The First Book of Moses, Called Genesis

Chapter 29

Jacob comes to the well of Haran, 1-8. He becomes acquainted with Rachel, 9-12. Laban entertains him, 13-17. Jacob covenants for Rachel, 18-22. He is deceived by Laban with Leah, 23-27. He serves for seven more years and marries Rachel also, 28-31. Leah bears Reuben, 32; Simeon, 33; Levi, 34; and Judah, 35.

1 Then Jacob went on his journey and came into the land of the people of the east. 2 And he looked, and behold, a well in the field, and behold, there were three flocks of sheep lying by it, for out of that well they watered the flocks. And a great stone was upon the well's mouth. 3 And there all the flocks were gathered. And they rolled the stone from the well's mouth and watered the sheep, and put the stone back upon the well's mouth in its place.

4 And Jacob said to them, "My brothers, where are you from?" And they said, "We are from Haran." 5 And he said to them, "Do you know Laban the son 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 his daughter comes with the sheep." 7 And he said, "Behold, it is yet high day, neither is it time that the cattle should be collected. Water the sheep and go and feed them." 8 And they said, "We cannot until all the flocks are collected and until they roll the stone from the well's mouth. Then we water the sheep."

9 And while he was yet speaking with them, Rachel came with her father's sheep, 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 and lifted up his voice and wept. 12 And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father's brother 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, embraced him, 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 stayed with him the space 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 and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah was tender-eyed, but Rachel was beautiful and well-favored. 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, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.

21 And Jacob said to Laban, "Give me my wife (for my days are fulfilled) so that I may go in to her." 22 And Laban assembled 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 in to her. 24 And Laban gave Zilpah his servant to his daughter Leah as a servant. 25 And it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it was Leah. And he said to Laban, "What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve with you for Rachel? Why then have you deceived me?" 26 And Laban said, "It must not be thus done in our country to give the younger before the first-born. 27 Fulfill her week, and we will give you the other also, for the service which you shall serve with me yet seven other years." 28 And Jacob did so and fulfilled her week. And he gave him Rachel, his daughter, for a wife also. 29 And Laban gave Bilhah his servant to Rachel his daughter to be her servant. 30 And he went in also to Rachel, and he also loved Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years.

31 And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he made her fruitful, but Rachel was barren. 32 And Leah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben, for she said, "Surely the LORD has looked upon my affliction; therefore, now my husband will love me." 33 And she conceived again and bore 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. 34 And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, "Now this time my husband will adhere to me because I have borne him three sons." Therefore, his name was called Levi. 35 And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, "Now I will praise the LORD." Therefore, she called his name Judah, and ceased bearing.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Genesis, Chapter 29[➚]


[v.17] - "Leah was tender-eyed" - This is not saying that Leah was ugly, but rather the implication is that her beauty was in her eyes—a comparison to Rachel having beauty in all of her features.

[v.27] - "Fulfill her week" - From John Gill's Exposition: "Not Rachel's week, or a week of years of servitude for her, but Leah's week, or the week of seven days of feasting for her marriage; for a marriage feast used to be kept seven days, according to the Jewish writers, and as it seems from Judges 14:17..."