Genesis 29:1-12

1So Jacob moved on
Heb “and Jacob lifted up his feet.” This unusual expression suggests that Jacob had a new lease on life now that God had promised him the blessing he had so desperately tried to gain by his own efforts. The text portrays him as having a new step in his walk.
and came to the land of the eastern people.
Heb “the land of the sons of the east.”
2He saw
Heb “and he saw, and look.” As in Gen 28:12–15, the narrator uses the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”) here and in the next clause to draw the reader into the story.
in the field a well with
Heb “and look, there.”
three flocks of sheep lying beside it, because the flocks were watered from that well. Now
The disjunctive clause (introduced by the noun with the prefixed conjunction) provides supplemental information that is important to the story.
a large stone covered the mouth of the well.
3When all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds
Heb “they”; the referent (the shepherds) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
would roll the stone off the mouth of the well and water the sheep. Then they would put the stone back in its place over the well’s mouth.

4 Jacob asked them, “My brothers, where are you from?” They replied, “We’re from Haran.” 5So he said to them, “Do you know Laban, the grandson
Heb “son.”
of Nahor?” “We know him,”
Heb “and they said, ‘We know.’” The word “him” is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. In the translation several introductory clauses throughout this section have been placed after the direct discourse they introduce for stylistic reasons as well.
they said.
6“Is he well?”
Heb “and he said to them, ‘Is there peace to him?’”
Jacob asked. They replied, “He is well.
Heb “peace.”
Now look, here comes his daughter Rachel with the sheep.”
7Then Jacob
Heb “and he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
said, “Since it is still the middle of the day,
Heb “the day is great.”
it is not time for the flocks to be gathered. You should water the sheep and then go and let them graze some more.”
Heb “water the sheep and go and pasture [them].” The verbal forms are imperatives, but Jacob would hardly be giving direct orders to someone else’s shepherds. The nuance here is probably one of advice.
8“We can’t,” they said, “until all the flocks are gathered and the stone is rolled off the mouth of the well. Then we water
The perfect verbal forms with the vav (ו) consecutive carry on the sequence begun by the initial imperfect form.
the sheep.”

9 While he was still speaking with them, Rachel arrived with her father’s sheep, for she was tending them.
Heb “was a shepherdess.”
10When Jacob saw Rachel, the daughter of his uncle Laban,
Heb “Laban, the brother of his mother” (twice in this verse).
and the sheep of his uncle Laban, he
Heb “Jacob.” The proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“he”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.
went over
Heb “drew near, approached.”
and rolled the stone off the mouth of the well and watered the sheep of his uncle Laban.
Heb “Laban, the brother of his mother.” The text says nothing initially about the beauty of Rachel. But the reader is struck by the repetition of “Laban the brother of his mother.” G. J. Wenham is no doubt correct when he observes that Jacob’s primary motive at this stage is to ingratiate himself with Laban (Genesis [WBC], 2:231).
11Then Jacob kissed Rachel and began to weep loudly.
Heb “and he lifted up his voice and wept.” The idiom calls deliberate attention to the fact that Jacob wept out loud.
12When Jacob explained
Heb “declared.”
to Rachel that he was a relative of her father
Heb “that he [was] the brother of her father.”
and the son of Rebekah, she ran and told her father.
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