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Jacob loved Rachel; so he answered, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.” Laban said, “Better that I give her to you than that I should give her to an outsider. Stay with me.” So Jacob served seven years for Rachel and they seemed to him but a few days because of his love for her. Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife, for my time is fulfilled, that I may cohabit with her.” And Laban gathered all the people of the place and made a feast. When evening came, he took his daughter Leah and brought her to him; and he cohabited with her. Laban had given his maidservant Zilpah to his daughter Leah as her maid. 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?” Laban said, “It is not the practice in our place to marry off the younger before the older. 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.” Jacob did so; he waited out the bridal week of the one, and then he gave him his daughter Rachel as wife. Laban had given his maidservant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her maid. And Jacob cohabited with Rachel also; indeed, he loved Rachel more than Leah. And he served him another seven years.
The Lord saw that Leah was unloved and he opened her womb; but Rachel was barren. Leah conceived and bore a son, and named him Reuben; for she declared, “It means: ‘The Lord has seen my affliction’; it also means: ‘Now my husband will love me.”‘ She conceived again and bore a son, and declared, “This is because the Lord heard that I was unloved and has given me this one also”; so she named him Simeon. 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. She conceived again and bore a son, and declared, “This time I will praise the Lord.” Therefore she named him Judah. Then she stopped bearing.
When Rachel saw that she had borne Jacob no children, she became envious of her sister; and Rachel said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I shall die.” Jacob was incensed at Rachel, and said, “Can I take the place of God, who has denied you fruit of the womb?” She said, “Here is my maid Bilhah. Consort with her, that she may bear on my knees and that through her I too may have children.” So she gave him her maid Bilhah as concubine, and Jacob cohabited with her. Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son. And Rachel said, “God has vindicated me; indeed, He has heeded my plea and given me a son.” Therefore she named him Dan. Rachel’s maid Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. And Rachel said, “A fateful contest I waged with my sister; yes, and I have prevailed.” So she named him Naphtali.
When Leah saw that she had stopped bearing, she took her maid Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as concubine. And when Leah’s maid Zilpah bore Jacob a son, Leah said, “What luck!” So she named him Gad. When Leah’s maid Zilpah bore Jacob a second son, Leah declared, “What fortune!” meaning, “Women will deem me fortunate.” So she named him Asher.

From Parshat VaYetze. From THE TANAKH: The New JPS Translation According to the Traditional Hebrew Text. Copyright 1985 by the Jewish Publication Society. Used by permission.

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