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29:1 Then Jacob went on his journey, and came into the land of the people of the east.
29:2 And he looked, and behold a well in the field, and, lo, 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.
29:3 And thither 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.
29:4 And Jacob said unto them, My brethren, whence be ye? And they said, Of Haran are we.
29:5 And he said unto them, Know ye Laban the son of Nahor? And they said, We know him.
29:6 And he said unto them, Is he well? And they said, He is well: and, behold, Rachel his daughter cometh with the sheep.
29:7 And he said, Lo, it is yet high day, neither is it time that the cattle should be gathered together: water ye the sheep, and go and feed them.
29:8 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.
29:9 And while he yet spake with them, Rachel came with her father's sheep; for she kept them.
29:10 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.
29:11 And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept.
29:12 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.
29:13 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.
29:14 And Laban said to him, Surely thou art my bone and my flesh. And he abode with him the space of a month.
29:15 And Laban said unto Jacob, Because thou art my brother, shouldest thou therefore serve me for nought? tell me, what shall thy wages be? 29:16 And Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.
29:17 Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured.
29:18 And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter.
29:19 And Laban said, It is better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her to another man: abide with me.
29:20 And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her.
29:21 And Jacob said unto Laban, Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in unto her.
29:22 And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast.
29:23 And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her.
29:24 And Laban gave unto his daughter Leah Zilpah his maid for an handmaid.
29:25 And it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it was Leah: and he said to Laban, What is this thou hast done unto me? did not I serve with thee for Rachel? wherefore then hast thou beguiled me? 29:26 And Laban said, It must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn.
29:27 Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.
29:28 And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also.
29:29 And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid.
29:30 And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years.
29:31 And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren.
29:32 And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the LORD hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me.
29:33 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Because the LORD hath heard I was hated, he hath therefore given me this son also: and she called his name Simeon.
29:34 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have born him three sons: therefore was his name called Levi.
29:35 And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, Now will I praise the LORD: therefore she called his name Judah; and left bearing.

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King James Bible:Genesis
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Genesis
Book: Genesis
Chapter: 29

Jacob comes to the Well of Haran. (1-8) His interview with
Rachel, Laban entertains him. (9-14) Jacob's Covenant for
Rachel, Laban's deceit. (15-30) Leah's sons. (31-35)

1-8 Jacob proceeded cheerfully in his Journey, after the sweet
Communion he had with God at Beth-el. Providence brought him to
the Field where his uncle's flocks were to be watered. What is
said of the care of the shepherds for their Sheep, may remind us
of the tender concern which our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd
of the Sheep, has for his flock the Church; for he is the good
Shepherd, that knows his Sheep, and is known of them. The Stone
at the Well's mouth was to secure it; water was scarce, it was
not there for every one's use: but separate interests should not
take us from helping one another. When all the shepherds came
together with their flocks, then, like loving neighbours, they
watered their flocks together. The Law of kindness in the tongue
has a commanding power, Pr 31:26. Jacob was civil to these
strangers, and he found them civil to him.

9-14 See Rachel's Humility and industry. Nobody needs to be
ashamed of honest, useful labour, nor ought it to hinder any
one's preferment. When Jacob understood that this was his
kinswoman, he was very ready to serve her. Laban, though not the
best humoured, bade him welcome, and was satisfied with the
account Jacob gave of himself. While we avoid being foolishly
ready to believe every thing which is told us, we must take heed
of being uncharitably suspicious.

15-30 During the Month that Jacob spent as a guest, he was not
idle. Wherever we are, it is good to employ ourselves in some
useful business. Laban was desirous that Jacob should continue
with him. Inferior relations must not be imposed upon; it is our
duty to reward them. Jacob made known to Laban the Affection he
had for his Daughter Rachel. And having No worldly goods with
which to endow her, he promises Seven years' service. Love makes
long and hard services short and easy; hence we read of the
labour of Love, Heb 6:10. If we know how to value the
happiness of Heaven, the sufferings of this present time will be
as nothing to us. An Age of work will be but as a few days to
those that Love God, and long for Christ's appearing. Jacob, who
had imposed upon his Father, is imposed upon By Laban, his
Father-in-Law, By a like deception. Herein, how unrighteous
soever Laban was, the Lord was righteous: see Jud 1:7. Even
the righteous, if they take a false step, are sometimes thus
recompensed in the Earth. And many who are not, like Jacob, in
their Marriage, disappointed in person, soon find themselves, as
much to their grief, disappointed in the character. The choice
of that relation ought to be made with good advice and thought
On both sides. There is reason to believe that Laban's excuse
was not true. His way of settling the matter made bad worse.
Jacob was drawn into the disquiet of multiplying wives. He could
not refuse Rachel, for he had espoused her; still less could he
refuse Leah. As yet there was No express command against
marrying more than one Wife. It was in the patriarchs a Sin of
ignorance; but it will not justify the like practice now, when
God's will is plainly made known By the Divine Law, Le 18:18,
and more fully since, By our Saviour, that one Man and Woman
only must be joined together, 1Co 7:2.

31-35 The names Leah gave her children, expressed her respect
and regard, both to God and to her Husband. Reuben, or See a
son, with this thought, Now will my Husband Love me; Levi, or
joined, expecting, Now will my Husband be joined unto me. Mutual
Affection is both the duty and comfort of the married relation;
and Yoke-fellows should study to recommend themselves to each
other, 1Co 7:33,34. She thankfully acknowledges the kind
Providence of God in hearing her. Whatever supports and comforts
us under Afflictions, or tends to our deliverance from them, God
must be owned in it. Her fourth son she called Judah, or praise,
saying, Now will I praise the Lord. This was he, of whom, as
concerning the Flesh, Christ came. Whatever is the matter of our
rejoicing, ought to be the matter of our thanksgiving. Fresh
favours should quicken us to praise God for former favours; Now
will I praise the Lord more and better than I have done. All our
praises must centre in Christ, both as the matter of them, and
as the Mediator of them. He descended after the Flesh from him
whose name was "Praise," and He is our praise. Is Christ formed
in my Heart? Now will I praise the Lord.

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