New International Version - UK

Genesis 29

Jacob arrives in Paddan Aram

1Then Jacob continued on his journey and came to the land of the eastern peoples. There he saw a well in the open country, with three flocks of sheep lying near it because the flocks were watered from that well. The stone over the mouth of the well was large. When all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds would roll the stone away from the well’s mouth and water the sheep. Then they would return the stone to its place over the mouth of the well.

Jacob asked the shepherds, ‘My brothers, where are you from?’

‘We’re from Harran,’ they replied.

He said to them, ‘Do you know Laban, Nahor’s grandson?’

‘Yes, we know him,’ they answered.

Then Jacob asked them, ‘Is he well?’

‘Yes, he is,’ they said, ‘and here comes his daughter Rachel with the sheep.’

‘Look,’ he said, ‘the sun is still high; it is not time for the flocks to be gathered. Water the sheep and take them back to pasture.’

‘We can’t,’ they replied, ‘until all the flocks are gathered and the stone has been rolled away from the mouth of the well. Then we will water the sheep.’

While he was still talking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherd. 10 When Jacob saw Rachel daughter of his uncle Laban, and Laban’s sheep, he went over and rolled the stone away from the mouth of the well and watered his uncle’s sheep. 11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel and began to weep aloud. 12 He had told Rachel that he was a relative of her father and a son of Rebekah. So she ran and told her father.

13 As soon as Laban heard the news about Jacob, his sister’s son, he hurried to meet him. He embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his home, and there Jacob told him all these things. 14 Then Laban said to him, ‘You are my own flesh and blood.’

Jacob marries Leah and Rachel

After Jacob had stayed with him for a whole month, 15 Laban said to him, ‘Just because you are a relative of mine, should you work for me for nothing? Tell me what your wages should be.’

16 Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the elder one was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah had weak[a] eyes, but Rachel had a lovely figure and was beautiful. 18 Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, ‘I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.’

19 Laban said, ‘It’s better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay here with me.’ 20 So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.

21 Then Jacob said to Laban, ‘Give me my wife. My time is completed, and I want to make love to her.’

22 So Laban brought together all the people of the place and gave a feast. 23 But when evening came, he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and Jacob made love to her. 24 And Laban gave his servant Zilpah to his daughter as her attendant.

25 When morning came, there was Leah! So Jacob said to Laban, ‘What is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn’t I? Why have you deceived me?’

26 Laban replied, ‘It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the elder one. 27 Finish this daughter’s bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work.’

28 And Jacob did so. He finished the week with Leah, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. 29 Laban gave his servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her attendant. 30 Jacob made love to Rachel also, and his love for Rachel was greater than his love for Leah. And he worked for Laban another seven years.

Jacob’s children

31 When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he enabled her to conceive, but Rachel remained childless. 32 Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben,[b] for she said, ‘It is because the Lord has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.’

33 She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, ‘Because the Lord heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too.’ So she named him Simeon.[c]

34 Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, ‘Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.’ So he was named Levi.[d]

35 She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, ‘This time I will praise the Lord.’ So she named him Judah.[e] Then she stopped having children.

Notas al pie

  1. Genesis 29:17 Or delicate
  2. Genesis 29:32 Reuben sounds like the Hebrew for he has seen my misery; the name means see, a son.
  3. Genesis 29:33 Simeon probably means one who hears.
  4. Genesis 29:34 Levi sounds like and may be derived from the Hebrew for attached.
  5. Genesis 29:35 Judah sounds like and may be derived from the Hebrew for praise.

New International Reader's Version

Genesis 29

Jacob Arrives in Paddan Aram

1Then Jacob continued on his journey. He came to the land where the eastern tribes lived. There he saw a well in the open country. Three flocks of sheep were lying near it. The flocks were given water from the well. The stone over the opening of the well was large. All the flocks would gather there. The shepherds would roll the stone away from the well’s opening. They would give water to the sheep. Then they would put the stone back in its place over the opening of the well.

Jacob asked the shepherds, “My friends, where are you from?”

“We’re from Harran,” they replied.

He said to them, “Do you know Nahor’s grandson Laban?”

“Yes, we know him,” they answered.

Then Jacob asked them, “How is he?”

“He’s fine,” they said. “Here comes his daughter Rachel with the sheep.”

“Look,” he said, “the sun is still high in the sky. It’s not time for the flocks to be brought together. Give water to the sheep and take them back to the grasslands.”

“We can’t,” they replied. “We have to wait until all the flocks are brought together. The stone has to be rolled away from the opening of the well. Then we’ll give water to the sheep.”

He was still talking with them when Rachel came with her father’s sheep. It was her job to take care of the flock. 10 Rachel was the daughter of Laban, Jacob’s uncle. When Jacob saw Rachel with Laban’s sheep, he went over to the well. He rolled the stone away from the opening. He gave water to his uncle’s sheep. 11 Jacob kissed Rachel. Then he began to cry because he was so happy. 12 He had told Rachel he was a relative of her father. He had also said he was Rebekah’s son. Rachel ran and told her father what Jacob had said.

13 As soon as Laban heard the news about his sister’s son Jacob, he hurried to meet him. Laban hugged Jacob and kissed him. Then Laban brought him to his home. There Jacob told him everything. 14 Then Laban said to him, “You are my own flesh and blood.”

Jacob Marries Leah and Rachel

Jacob stayed with Laban for a whole month. 15 Then Laban said to him, “You are one of my relatives. But is that any reason for you to work for me for nothing? Tell me what your pay should be.”

16 Laban had two daughters. The name of the older one was Leah. And the name of the younger one was Rachel. 17 Leah was plain, but Rachel was beautiful. She had a nice figure. 18 Jacob was in love with Rachel. He said to Laban, “I’ll work for you for seven years so I can marry your younger daughter Rachel.”

19 Laban said, “It’s better for me to give her to you than to some other man. Stay here with me.” 20 So Jacob worked for seven years so he could marry Rachel. But they seemed like only a few days to him because he loved her so much.

21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife. I’ve completed my time. I want to sleep with her.”

22 So Laban brought all the people of the place together and had a feast prepared. 23 But when evening came, he gave his daughter Leah to Jacob. And Jacob slept with her. 24 Laban gave his female servant Zilpah to his daughter as her servant.

25 When Jacob woke up the next morning, there was Leah next to him! So he said to Laban, “What have you done to me? I worked for you so I could marry Rachel, didn’t I? Why did you trick me?”

26 Laban replied, “It isn’t our practice here to give the younger daughter to be married before the older one. 27 Complete this daughter’s wedding week. Then we’ll give you the younger one also. But you will have to work for another seven years.”

28 So Jacob completed the week with Leah. Then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. 29 Laban gave his female servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her servant. 30 Jacob slept with Rachel also. He loved Rachel more than he loved Leah. And he worked for Laban for another seven years.

Jacob Becomes the Father of Many Children

31 The Lord saw that Jacob didn’t love Leah as much as he loved Rachel. So he let Leah have children. But Rachel wasn’t able to have children. 32 Leah became pregnant. She had a son. She named him Reuben. She said, “The Lord has seen me suffer. Surely my husband will love me now.”

33 She became pregnant again. She had a son. Then she said, “The Lord heard that Jacob doesn’t love me very much. That’s why the Lord gave me this one too.” So she named him Simeon.

34 She became pregnant again. She had a son. Then she said, “Now at last my husband will value me. I have had three sons by him.” So the boy was named Levi.

35 She became pregnant again. She had a son. Then she said, “This time I’ll praise the Lord.” So she named him Judah. Then she stopped having children.