Modern English Version
Jacob Meets Rachel
29 Then Jacob went on his journey and came into the land of the people of the east. 2 As he looked, he saw a well in the field and three flocks of sheep lying by it, for out of that well the flocks were watered. A large stone was on the well’s opening. 3 When all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds rolled the stone from the well’s opening, watered the sheep, then put the stone back on the well’s opening in its place.
4 Jacob said to them, “My brothers, where are you from?”
And they said, “We are from Harran.”
5 Then he said to them, “Do you know Laban the son of Nahor?”
And they said, “We know him.”
6 He said to them, “Is he well?”
And they said, “He is well, and here is Rachel his daughter coming with the sheep.”
7 He said, “Since it is yet midday, it is not the time that the livestock should be gathered together. Water the sheep, and go and feed them.”
8 They said, “We cannot until all the flocks are gathered together and the stone is rolled from the well’s opening. Then we may water the sheep.”
9 While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she kept them. 10 When Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, Jacob went near and rolled the stone from the well’s opening and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother. 11 Jacob kissed Rachel and wept aloud. 12 Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s relative and that he was Rebekah’s son. Then she ran and told her father.
13 When Laban heard the news of Jacob his sister’s son, he ran to meet him and embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his house. Then Jacob told Laban all these things. 14 Laban said to him, “Surely you are my bone and my flesh.”
And he stayed with him for a month. 15 Laban said to Jacob, “Since you are my relative, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what shall your wages be?”
Jacob Marries Leah and Rachel
16 Now Laban had two daughters. The name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah’s eyes were tender, but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance. 18 Jacob loved Rachel, so he said, “I will serve you seven years for Rachel your younger daughter.”
19 Laban said, “It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to another man. Stay with me.” 20 So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.
21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, so that I may have relations with her.”
22 Laban gathered together all the men of the place and prepared a feast. 23 But in the evening he took Leah his daughter and brought her to Jacob, and Jacob had relations with her. 24 Laban gave Zilpah his maid to his daughter Leah for a maidservant.
25 In the morning Jacob discovered it was Leah, and he said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve you for Rachel? Why then have you tricked me?”
26 Then Laban said, “It is not the custom in our country to marry off the younger before the firstborn. 27 Fulfill the period of seven days for this one, and we will give you the other also in return for serving me another seven years.”
28 Jacob did so and completed her week. Then Laban gave him Rachel his daughter as his wife also. 29 Laban gave Bilhah his maidservant to Rachel his daughter to be her maid. 30 So Jacob also had relations with Rachel, and he loved Rachel more than Leah and served Laban another seven years.
31 When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, He opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. 32 Leah conceived and gave birth to a son, and she called his name Reuben, for she said, “Surely the Lord has looked upon my affliction. Now therefore my husband will love me.”
33 She conceived again and gave birth to a son and said, “Because the Lord has heard that I was unloved, He has therefore given me this son also.” Then she called his name Simeon.
34 She conceived again and gave birth to a son and said, “Now this time my husband will be joined to me, because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore his name was called Levi.
35 She conceived again and gave birth to a son, and she said, “Now I will praise the Lord!” Therefore she called his name Judah. Then she stopped giving birth.