Jacob and Laban
1 Jacob continued on his journey. He came to the land where the people from the east live. 2 He saw a well in a field. Three groups of sheep lay near it. Shepherds took water from the well to give to their sheep. There was a large stone that covered the top of the well. 3 The shepherds waited until all the sheep were there together. Then they removed the stone from the top of the well. They gave their sheep water to drink, and then they put the stone back on the top of the well.
4 Jacob asked the shepherds, ‘My brothers, where are you from?’ The shepherds replied, ‘We are from Haran.’ 5 Jacob said, ‘Do you know Laban? He is Nahor's grandson.’ The shepherds replied, ‘Yes, we know him.’ 6 Jacob asked them, ‘Is he in good health?’ They replied, ‘Yes, he is. Look. Here comes his daughter now, with their sheep. Her name is Rachel.’ 7 Jacob said to them, ‘The sun is still high in the sky. It is not yet the right time to bring all the sheep together. So give them some water now. Then they can go back to the fields and eat more grass.’ 8 The shepherds said, ‘We cannot do that. We have to wait until all the sheep are here together. Then we can remove the big stone from the well and we can give water to the sheep.’
9 When Jacob was speaking to the shepherds, Rachel arrived there. She brought her father's sheep with her. She was taking care of them.
10 Jacob saw Rachel. She was the daughter of his uncle Laban. Jacob saw that she had Laban's sheep with her. So Jacob went to the well and he removed the big stone. Then he gave water to Laban's sheep. 11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel. He began to weep loudly.
29:11Jacob cried because he was happy to find his relatives.
12 Jacob told Rachel that he was a relative of her father, Laban. He told her that he was Rebekah's son. So Rachel ran home to tell her father.
13 When Laban heard what Rachel said, he went quickly to meet Jacob, his sister's son. He put his arms round Jacob and he kissed him. Laban brought Jacob to his home. Jacob told Laban all his news. 14 Then Laban said, ‘Yes, you really are my own relative.’ So Jacob stayed with Laban for a month.
15 Then Laban said to Jacob, ‘You should not work for me for nothing because you are my relative. Tell me what I should pay you.’ 16 Laban had two daughters. The name of the older daughter was Leah. The name of the younger daughter was Rachel. 17 Leah had weak eyes. But Rachel's face and her body were beautiful. 18 Jacob loved Rachel. He said to Laban, ‘I will work for you for seven years. In return, I want to marry your younger daughter, Rachel.’ 19 Laban said, ‘It is better for you to marry her than another man. Stay here with me.’
20 Jacob worked for seven years to have Rachel as his wife. But the years passed very quickly because Jacob loved Rachel very much. Seven years seemed like only a few days to Jacob.