Genesis 29
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1  Yaakov resumed his journey and came to the land of the Easterners.

va-yi-SA ya-a-KOV rag-LAV va-YAY-lekh AR-tzah v’-nay KE-dem

א  וַיִּשָּׂא יַעֲקֹב רַגְלָיו וַיֵּלֶךְ אַרְצָה בְנֵי־קֶדֶם׃

29:1   To the land of the Easterners

The distinction between Eretz Yisrael and other lands becomes clear to Yaakov as he enters the “land of the Easterners,” where he immediately encounters jealous shepherds and later the crooked Lavan. This new land stands in stark contrast to the Land of Israel where Yaakov’s grandfather Avraham had sought to bring righteousness and Godliness to the world.2 comments

2  There before his eyes was a well in the open. Three flocks of sheep were lying there beside it, for the flocks were watered from that well. The stone on the mouth of the well was large.

ב  וַיַּרְא וְהִנֵּה בְאֵר בַּשָּׂדֶה וְהִנֵּה־שָׁם שְׁלֹשָׁה עֶדְרֵי־צֹאן רֹבְצִים עָלֶיהָ כִּי מִן־הַבְּאֵר הַהִוא יַשְׁקוּ הָעֲדָרִים וְהָאֶבֶן גְּדֹלָה עַל־פִּי הַבְּאֵר׃

3  When all the flocks were gathered there, the stone would be rolled from the mouth of the well and the sheep watered; then the stone would be put back in its place on the mouth of the well.

ג  וְנֶאֶסְפוּ־שָׁמָּה כָל־הָעֲדָרִים וְגָלֲלוּ אֶת־הָאֶבֶן מֵעַל פִּי הַבְּאֵר וְהִשְׁקוּ אֶת־הַצֹּאן וְהֵשִׁיבוּ אֶת־הָאֶבֶן עַל־פִּי הַבְּאֵר לִמְקֹמָהּ׃

4  Yaakov said to them, “My friends, where are you from?” And they said, “We are from Haran.”

ד  וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם יַעֲקֹב אַחַי מֵאַיִן אַתֶּם וַיֹּאמְרוּ מֵחָרָן אֲנָחְנוּ׃

5  He said to them, “Do you know Laban the son of Nachor?” And they said, “Yes, we do.”

ה  וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם הַיְדַעְתֶּם אֶת־לָבָן בֶּן־נָחוֹר וַיֹּאמְרוּ יָדָעְנוּ׃

6  He continued, “Is he well?” They answered, “Yes, he is; and there is his daughter Rachel, coming with the flock.”

ו  וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם הֲשָׁלוֹם לוֹ וַיֹּאמְרוּ שָׁלוֹם וְהִנֵּה רָחֵל בִּתּוֹ בָּאָה עִם־הַצֹּאן׃

7  He said, “It is still broad daylight, too early to round up the animals; water the flock and take them to pasture.”

ז  וַיֹּאמֶר הֵן עוֹד הַיּוֹם גָּדוֹל לֹא־עֵת הֵאָסֵף הַמִּקְנֶה הַשְׁקוּ הַצֹּאן וּלְכוּ רְעוּ׃

8  But they said, “We cannot, until all the flocks are rounded up; then the stone is rolled off the mouth of the well and we water the sheep.”

ח  וַיֹּאמְרוּ לֹא נוּכַל עַד אֲשֶׁר יֵאָסְפוּ כָּל־הָעֲדָרִים וְגָלֲלוּ אֶת־הָאֶבֶן מֵעַל פִּי הַבְּאֵר וְהִשְׁקִינוּ הַצֹּאן׃

9  While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s flock; for she was a shepherdess.

ט  עוֹדֶנּוּ מְדַבֵּר עִמָּם וְרָחֵל בָּאָה עִם־הַצֹּאן אֲשֶׁר לְאָבִיהָ כִּי רֹעָה הִוא׃

10  And when Yaakov saw Rachel, the daughter of his uncle Laban, and the flock of his uncle Laban, Yaakov went up and rolled the stone off the mouth of the well, and watered the flock of his uncle Laban.

י  וַיְהִי כַּאֲשֶׁר רָאָה יַעֲקֹב אֶת־רָחֵל בַּת־לָבָן אֲחִי אִמּוֹ וְאֶת־צֹאן לָבָן אֲחִי אִמּוֹ וַיִּגַּשׁ יַעֲקֹב וַיָּגֶל אֶת־הָאֶבֶן מֵעַל פִּי הַבְּאֵר וַיַּשְׁקְ אֶת־צֹאן לָבָן אֲחִי אִמּוֹ׃

11  Then Yaakov kissed Rachel, and broke into tears.

יא  וַיִּשַּׁק יַעֲקֹב לְרָחֵל וַיִּשָּׂא אֶת־קֹלוֹ וַיֵּבְךְּ׃

12  Yaakov told Rachel that he was her father’s kinsman, that he was Rivka’s son; and she ran and told her father.

יב  וַיַּגֵּד יַעֲקֹב לְרָחֵל כִּי אֲחִי אָבִיהָ הוּא וְכִי בֶן־רִבְקָה הוּא וַתָּרָץ וַתַּגֵּד לְאָבִיהָ׃

13  On hearing the news of his sister’s son Yaakov, Laban ran to greet him; he embraced him and kissed him, and took him into his house. He told Laban all that had happened,

יג  וַיְהִי כִשְׁמֹעַ לָבָן אֶת־שֵׁמַע יַעֲקֹב בֶּן־אֲחֹתוֹ וַיָּרָץ לִקְרָאתוֹ וַיְחַבֶּק־לוֹ וַיְנַשֶּׁק־לוֹ וַיְבִיאֵהוּ אֶל־בֵּיתוֹ וַיְסַפֵּר לְלָבָן אֵת כָּל־הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה׃

14  and Laban said to him, “You are truly my bone and flesh.” When he had stayed with him a month’s time,

יד  וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ לָבָן אַךְ עַצְמִי וּבְשָׂרִי אָתָּה וַיֵּשֶׁב עִמּוֹ חֹדֶשׁ יָמִים׃

15  Laban said to Yaakov, “Just because you are a kinsman, should you serve me for nothing? Tell me, what shall your wages be?”

טו  וַיֹּאמֶר לָבָן לְיַעֲקֹב הֲכִי־אָחִי אַתָּה וַעֲבַדְתַּנִי חִנָּם הַגִּידָה לִּי מַה־מַּשְׂכֻּרְתֶּךָ׃

16  Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older one was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.

טז  וּלְלָבָן שְׁתֵּי בָנוֹת שֵׁם הַגְּדֹלָה לֵאָה וְשֵׁם הַקְּטַנָּה רָחֵל׃

17  Leah had weak eyes; Rachel was shapely and beautiful.

יז  וְעֵינֵי לֵאָה רַכּוֹת וְרָחֵל הָיְתָה יְפַת־תֹּאַר וִיפַת מַרְאֶה׃

18  Yaakov loved Rachel; so he answered, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.”

יח  וַיֶּאֱהַב יַעֲקֹב אֶת־רָחֵל וַיֹּאמֶר אֶעֱבָדְךָ שֶׁבַע שָׁנִים בְּרָחֵל בִּתְּךָ הַקְּטַנָּה׃

19  Laban said, “Better that I give her to you than that I should give her to an outsider. Stay with me.”

יט  וַיֹּאמֶר לָבָן טוֹב תִּתִּי אֹתָהּ לָךְ מִתִּתִּי אֹתָהּ לְאִישׁ אַחֵר שְׁבָה עִמָּדִי׃

20  So Yaakov served seven years for Rachel and they seemed to him but a few days because of his love for her.

כ  וַיַּעֲבֹד יַעֲקֹב בְּרָחֵל שֶׁבַע שָׁנִים וַיִּהְיוּ בְעֵינָיו כְּיָמִים אֲחָדִים בְּאַהֲבָתוֹ אֹתָהּ׃

21  Then Yaakov said to Laban, “Give me my wife, for my time is fulfilled, that I may cohabit with her.”

כא  וַיֹּאמֶר יַעֲקֹב אֶל־לָבָן הָבָה אֶת־אִשְׁתִּי כִּי מָלְאוּ יָמָי וְאָבוֹאָה אֵלֶיהָ׃

22  And Laban gathered all the people of the place and made a feast.

כב  וַיֶּאֱסֹף לָבָן אֶת־כָּל־אַנְשֵׁי הַמָּקוֹם וַיַּעַשׂ מִשְׁתֶּה׃

23  When evening came, he took his daughter Leah and brought her to him; and he cohabited with her.

כג  וַיְהִי בָעֶרֶב וַיִּקַּח אֶת־לֵאָה בִתּוֹ וַיָּבֵא אֹתָהּ אֵלָיו וַיָּבֹא אֵלֶיהָ׃

24  Laban had given his maidservant Zilpa to his daughter Leah as her maid.

כד  וַיִּתֵּן לָבָן לָהּ אֶת־זִלְפָּה שִׁפְחָתוֹ לְלֵאָה בִתּוֹ שִׁפְחָה׃

25  When morning came, there was Leah! So he said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? I was in your service for Rachel! Why did you deceive me?”

כה  וַיְהִי בַבֹּקֶר וְהִנֵּה־הִוא לֵאָה וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל־לָבָן מַה־זֹּאת עָשִׂיתָ לִּי הֲלֹא בְרָחֵל עָבַדְתִּי עִמָּךְ וְלָמָּה רִמִּיתָנִי׃

26  Laban said, “It is not the practice in our place to marry off the younger before the older.

כו  וַיֹּאמֶר לָבָן לֹא־יֵעָשֶׂה כֵן בִּמְקוֹמֵנוּ לָתֵת הַצְּעִירָה לִפְנֵי הַבְּכִירָה׃

27  Wait until the bridal week of this one is over and we will give you that one too, provided you serve me another seven years.”

כז  מַלֵּא שְׁבֻעַ זֹאת וְנִתְּנָה לְךָ גַּם־אֶת־זֹאת בַּעֲבֹדָה אֲשֶׁר תַּעֲבֹד עִמָּדִי עוֹד שֶׁבַע־שָׁנִים אֲחֵרוֹת׃

28  Yaakov did so; he waited out the bridal week of the one, and then he gave him his daughter Rachel as wife.—

כח  וַיַּעַשׂ יַעֲקֹב כֵּן וַיְמַלֵּא שְׁבֻעַ זֹאת וַיִּתֶּן־לוֹ אֶת־רָחֵל בִּתּוֹ לוֹ לְאִשָּׁה׃

29  Laban had given his maidservant Bilha to his daughter Rachel as her maid.

כט  וַיִּתֵּן לָבָן לְרָחֵל בִּתּוֹ אֶת־בִּלְהָה שִׁפְחָתוֹ לָהּ לְשִׁפְחָה׃

30  And Yaakov cohabited with Rachel also; indeed, he loved Rachel more than Leah. And he served him another seven years.

ל  וַיָּבֹא גַּם אֶל־רָחֵל וַיֶּאֱהַב גַּם־אֶת־רָחֵל מִלֵּאָה וַיַּעֲבֹד עִמּוֹ עוֹד שֶׁבַע־שָׁנִים אֲחֵרוֹת׃

31  Hashem saw that Leah was unloved and he opened her womb; but Rachel was barren.

לא  וַיַּרְא יְהוָה כִּי־שְׂנוּאָה לֵאָה וַיִּפְתַּח אֶת־רַחְמָהּ וְרָחֵל עֲקָרָה׃

32  Leah conceived and bore a son, and named him Reuven; for she declared, “It means: ‘Hashem has seen my affliction’; it also means: ‘Now my husband will love me.’”

לב  וַתַּהַר לֵאָה וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן וַתִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ רְאוּבֵן כִּי אָמְרָה כִּי־רָאָה יְהוָה בְּעָנְיִי כִּי עַתָּה יֶאֱהָבַנִי אִישִׁי׃

33  She conceived again and bore a son, and declared, “This is because Hashem heard that I was unloved and has given me this one also”; so she named him Shimon.

לג  וַתַּהַר עוֹד וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן וַתֹּאמֶר כִּי־שָׁמַע יְהוָה כִּי־שְׂנוּאָה אָנֹכִי וַיִּתֶּן־לִי גַּם־אֶת־זֶה וַתִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ שִׁמְעוֹן׃

34  Again she conceived and bore a son and declared, “This time my husband will become attached to me, for I have borne him three sons.” Therefore he was named Levi.

לד  וַתַּהַר עוֹד וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן וַתֹּאמֶר עַתָּה הַפַּעַם יִלָּוֶה אִישִׁי אֵלַי כִּי־יָלַדְתִּי לוֹ שְׁלֹשָׁה בָנִים עַל־כֵּן קָרָא־שְׁמוֹ לֵוִי׃

35  She conceived again and bore a son, and declared, “This time I will praise Hashem.” Therefore she named him Yehuda. Then she stopped bearing.

 

לה  וַתַּהַר עוֹד וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן וַתֹּאמֶר הַפַּעַם אוֹדֶה אֶת־יְהוָה עַל־כֵּן קָרְאָה שְׁמוֹ יְהוּדָה וַתַּעֲמֹד מִלֶּדֶת׃

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Genesis 28
Genesis 30

Comments ( 20 )

The comments below do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and opinions of The Israel Bible™.

  • Jacob was NOT a deceiver. Esau was the real deceiver. He sold his birthright and did a good job of covering it up. Jacob, at the behest of Rebekah, did what was necessary to fulfill the prophesy Elohim gave to Rebekah. Jacob also was NOT sheltered. The term, "dwelt in tents", doesn't mean he was a "mama's boy". It means he was a very busy man, carrying out his responsibilities to his family and community.

  • There are some that think Jacob made an "unnecessary" extra request. Certainly, the blessing given to his father and grandfather, and to him in a dream, carried the obvious condition of "protection". Yet, in Jacob's mind, his very human fears demanded a little extra conformation. After all, he had a "gun to his head", as we might say it. He was relatively safe now. Yet, that's only because he left home "on the run". Jacob might have been thinking, "if Esau chases me, I'm in trouble. If I run into Esau later, I'm in trouble."

    • I have heard it said, "Yesterday is a cancelled check. Tomorrow is a promissory note. Today is all I have to go on". I believe this little truth is at the heart of Jacob's entire dialogue with Hashem. He was given the same promise given to his father and grandfather. Yet, that was in the past. The promises given described a future string of generations. However, neither had any substance or benefit for him TODAY.
      *
      Moshe has articulately described the state of mind with Jacob. In so doing, he succinctly pictured the state of mind of all future generations. Our focus is wrong. We readily ascend mentally to what Hashem has done in the past. We eagerly look forward to the promises of the future. Yet, we seem to have a hard time directing our thoughts to what He can do for us TODAY. I think it's really neat when we let the Torah of Moshe speak for itself.

    • If Jacob had acted out of any malevolent feelings I feel sure that Hashem would not have promoted him. There are people for whom Hashem has plans and a future, well He does for us all, but there are some extraordinary ones and Hashem has His hand on them, Jacob is one and so to is Leah. I think Leah must have been made of sterner stuff than me.
      *
      I was speaking in our church recently, on Mother's Day, and among the women of the Bible I talked Leah and Rachel, being sisters showed how sometimes sisters can work against each other. I hadn't reslized until preparing to speak that it is through Leah that a vast majority of the Jewish Nation are descended.

  • In response to the dream, Jacob is said in vv. 16-17 to have been struck with fear. The fear referred to here is not that of dread. It's the fear of "awe". The nature of and objects within the dream were simply awe inspiring. Hashem certainly got his attention. For, Jacob said, "Certainly, YHVH is in this place".

  • There is a curious matter in the translation of v. 13, which says, "And YHVH stood above it and said…" The English is clearly mistranslated. The Hebrew actually says, "And YHVH stood BESIDE HIM and said…" It is also obvious in this action, YHVH is not speaking to everyone in general. He's speaking directly to Jacob. In saying "beside Him", He's also not standing beside Jacob. He's standing "beside" the "LADDER". This begs a question. Why does the Hebrew refer to the ladder as a "HIM" rather than an inanimate object?

    • As an addition to the above comment, the Hebrew says there is NOT a single entity standing before Jacob. There are clearly TWO separate identities present. Of the two, it is YHVH, the Father, that speaks to Jacob.

  • We are now presented with a very serious question that's begged. Jacob has just been introduced to a very real "person", a person standing next to Elohim. Just who is that person?

  • After the description of the "ladder" scene, YHVH goes on in v. 13 to reiterate the same words bestowed upon Isaac and Avraham, carrying the same weight and authority as before. However, in v. 14, He says something different. With Avraham and Isaac, the promise of descendants was the "stars of the night" (about 600,000), and the "sand of the sea" (a whole lot more). YHVH now tells Jacob they'll be "as the dust of the earth". Anyone like to start counting that number? This is not a reference to a specific number. It's really referring to a number that can't be counted.

  • It would be silly, vain, and even futile to attempt a counting of the sand and dust. It would also be just as vain to say all these people would actually fit in the Land of Israel, even a Land the size of the area between the Nile and Euphrates. The conclusion of v. 14 clearly shows the size of the area of containment for this vast number. YHVH says, "…and you will spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south. And in you and in your seed will all the families of the earth be blessed".
    *
    He's NOT talking about just this little swath of land we know as Israel. He's talking about the WHOLE earth. He's NOT talking about just the Jews. He's talking about people that first believe in Him AND THEN keep the Torah of Moshe out of love for Him, not the commandments and traditions of men.

  • There arises a curious question in this encounter of Jacob with YHVH. Why did He appear to Jacob in a dream and not just speak with him during the daytime? I think most Spiritual people would agree that latter would be preferable. I know I would. This portion gives a hint as to why it went down as it did. After awakening from the dream, Jacob said in v. 16, "Certainly YHVH is in this place; AND I DIDN'T KNOW".
    *
    The sages say this is why Jacob had the dream. They say Elohim would rather speak to us during the day through our conscious mind, a one-on-one conversation if you will. However, some of us are so caught up in the mundane things of the world, Spiritually dull, that if Elohim walked up and tried to have a conversation, we wouldn't even know He was there. This is why He has to come to us in dreams and visions.

    • I am compelled to throw in an obvious disclaimer to the above comment. There are those who walk among us with puffed up attitudes. They go around with the feeling they are somehow special because God talked to them in a dream or vision. When they do that, they're actually saying, "I was too dumb to hear the Word of the Lord during the day". There is a passage in Proverbs that says, "Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. Be careful what you say. You just might be saying the opposite.

  • The opening verses of chapter 29 shows Jacob at the well with several flocks gathered around. Although on the surface, the scene seems to present insignificant information, there is something of great value here. In it, we are shown his ability as a shepherd. He immediately asks why they are there because he knows it's not the proper time to water the sheep. They should be doing that later in the evening or early morning. Now was the time to pasture the sheep.

    • Jacob is going to work for Laban. It is very obvious as this scene unfolds that no one, including Laban, is that proficient at the business of being a shepherd. With what Jacob already knows, together with what Elohim is going to teach Jacob about shepherding, we are made aware of how Elohim is going to prosper Jacob.

      • It might be interesting to note that the type of well described here isn't like those we might see anywhere outside Israel. These wells are more like dug-out cisterns hollowed out of limestone. They were used to collect rain water. To keep contaminates out, or keep people from stealing the water, a large stone was placed over its top. This further shows his superior knowledge, because he knows how to get the stone cover off.
        *
        Of course, it might have helped to have Rachael appear just before he removed the stone. Our commentator says he was, "moved by the sight of her". Of a certainty, this boy was "smitten".

  • As I have shown elsewhere in my comments, the "Aleph/Tav" symbol is strategically placed throughout the Tanakh and is a symbol of approval of, or a literal member of the "Godhead". Specifically in regards to Laban, the "Aleph/Tav" appears before Laban in v. 5. In v. 10, the "Aleph/Tav" appears before "the flock of Laban". In both cases, the symbol is so placed because of Jacob's inquiry of Laban, and the watering of his sheep. The symbol is never placed before his name thereafter. Yet, it appears an innumerable amount of times for Jacob. This should clearly identify the deceiver and what Hashem thinks about the treachery.

  • There is a well circulated premise that Leah was Hashem's choice for Jacob's wife, while the other three were not. According to the placement of the "Aleph/Tav" symbol, that is an incorrect assumption. All four of the ladies have a perpetual inclusion of the symbol before their names. It's a curious matter that Rachael ONLY has the symbol put "in place of" her name on two occasions, in v. 21 when Jacob says, "give me "Aleph/Tav" my wife", and again in v. 27 when Laban says, "we will give you "Aleph/Tav" for serving another 7 years.
    *
    That should emphatically settle the issue of which wife was Hashem's chosen for Jacob. It also begs the question, "why was it ONLY Rachael that had her name replaced by the symbol rather than Leah, or the other two ladies?

  • As I have said in other comments, There is nothing written in Torah that doesn't have meaning, in letters or groups of letters. Names given also have meaning. When put together, there can appear very curious statements, even prophetic. Consider only the names of each son of Jacob from Leah, in the order of their birth.
    *
    Reuben means (see, a son). Simeon means (hated). Levi means (loved, or attached in love). Judah means (praise). Issachar means (wages). Zebulon means (dwell with honor). Leah finally gives birth to a daughter named Dinah, which is the feminine form of the name "Dan", and means (judged).
    *
    Put together into one statement, we have a Messianic prophecy as follows. "Adonai will send us His son (Reuben) and He will be hated or unloved by some (Simeon) but loved by others (Levi). He will be YHVH's praise (Judah). He will be the wages for our sin (Issachar) so that we might dwell with Him (Zebulon) and be His bride (Dinah)."
    *
    For access to a complete article I've written on this portion copy/paste into your browser the link below.
    http://yourtexascashmaster.blogspot.com/2012/12/pereshah-va-yetze-2012-genesis-28-10-32.html

  • In a continuation of the above name meanings, consider now the sons of Bilah and Zilpah. According to the meaning of their names, consider the following statement.
    *
    "Elohim has judged and vindicated us through the blood of Messiah (Dan). Because He has prevailed against hasatan (Napthali), we now have the affections of our Husband, Yeshua. As a part of the seed of Abraham, we will gather or assemble ourselves together in or by troops (Gad). With Messiah at the helm of our righteous camp, we will overcome and enter into the joy of our eternal Salvation (Asher).
    *
    This is an excerpt from an article I've written that can be accessed at the following link.
    http://yourtexascashmaster.blogspot.com/2012/12/pereshah-va-yetze-2012-genesis-28-10-32.html

  • There are two sons left to consider, through Rachael. Joseph is the Messiah figure in his family. He is rejected by his brothers and cast into a pit. He was raised out of that pit and sold into Egyptian slavery. Even so, he would be raised up out of slavery to be in charge of the know world of the time. Known as the "breadman of life", he brought salvation and deliverance to all his family.
    *
    When Benjamin was born, his mother named him "ben-oni", which means (son of my sorrow). On this one occasion only, Jacob goes against the tradition of the mother naming the child and renames him "ben-jamin", which means (son of my right hand). Yeshua is known both as "a Man of sorrows" and as One "standing at the right hand of the Father". Together, Joseph and Benjamin are the strongest examples of Messiah in all of Jacob's family.
    *
    For the rest of the article I've written on this Torah portion, copy/paste the following link.
    http://yourtexascashmaster.blogspot.com/2012/12/pereshah-va-yetze-2012-genesis-28-10-32.html

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Genesis 29

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