Jacob Arrives in Paddan Aram
1Then Jacob continued on his journey and came to the land of the eastern peoples. 2There 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. 3When 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.
4Jacob asked the shepherds, “My brothers, where are you from?”
“We’re from Harran,” they replied.
5He said to them, “Do you know Laban, Nahor’s grandson?”
“Yes, we know him,” they answered.
6Then Jacob asked them, “Is he well?”
“Yes, he is,” they said, “and here comes his daughter Rachel with the sheep.”
7“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.”
8“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.”
9While he was still talking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherd. 10When 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. 11Then Jacob kissed Rachel and began to weep aloud. 12He had told Rachel that he was a relative of her father and a son of Rebekah. So she ran and told her father.
13As 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. 14Then 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, 15Laban 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.”
16Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17Leah had weak29:17 Or delicate eyes, but Rachel had a lovely figure and was beautiful. 18Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, “I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.”
19Laban said, “It’s better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay here with me.” 20So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.
21Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife. My time is completed, and I want to make love to her.”
22So Laban brought together all the people of the place and gave a feast. 23But when evening came, he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and Jacob made love to her. 24And Laban gave his servant Zilpah to his daughter as her attendant.
25When 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?”
26Laban replied, “It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one. 27Finish this daughter’s bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work.”
28And Jacob did so. He finished the week with Leah, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. 29Laban gave his servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her attendant. 30Jacob 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.
31When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he enabled her to conceive, but Rachel remained childless. 32Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben,29:32 Reuben sounds like the Hebrew for he has seen my misery; the name means see, a son. for she said, “It is because the Lord has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.”
33She 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.29:33 Simeon probably means one who hears.
34Again 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.29:34 Levi sounds like and may be derived from the Hebrew for attached.
35She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” So she named him Judah.29:35 Judah sounds like and may be derived from the Hebrew for praise. Then she stopped having children.
Yakobo Awasili Padan-Aramu
129:1 Mwa 25:6Kisha Yakobo akaendelea na safari yake na akafika kwenye nchi za mataifa ya mashariki. 2Huko akaona kisima katika shamba, pamoja na makundi matatu ya kondoo yamelala karibu na kisima hicho kwa sababu walikuwa wanakunywa maji kutoka kwenye kisimani hicho. Jiwe lililokuwa mdomoni mwa kisima lilikuwa kubwa. 3Wakati kondoo wanapokuwa wamekusanyika hapo, wachungaji huvingirisha jiwe hilo kutoka kwenye mdomo wa kisima na kunywesha kondoo. Kisha hulirudisha jiwe mahali pake juu ya mdomo wa kisima.
429:4 Mwa 42:7; Amu 19:17Yakobo aliwauliza wachungaji, “Ndugu zangu, ninyi mmetoka wapi?”
Wakamjibu, “Tumetoka Harani.”
5Aliwaambia, “Je, mnamjua Labani, mjukuu wa Nahori?”
Wakamjibu, “Ndiyo, tunamfahamu.”
629:6 Mwa 30:22-27; Kut 2:16Kisha Yakobo akawauliza, “Je, yeye ni mzima?”
Wakasema, “Ndiyo, ni mzima, na hapa yuaja Raheli binti yake akiwa na kondoo.”
7Akasema, “Tazama, jua bado liko juu, si wakati wa kukusanya mifugo. Nywesheni kondoo na mwarudishe malishoni.”
8Walijibu, “Haiwezekani, mpaka kondoo wote wakusanyike na jiwe liwe limevingirishwa kutoka mdomo wa kisima. Ndipo tutanywesha kondoo.”
9Alipokuwa akizungumza nao, Raheli akaja pamoja na kondoo wa baba yake, kwa maana alikuwa mchunga kondoo. 10Yakobo alipomwona Raheli binti Labani, ndugu wa mama yake, pamoja na kondoo wa Labani, alikwenda na kulivingirisha jiwe kutoka mdomoni mwa kisima na kuwanywesha kondoo wa mjomba wake. 1129:11 Mwa 33:4Kisha Yakobo akambusu Raheli na akaanza kulia kwa sauti. 1229:12 Mwa 24:28; Lk 15:20Yakobo alikuwa amemwambia Raheli kuwa yeye alikuwa jamaa ya baba yake, na kwamba ni mwana wa Rebeka. Basi Raheli alikimbia na kumweleza baba yake.
1329:13 Mwa 24:29; Lk 15:20Mara Labani aliposikia habari kuhusu Yakobo, mwana wa ndugu yake, aliharakisha kwenda kumlaki. Akamkumbatia na kumbusu, halafu akamleta nyumbani kwake, kisha Yakobo akamwambia mambo yote. 1429:14 Amu 9:2; Isa 58:7Ndipo Labani akamwambia, “Wewe ni nyama yangu na damu yangu mwenyewe.”
Yakobo Awaoa Lea Na Raheli
Baada ya Yakobo kukaa kwa Labani mwezi mzima, 15Labani akamwambia, “Kwa vile wewe ni jamaa yangu, ndiyo sababu unifanyie kazi bila ujira? Niambie ujira wako utakuwa nini.”
1629:16 Mwa 30:9; Rut 4:2, 11Labani alikuwa na binti wawili, binti mkubwa aliitwa Lea na binti mdogo aliitwa Raheli. 17Lea alikuwa na macho dhaifu, lakini Raheli alikuwa na umbo la kupendeza na mzuri wa sura. 1829:18 Mwa 24:67; Hos 12:12Yakobo akampenda Raheli, akamwambia Labani, “Nitakutumikia kwa miaka saba kwa ajili ya kumpata Raheli binti yako mdogo.”
19Labani akasema, “Ni bora zaidi nikupe Raheli kuliko kumpa mtu mwingine yeyote. Kaa pamoja na mimi hapa.” 20Kwa hiyo Yakobo akatumika miaka saba ili kumpata Raheli, lakini ilionekana kwake kama siku chache tu kwa sababu ya upendo wake kwa Raheli.
2129:21 Amu 15:1Ndipo Yakobo akamwambia Labani, “Nipe mke wangu. Muda wangu umekamilika, nami nataka nikutane naye kimwili.”
2229:22 Amu 14:10; Yn 2:1-2Basi Labani akaalika watu wote wa mahali pale na akafanya karamu.
23Lakini ilipofika jioni, akamchukua Lea binti yake akampa Yakobo, naye Yakobo akakutana naye kimwili. 24Naye Labani akamtoa Zilpa, mtumishi wake wa kike, kuwa mtumishi wa Lea, binti yake.
2529:25 Mwa 12:18; 27:36Kesho yake asubuhi, Yakobo akagundua kuwa amepewa Lea! Basi Yakobo akamwambia Labani, “Ni jambo gani hili ulilonitendea? Nilikutumikia kwa ajili ya Raheli, sivyo? Kwa nini umenidanganya?”
2629:26 1Sam 14:49; 2Sam 6:23Labani akajibu, “Si desturi yetu kumwoza binti mdogo kabla ya kumwoza binti mkubwa. 27Maliza juma la arusi ya binti huyu, kisha pia nitakupa huyu binti mdogo, kwa kutumika miaka mingine saba.”
28Naye Yakobo akafanya hivyo. Akamaliza juma na Lea, kisha Labani akampa Raheli binti yake kuwa mke wake. 2929:29 1Nya 5:1; Mwa 16:1Labani akamtoa Bilha mtumishi wake wa kike kwa Raheli ili kuwa mtumishi wake. 30Pia Yakobo akakutana na Raheli kimwili, naye akampenda Raheli zaidi kuliko Lea. Yakobo akamtumikia Labani kwa miaka mingine saba.
Wana Wa Yakobo
3129:31 Kum 21:15-17; Za 127:3Bwana alipoona kwamba Lea hapendwi, akampa watoto, lakini Raheli alikuwa tasa. 3229:32 Mwa 30:23; Hes 1:5Lea akapata mimba akazaa mwana. Akamwita Reubeni,29:32 Reubeni maana yake Ona mwana, yaani Yehova ameangalia taabu yangu. kwa maana alisema, “Ni kwa sababu Bwana ameona huzuni yangu. Hakika mume wangu sasa atanipenda.”
3329:33 Kut 6:15; 1Nya 4:24Akapata tena mimba, naye alipozaa mwana, akasema, “Kwa sababu Bwana alisikia kwamba sipendwi, amenipa tena huyu mwana.” Kwa hiyo akamwita Simeoni.29:33 Simeoni maana yake Anasikia, yaani sasa ataungana nami kama Raheli.
34Akapata tena mimba, naye alipozaa mwana, akasema, “Sasa afadhali mume wangu ataambatana na mimi, kwa sababu nimemzalia wana watatu.” Kwa hiyo akamwita Lawi.29:34 Lawi maana yake Nimeunganishwa, yaani na mume wangu.
3529:35 Mwa 49:8; Mt 1:2-3Akapata tena mimba, naye alipozaa mwana, akasema, “Wakati huu nitamsifu Bwana.” Kwa hiyo akamwita Yuda.29:35 Yuda maana yake Sifa, yaani Nitamsifu Yehova. Kisha akaacha kuzaa watoto.