The Deceiver Deceived
Then Jacob went on his journey and arrived at the land of the children
of the East. And he looked and saw a well in the field, and there were
three flocks of sheep lying down by it; for from that well they watered
the flocks; but there was a large stone over the well. When all the
flocks were gathered there, they used to roll away the stone and water
the sheep and then put the stone back in its place over the well.
Jacob said to the men, "My friends, from where do you come?" They said,
"We are from Haran." Then he said to them, "Do you know Laban the son of
Nahor?" And they said, "We know him." And he said to them, "Is all well
with him?" And they said, "All is well; indeed, this is Rachel his
daughter coming with the sheep." And he said, "See, the sun is still
high! It is not time for the cattle to be gathered together. Water the
sheep and feed them." But they said, "We cannot until all the flocks are
gathered together, and they roll away the stone from the well; then we
will water the sheep."
While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father's
sheep; for she was a shepherdess. When Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of
Laban, his mother's brother, and Laban's sheep, he went up and rolled
the stone from the well and watered the flock of Laban his mother's
brother. Then Jacob kissed Rachel and wept aloud. And when Jacob told
Rachel that he was a relative of her father and that he was Rebekah's
son, she ran and told her father.
As soon as Laban heard about Jacob, his sister's son, he ran to meet
him, put his arms around him, kissed him many times, and brought him to
his home. When Jacob told Laban all about these things, Laban said to
him, "Surely you are my bone and my flesh." So he remained with him a
Then Laban said to Jacob, "Should you serve me for nothing simply
because you are related to me? Tell me what shall be your wages?" Now
Laban had two daughters: the name of the older was Leah, and the name of
the younger was Rachel. Leah's eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful.
Jacob loved Rachel, and so he said, "I will serve you seven years for
Rachel your younger daughter." And Laban said, "It is better for me to
give her to you than to give her to any other man. Stay with me." So
Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few
days, because he loved her so.
Then Jacob said to Laban, "Give me my wife, for my time is up, and let
me marry her." So Laban gathered all the men of the place and made a
feast. In the evening he took Leah his daughter and brought her to him,
and Jacob received her as his wife.
When in the morning Jacob found it was Leah, he said to Laban, "What is
this you have done to me? Did I not serve you for Rachel? Why then have
you deceived me?" Laban said, "It is not the custom among us to give the
younger in marriage before the older. Remain with this one during the
marriage week, then we will give you the other also for the service
which you shall give me during seven more years." Jacob did so: he
remained with Leah during the marriage week. Then Laban gave him Rachel
his daughter to be his wife, but Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah. So
he had to serve Laban seven years more.