International Standard Version
Jacob Meets Rachel
1Jacob journeyed on and reached the territory that belonged to the people who lived in the east.a 2As he was observing a well that had been dug out on the open range, all of a sudden he noticed three flocks of sheep lying there, because shepherds watered their flocks from that well. There was a very large stone that covered the opening of the well, 3and when all the flocks had been gathered there, they would roll away the stone from the opening of the well, water their flocks, and then return the stone to its place covering the opening of the well.
4Jacob asked them, “My brothers, where are you from?”
“We’re from Haran,” they answered.
5“Do you happen to know Nahor’s son Laban?” he inquired.
“We do,” they replied.
6So he asked them, “How’s he doing?”
“Very well,” they answered. “As a matter of fact, look over there! That’s his daughter Rachel, coming here with his sheep.”
8But they responded, “We can’t do that until all the sheep have been gathered and the stone has been rolled away from the opening of the well. Only then can we water the flock.” 9While he was still talking with them, Rachel arrived with her father’s sheep, since she was a shepherdess.
10When Jacob saw Rachel, the daughter of Laban, his mother’s brother, accompanied by Laban’s sheep, Jacob approached the well, rolled the stone from the opening of the well, and then watered his mother’s brother Laban’s flock. 11Then Jacob kissed Rachel and began to cry out loud. 12Jacob told Rachel that he was related to her father, since he was Rebekah’s son, so she ran and told her father.
13When Laban heard the news about his sister’s son Jacob, he ran out to meet him. He embraced him, kissed him, and brought him back to his house. Then Jacob told Laban about everything that had happened. 14Laban responded, “You certainly are my flesh and blood!”c So Jacobd stayed with him for about a month.e
Jacob Agrees to Work in Order to Marry Rachel
16Now Laban happened to have two daughters. The older one was named Leah and the younger was named Rachel. 17Leah looked rather plain,g but Rachel was lovely in form and appearance. 18Jacob loved Rachel, so he made this offer to Laban: “I’ll serve you for seven years for Rachel, your younger daughter.”
21Eventually, Jacob told Laban, “Bring me my wife, now that my time of serviceh has been completed, so I can go be with her.” 22So Laban gathered all the men who lived in that place and held a wedding festival.
Laban Deceives Jacob
23That night Laban took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob.i He had marital relations with her. 24Laban also gave his servant woman Zilpah to Leah to be her maidservant. 25The next morning, Jacobj realized that it was Leah! “What have you done to me?” he demanded of Laban. “Didn’t I serve you for seven years in order to marry Rachel? Why did you deceive me?”
26But Laban responded, “It’s not the practice of our place to give the younger one in marriagek before the firstborn. 27Fulfill the week for this daughter,l then we’ll give you the other one in exchange for serving me another seven years.”
28So Jacob completed another seven years’ work, and then Labanm gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. 29Laban also gave his woman servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel to be her maidservant. 30Jacobn also married Rachel, since he loved her. He served Laban another full seven years’ work for Rachel.
31Later, the LORD noticed that Leah was being neglected,o so he made her fertile, while Rachel remained childless. 32Leah conceived, bore a son, and named him Reuben,p because she was saying, “The LORD had looked on my torture, so now my husband will love me.”
Then she stopped bearing children.
a 29:1 Lit. sons of the east
b 29:7 Lit. day
c 29:14 Lit. bones
d 29:14 Lit. he
e 29:14 Lit. for days of a new month
f 29:15 Lit. brother
g 29:17 Or Leah had weak eyes
h 29:21 The Heb. lacks of service
i 29:23 Lit. him
j 29:25 Lit. he
k 29:26 The Heb. lacks in marriage
l 29:27 Lit. one
m 29:28 Lit. he
n 29:30 Lit. he
o 29:31 Lit. hated
p 29:32 The Heb. name Reuben means See, a son
q 29:33 The Heb. name Simeon means heard
r 29:34 The Heb. name Levi means joined
s 29:35 The Heb. name Judah means praise