1Continuing his journey, Jacob reached the Land of the Easterners. 2And there, out in the open, he saw a well with three flocks of sheep lying beside it; this wel was usedfor watering the flocks. Now the stone on the mouth of the wel was a large one, 3and only when al the flocks had collected there, did they rol the stone off the mouth of the wel andwater the sheep; then they would replace the stone over the mouth of the wel . 4Jacob said to the shepherds, 'Friends, where are you from?' They replied, 'We are from Haran.' 5He asked them, 'Do you know Laban son of Nahor?' They replied, 'We do.' 6Then he asked them, 'Is he wel ?' 'He is,' they replied, 'and here comes his daughter Rachel with theflock.' 7Then he said, 'But it is stil broad daylight, not the time to round up the animals. Why don't you waterthe sheep and take them back to graze?' 8To which, they replied, 'We can't, until al the shepherds have assembled to rol the stone off themouth of the well; then we can water the sheep.' 9He was stil talking to them, when Rachel arrived with her father's flock, for she was a shepherdess. 10As soon as Jacob saw Rachel, his uncle Laban's daughter, with his uncle Laban's flock, he went upand, rolling the stone off the mouth of the wel , watered his uncle Laban's sheep. 11Jacob then kissed Rachel and burst into tears. 12He told Rachel he was her father's kinsman and Rebekah's son, and she ran to tel her father. 13As soon as he heard her speak of his sister's son Jacob, Laban ran to greet him, embraced him,kissed him and took him to his house. Jacob told Laban everything that had happened, 14and Laban said to him, 'You are indeed my bone and flesh!' After Jacob had been staying with himfor a month, 15Laban said to Jacob, 'Just because you are my kinsman, why should you work for me for nothing?Tel me what wages you want.' 16Now Laban had two daughters, the elder named Leah, and the younger Rachel. 17Leah had lovely eyes, but Rachel was shapely and beautiful, 18and Jacob had fallen in love with Rachel. So his answer was, 'I shal work for you for seven years inexchange for your younger daughter Rachel.' 19Laban replied, 'It is better for me to give her to you than to a stranger; stay with me.' 20So Jacob worked for seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him like a few days because heloved her so much. 21Then Jacob said to Laban, 'Give me my wife, for my time is up and I should like to go to her.' 22Laban gathered al the people of the place together, and gave a banquet. 23But when night came, he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and he slept with her. 24(Laban gave his slave-girl Zilpah to his daughter Leah as her slave.) 25When morning came, it was Leah! So Jacob said to Laban, 'What have you done to me? Did I notwork for you for Rachel? Why then have you tricked me?' 26Laban replied, 'It is not the custom in our place to marry off the younger before the elder. 27Finish this marriage week and I shal give you the other one too in return for your working for me foranother seven years.' 28Jacob agreed and, when he had finished the week, Laban gave him his daughter Rachel as his wife. 29(Laban gave his slave-girl Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her slave.) 30So Jacob slept with Rachel too, and he loved Rachel more than Leah. He worked for Laban foranother seven years. 31When Yahweh saw that Leah was unloved, he opened her womb, while Rachel remained barren. 32Leah conceived and gave birth to a son whom she named Reuben, meaning 'Yahweh has seen mymisery'; and she said, 'Now my husband will love me.' 33Conceiving again, she gave birth to a son and said, 'Yahweh heard that I was unloved, and so hehas given me this one too'; and she named him Simeon. 34Again she conceived and gave birth to a son, and said, 'This time my husband wil become attachedto me, because I have borne him three sons.' Accordingly, she named him Levi. 35Again she conceived and gave birth to a son, and said, 'Now I shal praise Yahweh!' Accordingly, shenamed him Judah. Then she had no more children.
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