1 Jacob continued on his trip and arrived at the land in the east.
2 Suddenly he came upon a well out in the fields. There were three flocks of sheep lying around it. The flocks were watered from this well. It had a large stone over the opening.
3 When all the flocks came together there, the shepherds would roll the stone back and water them. Then they would put the stone back in place.
4 Jacob asked the shepherds: »Where are you from?« They answered: »We are from Haran.«
5 Then he asked: »Do you know Nahors grandson Laban?« »Yes, we do,« they replied.
6 Jacob asked: »How is he?« They replied: »He is well. Here is Rachel his daughter coming with the sheep.«
7 »It is still the heat of the day. It is not time for livestock to be gathered. Would you like to water the sheep so they can get back to grazing?«
8 They said: »We cannot, until all the flocks are gathered, and they roll the stone from the mouth of the well. Then we water the sheep.«
9 While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her fathers sheep, for she was a shepherdess.
10 Jacob saw Rachel, daughter of his uncle Laban, with his uncle Labans sheep. He came forward and rolled the stone off the opening of the well and watered his uncle Labans sheep.
11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel and wept loudly.
12 Jacob told Rachel that he was her fathers nephew and that he was Rebekahs son. She ran and told her father.
13 As soon as Laban heard the news about his sisters son Jacob, he ran to meet him. He embraced and kissed him and brought him into his home. Then Jacob told Laban all that had happened.
14 Laban said: »You are indeed my own flesh and blood.« Jacob stayed there a whole month.
15 Laban said to Jacob: »You should not work for me for nothing just because you are my relative. How much pay do you want?«
16 Laban had two daughters. The older was named Leah and the younger Rachel.
17 Leah had soft eyes and Rachel was shapely and very beautiful.
18 Jacob was in love with Rachel, so he said: »I will work seven years for you, if you will let me marry Rachel.«
19 Laban answered: »It is better that I give her to you than to anyone else. Stay here with me.«
20 Jacob worked seven years for Laban. The time seemed like only a few days, because he loved Rachel so much.
21 Jacob said to Laban: »Give me my wife for the time is completed. I want to marry Rachel now!«
22 Laban gathered all the men of the place and gave a feast.
23 In the evening when it was dark, he took Leah, his daughter, and gave her to him. Jacob slept with her.
24 Laban gave Zilpah, his servant-girl, to Leah, to be her maid.
25 »What have you done to me?« Jacob asked Laban: »Did I work for you in return for Rachel? Why did you cheat me?«
26 Laban answered: »It is not our custom to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one.
27 »Finish the week of wedding festivities with this daughter. Then we will give you the other one too. But you will have to work for me another seven years.«
28 Jacob did that. He finished the week with Leah. Then Laban gave his daughter Rachel to him as his wife.
29 Laban gave his slave Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her slave.
30 Jacob slept with Rachel too. He loved Rachel more than Leah. So he worked for Laban another seven years.
31 Jehovah saw that Leah was loved less, so he made it possible for her to have children. But Rachel had none.
32 Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, because she said: »Certainly, Jehovah has seen my misery. Now my husband will love me!«
33 She became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She said: »Certainly, Jehovah has heard that I am unloved. He has also given me this son.« She named him Simeon.
34 She became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She said: »Now at last my husband will become attached to me because I have given him three sons.« She named him Levi.
35 Leah became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She said: »This time I will praise Jehovah.« So she named him Judah Praise. Then she stopped having children.