” b Heb. ye’ehabani, connected with the last part of “Reuben.” 33She conceived again and bore a son, and declared, “This is because the LORD heard c Heb. shama‘, connected with “Simeon.” that I was unloved and has given me this one also”; so she named him Simeon. 34Again she conceived and bore a son and declared, “This time my husband will become attached d Heb. yillaweh, connected with “Levi.” to me, for I have borne him three sons.” Therefore he was named Levi. 35She conceived again and bore a son, and declared, “This time I will praise e Heb. ’odeh, connected with “Judah.” the LORD.” Therefore she named him Judah. Then she stopped bearing.

Notes:

b‐b Lit. “lifted up his feet.”

a Lit. “his mother's brother.”

b Understood as “See a son.”

a Heb. ra’ah, connected with the first part of “Reuben.”

b Heb. ye’ehabani, connected with the last part of “Reuben.”

c Heb. shama‘, connected with “Simeon.”

d Heb. yillaweh, connected with “Levi.”

e Heb. ’odeh, connected with “Judah.”

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