Genesis Chapter 28 to 29 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

Other Versions

Jacob Searches for a Wife

28 Isaac called Jacob and blessed him. Then Isaac gave him a command. Isaac said, “You must not marry a Canaanite woman. 2So leave this place and go to Paddan Aram. Go to the house of Bethuel, your mother’s father. Laban, your mother’s brother, lives there. Marry one of his daughters. 3I pray that God All-Powerful* will bless you and give you many children. I pray that you will become the father of a great nation. 4I pray that God will bless you and your children the same way he blessed Abraham. And I pray that you will own the land where you live. This is the land God gave to Abraham.” 5So Isaac sent Jacob to Rebekkah’s brother in Paddan Aram. So Jacob went to Laban son of Bethuel the Aramean. Laban was the brother of Rebekkah. Rebekkah was the mother of Jacob and Esau. 6Esau learned that his father Isaac blessed Jacob. And Esau learned that Isaac sent Jacob away to Paddan Aram to find a wife there. Esau learned that Isaac commanded Jacob not to marry a Canaanite woman. 7And Esau learned that Jacob obeyed his father and his mother and went to Paddan Aram. 8Esau saw from this that his father did not want his sons to marry Canaanite women. 9Esau already had two wives. But he went to Ishmael and married another woman. He married Mahalath, the daughter of Ishmael. Ishmael was Abraham’s son. Mahalath was Nebaioth’s sister.

God’s House—Bethel

10Jacob left Beersheba and went to Haran. 11While Jacob was traveling, the sun set. So Jacob went to a place to stay the night. Jacob found a rock at that place and laid his head on it to sleep. 12Jacob had a dream. He dreamed there was a ladder that was on the ground and reached up into heaven. Jacob saw the angels of God going up and down the ladder. 13And then Jacob saw the Lord standing by the ladder. The Lord said, “I am the Lord, the God of your grandfather Abraham. I am the God of Isaac. I will give you the land that you are lying on now. I will give this land to you and to your children. 14You will have many, many descendants.* They will be as many as the pieces of dust on earth. They will spread east and west, north and south. All the families on earth will be blessed because of you and your descendants. 15“I am with you, and I will protect you every place you go. And I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I promised.” 16Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, “I know that the Lord is in this place. But I did not know he was here until I slept.” 17Jacob was afraid. He said, “This is a very great place. This is the house of God. This is the gate to heaven.” 18Jacob got up very early in the morning. Jacob took the rock he had slept on and set it up on its edge. Then he poured oil on the rock. In this way, he made this rock a memorial to God. 19The name of that place was Luz. But Jacob named it Bethel.* 20Then Jacob made a promise. He said, “If God will be with me, and if God will protect me on this trip, and if God gives me food to eat and clothes to wear, 21and if I return in peace to my father’s house—if God does all these things—then the Lord will be my God. 22I am setting this stone up as a memorial stone. It will show that this is a holy place for God. And I will give God one tenth of all he gives me.”

God All-Powerful Literally, “El Shaddai.” descendant(s) A person’s children and their future families. Bethel This name means “God’s house.”

Jacob Meets Rachel

29 Then Jacob continued his trip. He went to the country in the East. 2Jacob looked, and he saw a well in the field. There were three flocks of sheep lying near the well. This well was the place where these sheep drank water. There was a large rock covering the mouth of the well. 3When all the flocks gathered there, the shepherds rolled the rock away from the well. Then all the sheep could drink from the water. After the sheep were full, the shepherds put the rock back in its place. 4Jacob said to the shepherds there, “Brothers, where are you from?” They answered, “We are from Haran.” 5Then Jacob said, “Do you know Laban, the son of Nahor?” The shepherds answered, “We know him.” 6Then Jacob said, “How is he?” They answered, “He is well. Everything is fine. Look, that is his daughter Rachel coming now with his sheep.” 7Jacob said, “Look, it is still day and long before the sun sets. It is not yet time for the animals to be gathered together for the night. So give them water and let them go back into the field.” 8But this shepherd said, “We can’t do that until all the flocks are gathered together. Then we will move the rock from the well, and all the sheep will drink.” 9While Jacob was talking with the shepherds, Rachel came with her father’s sheep. (It was Rachel’s job to take care of the sheep.) 10Rachel was Laban’s daughter. Laban was the brother of Rebekah, Jacob’s mother. When Jacob saw Rachel, he went and moved the rock and gave water to the sheep. 11Then Jacob kissed Rachel and cried. 12Jacob told Rachel that he was from her father’s family. He told Rachel that he was the son of Rebekah. So Rachel ran home and told her father. 13Laban heard the news about his sister’s son Jacob. So Laban ran to meet him. Laban hugged him and kissed him and brought him to his house. Jacob told Laban everything that had happened. 14Then Laban said, “This is wonderful! You are from my own family.” So Jacob stayed with Laban for a month.

Laban Tricks Jacob

15One day Laban said to Jacob, “It is not right for you to continue working for me without pay. You are a relative, {not a slave}. What should I pay you?” 16Laban had two daughters. The older was Leah and the younger was Rachel. 17Rachel was beautiful. And Leah’s eyes were gentle.* 18Jacob loved Rachel. Jacob said to Laban, “I will work seven years for you if you will allow me to marry your daughter Rachel.” 19Laban said, “It would be better for her to marry you than someone else. So stay with me.” 20So Jacob stayed and worked for Laban for seven years. But it seemed like a very short time because he loved Rachel very much. 21After seven years Jacob said to Laban, “Give me Rachel so that I can marry her. My time of work for you is finished.” 22So Laban gave a party for all the people in that place. 23That night, Laban brought his daughter Leah to Jacob. Jacob and Leah had sexual relations together. 24(Laban gave his maid Zilpah to his daughter to be her maid.) 25In the morning Jacob saw that it was Leah he had slept with. Jacob said to Laban, “You have tricked me. I worked hard for you so that I could marry Rachel. Why did you trick me?” 26Laban said, “In our country we do not allow the younger daughter to marry before the older daughter. 27But continue for the full week of the marriage ceremony, and I will also give you Rachel to marry. But you must serve me another seven years.” 28So Jacob did this and finished the week. Then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel as a wife. 29(Laban gave his maid Bilhah to his daughter Rachel to be her maid.) 30So Jacob had sexual relations with Rachel also. And Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah. Jacob worked for Laban for another seven years.

Jacob’s Family Grows

31The Lord saw that Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah. So the Lord made it possible for Leah to have children. But Rachel did not have any children. 32Leah gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben.* Leah named him this because she said, “The Lord has seen my troubles. My husband doesn’t love me. So now maybe my husband will love me.” 33Leah became pregnant again and had another son. She named this son Simeon.* Leah said, “The Lord has heard that I am not loved, so he gave me this son.” 34Leah became pregnant again and had another son. She named the son Levi.* Leah said, “Now, surely my husband will love me. I have given him three sons.” 35Then Leah gave birth to another son. She named this son Judah.* Leah named him this because she said, “Now I will praise the Lord.” Then Leah stopped having children.

Leah’s eyes were gentle This might be a polite way of saying Leah was not very pretty. Reuben This is like the word meaning “Look, a son.” Simeon This is like the word meaning “He hears.” Levi This is like the word meaning “accompany,” “be joined together,” or “become close.”  Judah This is like the word meaning “He is praised.”

Other Versions