g i¹ 29:1-14. Arrival at Padan-aram. k¹ 29:15-30:24. Servitude. i² 30:25,26. Return desired. k² 30:27-31:16. Service. i³ 31:17-55. Return effected.
1 Then Jacob went on his journey (= lifted up his feet. Heb. idiom), and came into the land of the people of the east.
2 And he looked, and behold, a well that was dug in the field, and, lo, there were three flocks of sheep lying by it (cp. v.8); for out of that well they watered the flocks: and a great stone was upon the well's mouth.
3 And to that place were all the flocks gathered: and they rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the sheep, and put the stone again upon the well's mouth in his place.
4 And Jacob said to them, "My brethren, where are you from?" And they said, "Of Haran are we".
5 And he said to them, "Do you all know Laban the grandson of Nahor?" And they said, "We know him."
6 And he said to them, "Is he well?" And they said, "He is well: and, behold, Rachel (= ewe, a traveler) his daughter comes with the sheep."
7 And he said, "Lo (giving life to the scene), it is yet high day, neither is it time that the cattle should be gathered together: water you all the sheep, and go and feed them."
8 And they said, "We cannot, until all the flocks be gathered together, and till they roll the stone from the well's mouth; then we water the sheep."
9 And while he yet spoke with them, Rachel came with her father's sheep (shepherds usually slaves, younger sons, or daughters. Cp. David 1 Sam.17:13-15, Ex.2:16. Note exceptions, Gen 34:17, and reason): for she kept them.
10 And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother's brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother's brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother's brother.
11 And Jacob kissed Rachel (the Eastern greeting), and lifted up his voice, and wept.
12 And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father's brother (see v.5), and that he was Rebekah's son: and she ran and told her father.
13 And it came to pass, when Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister's son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house. And he told Laban all these things.
14 And Laban said to him, "Surely you are my bone and my flesh." And he abode with him the days of a month.
15 And Laban said to Jacob, "Because you are my brother, should you therefore serve me for nothing? tell me, what shall your wages be?"
16 And Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah (= weary), and the name of the younger was Rachel. (= a ewe)
17 Leah was tender (= weak) eyed; but Rachel was beautiful (comely in form) and well favored (comely in countenance).
18 And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, "I will serve you seven years for Rachel your younger daughter."
19 And Laban said, "It is better that I give her to you, than that I should give her to another man: abide with me."
20 And Jacob served seven years for Rachel (cp. Hos. 12:12); and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her.
21 And Jacob said to Laban, "Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in unto her."
22 And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast.
23 And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went (Jacob) in unto her.
24 And Laban gave to his daughter Leah Zilpah (= a trickling) his maid for an handmaid.
25 And it came to pass, that in the morning, behold (to call attention to the fact that he was deceived, as he had deceived Isaac. Cp. Ch.27), it was Leah: and he said to Laban, "What is this you have done to me? did not I serve with you for Rachel? why then have you beguiled me? (= to delude or betray)
26 And Laban said, "It must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn.
27 Fulfill her week, and I will give you this also for the service which you shall serve with me yet seven other years.
28 And Jacob did so, and fulfilled Leah's week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also. (a popular mistake to suppose Jacob did not marry Rachel till the end of the second seven years, for in the first seven were born seven sons: Rueben, Simeon,Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, and Joseph. In the second seven: Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulon, Dinah)
29 And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah (= timid, bashful. This was strictly in accordance with the Code of Khammurabi) his handmaid to be her maid.
30 And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years.
31 And when the Lord saw that Leah was hated (= Fig. Change of Noun, of Cause, by which love and hate are put for esteem or neglect, caused by love and hate = less loved, Deut. 21:15, Matt. 6:24, Luke 14:26), He opened her womb: but Rachel was barren.
32 And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben (= behold a man): for she said, "Surely the Lord has looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me."
33 And Leah conceived again, and bare a son; and said, "Because the Lord has heard that I was hated, He has therefore given me this son also:" and she called his name Simeon (= hearing).
34 And Leah conceived again, and bare a son; and said, "Now this time will my husband be joined to me, because I have born him three sons:" therefore was his name called Levi (= joiner).
35 And Leah conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, "Now will I praise the Lord:" therefore she called his name Judah (= celebrated, praised); and left bearing.