Bereshit (Genesis) Chapter 29

1Now Jacob lifted his feet and went to the land of the people of the East.   אוַיִּשָּׂ֥א יַֽעֲקֹ֖ב רַגְלָ֑יו וַיֵּ֖לֶךְ אַ֥רְצָה בְנֵי־קֶֽדֶם:
Now Jacob lifted his feet: As soon as he was given the good tidings that he was assured protection, his heart lifted his feet, and he became fleet-footed. So it is explained in Gen. Rabbah (70:8).   וַיִּשָּׂא יַֽעֲקֹב רַגְלָיו: מִשֶּׁנִּתְבַּשֵּׂר בְּשׂוֹרָה טוֹבָה שֶׁהֻבְטַח בִּשְׁמִירָה נָשָׂא לִבּוֹ אֶת רַגְלָיו וְנַעֲשָׂה קַל לָלֶכֶת, כָּךְ מְפֹרָשׁ בּבְּרֵאשִׁית רַבָּה:
2And he looked, and behold! a well in the field, and behold! three flocks of sheep lying beside it, because from that well they would water the flocks, and a huge rock was upon the mouth of the well.   בוַיַּ֞רְא וְהִנֵּ֧ה בְאֵ֣ר בַּשָּׂדֶ֗ה וְהִנֵּה־שָׁ֞ם שְׁלשָׁ֤ה עֶדְרֵי־צֹאן֙ רֹֽבְצִ֣ים עָלֶ֔יהָ כִּ֚י מִן־הַבְּאֵ֣ר הַהִ֔וא יַשְׁק֖וּ הָֽעֲדָרִ֑ים וְהָאֶ֥בֶן גְּדֹלָ֖ה עַל־פִּ֥י הַבְּאֵֽר:
they would water the flocks: The shepherds would water the flocks. The verse is elliptical.   יַשְׁקוּ הָֽעֲדָרִים: מַשְׁקִים הָרוֹעִים אֶת הָעֲדָרִים, וְהַמִּקְרָא דִבֵּר בְּלָשׁוֹן קְצָרָה:
3And all the flocks would gather there, and they would roll the rock off the mouth of the well and water the sheep, and [then] they would return the rock onto the mouth of the well, to its place.   גוְנֶֽאֶסְפוּ־שָׁ֣מָּה כָל־הָֽעֲדָרִ֗ים וְגָֽלֲל֤וּ אֶת־הָאֶ֨בֶן֙ מֵעַל֙ פִּ֣י הַבְּאֵ֔ר וְהִשְׁק֖וּ אֶת־הַצֹּ֑אן וְהֵשִׁ֧יבוּ אֶת־הָאֶ֛בֶן עַל־פִּ֥י הַבְּאֵ֖ר לִמְקֹמָֽהּ:
would gather there: They were accustomed to gather because the rock was huge.   וְנֶֽאֶסְפוּ־: רְגִילִים הָיוּ לְהֵאָסֵף, לְפִי שֶׁהָיְתָה הָאֶבֶן גְּדוֹלָה:
and they would roll: Heb. וְגָלְלוּ [like] וְגוֹלְלִין. The Targum renders: וּמְגַנְדְרִין, and they would roll. Every present tense [i.e. every verb expressing continuous action] changes to speak [sometimes] in the future tense and [sometimes] in the past tense, because everything that occurs constantly has already transpired and is destined to transpire [again].   וְגָֽלֲלוּ: וְגוֹלְלִים, וְתַרְגּוּמוֹ וּמְגַנְדְּרִין, כָּל לְשׁוֹן הוֹוֶה מִשְׁתַּנֶּה לְדַבֵּר בִּלְשׁוֹן עָתִיד וּבִלְשׁוֹן עָבָר, לְפִי שֶׁכָּל דָּבָר הַהוֹוֶה תָּמִיד כְּבָר הָיָה וְעָתִיד לִהְיוֹת:
and [then] they would return: Heb. וְהֵשִׁיבוּ, which the Targum renders: וּמְתִיבִין, and they would return.   וְהֵשִׁיבוּ: תַּרְגּוּמוֹ וּמְתִיבִין:
4And Jacob said to them, "My brothers, where are you from?" And they said, "We are from Haran."   דוַיֹּ֤אמֶר לָהֶם֙ יַֽעֲקֹ֔ב אַחַ֖י מֵאַ֣יִן אַתֶּ֑ם וַיֹּ֣אמְר֔וּ מֵֽחָרָ֖ן אֲנָֽחְנוּ:
5And he said to them, "Do you know Laban the son of Nahor?" And they said, "We know [him]."   הוַיֹּ֣אמֶר לָהֶ֔ם הַיְדַעְתֶּ֖ם אֶת־לָבָ֣ן בֶּן־נָח֑וֹר וַיֹּֽאמְר֖וּ יָדָֽעְנוּ:
6And he said to them, "[Are things going] well with him?" And they said, "[Things are going] well, and behold, his daughter Rachel is coming with the sheep."   ווַיֹּ֥אמֶר לָהֶ֖ם הֲשָׁל֣וֹם ל֑וֹ וַיֹּֽאמְר֣וּ שָׁל֔וֹם וְהִנֵּה֙ רָחֵ֣ל בִּתּ֔וֹ בָּאָ֖ה עִם־הַצֹּֽאן:
is coming with the sheep: Heb. בָּאָה. The accent is on the “aleph,” and the Targum renders אַתְיָא. [In verse 9,] “and Rachel came בָּאָה,” the accent is on the first syllable, on the “beth,” and the Targum renders. The former is in the present tense, whereas the latter is in the past tense.   בָּאָה עִם־הַצֹּֽאן: הַטַּעַם בָּאָלֶ"ף וְתַרְגּוּמוֹ אָתְיָא; וְרָחֵל בָּאָה – הַטַּעַם לְמַעְלָה בַּבֵּי"ת וְתַרְגּוּמוֹ אֲתָת; הָרִאשׁוֹן לְשׁוֹן עוֹשָׂה וְהַשֵּׁנִי לְשׁוֹן עָשְׂתָה:
7And he said, "The day is yet long; it is not the time to take in the livestock. Water the sheep and go, pasture."   זוַיֹּ֗אמֶר הֵ֥ן עוֹד֙ הַיּ֣וֹם גָּד֔וֹל לֹא־עֵ֖ת הֵֽאָסֵ֣ף הַמִּקְנֶ֑ה הַשְׁק֥וּ הַצֹּ֖אן וּלְכ֥וּ רְעֽוּ:
The day is yet long: Since he saw them lying down, he thought that they wished to gather the livestock to return home and that they would no longer graze. So he said to them, “The day is yet long,” i.e., if you have been hired for the day, you have not completed the day’s work, and if the animals are yours, it is, nevertheless, not the time to take in the livestock, etc. (Gen. Rabbah 70:11).   הֵן עוֹד הַיּוֹם גָּדוֹל: לְפִי שֶׁרָאָה אוֹתָם רוֹבְצִים, כַּסָּבוּר שֶׁרוֹצִים לֶאֱסֹף הַמִּקְנֶה הַבַּיְתָה וְלֹא יִרְעוּ עוֹד, אָמַר לָהֶן הֵן עוֹד הַיּוֹם גָּדוֹל, כְּלוֹמַר אִם שְׂכִירִים אַתֶּם לֹא שִׁלַּמְתֶּם פְּעֻלַּת הַיּוֹם, וְאִם הַבְּהֵמוֹת שֶׁלָּכֶם אַף עַל פִּי כֵן לֹא עֵת הֵאָסֵף הַמִּקְנֶה וְגו' (בראשית רבה):
8And they said, "We cannot [do that], until all the flocks are gathered together, and they will roll the rock off the mouth of the well, and we shall [then] water the sheep."   חוַיֹּֽאמְרוּ֘ לֹ֣א נוּכַל֒ עַ֣ד אֲשֶׁ֤ר יֵאָֽסְפוּ֙ כָּל־הָ֣עֲדָרִ֔ים וְגָֽלֲלוּ֙ אֶת־הָאֶ֔בֶן מֵעַ֖ל פִּ֣י הַבְּאֵ֑ר וְהִשְׁקִ֖ינוּ הַצֹּֽאן:
We cannot: water [them] because the stone is huge.   לֹא נוּכַל: לְהַשְׁקוֹת, לְפִי שֶׁהָאֶבֶן גְּדוֹלָה:
and they will roll: Heb. וְגָלְלוּ. This is translated וִיגַנְדְרוּן, and they will roll, because it is the future tense.   וְגָֽלֲלוּ: זֶה מְתֻרְגָּם וִיגַנְדְּרוּן, לְפִי שֶׁהוּא לְשׁוֹן עָתִיד:
9While he was still talking with them, Rachel came with her father's sheep, for she was a shepherdess.   טעוֹדֶ֖נּוּ מְדַבֵּ֣ר עִמָּ֑ם וְרָחֵ֣ל | בָּ֗אָה עִם־הַצֹּאן֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר לְאָבִ֔יהָ כִּ֥י רֹעָ֖ה הִֽוא:
10And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel, the daughter of Laban, his mother's brother and the sheep of Laban, his mother's brother, that Jacob drew near and rolled the rock off the mouth of the well, and he watered the sheep of Laban, his mother's brother.   יוַיְהִ֡י כַּֽאֲשֶׁר֩ רָאָ֨ה יַֽעֲקֹ֜ב אֶת־רָחֵ֗ל בַּת־לָבָן֙ אֲחִ֣י אִמּ֔וֹ וְאֶת־צֹ֥אן לָבָ֖ן אֲחִ֣י אִמּ֑וֹ וַיִּגַּ֣שׁ יַֽעֲקֹ֗ב וַיָּ֤גֶל אֶת־הָאֶ֨בֶן֙ מֵעַל֙ פִּ֣י הַבְּאֵ֔ר וַיַּ֕שְׁקְ אֶת־צֹ֥אן לָבָ֖ן אֲחִ֥י אִמּֽוֹ:
that Jacob drew near and rolled: As one who removes the stopper from a bottle, to let you know that he possessed great strength (Gen. Rabbah 70:12).   וַיִּגַּשׁ יַֽעֲקֹב וַיָּגֶל: כְּמִי שֶׁמַּעֲבִיר אֶת הַפְּקָק מֵעַל פִּי צְלוֹחִית; לְהוֹדִיעֲךָ שֶׁכֹּחוֹ גָּדוֹל (בראשית רבה):
11And Jacob kissed Rachel, and he raised his voice and wept.   יאוַיִּשַּׁ֥ק יַֽעֲקֹ֖ב לְרָחֵ֑ל וַיִּשָּׂ֥א אֶת־קֹל֖וֹ וַיֵּֽבְךְּ:
and wept: Since he foresaw with the holy spirit that she (Rachel) would not enter the grave with him. Another explanation: Since he came empty-handed, he said, “Eliezer, my grandfather’s servant, had nose rings, and bracelets and sweet fruits in his possession, and I am coming with nothing in my hands. [He had nothing] because Eliphaz the son of Esau had pursued him to kill him at his father’s orders; he (Eliphaz) overtook him, but since he had grown up in Isaac’s lap, he held back his hand. He said to him (Jacob), ”What shall I do about my father’s orders?“ Jacob replied,”Take what I have, for a poor man is counted as dead." - [from Bereishit Rabbathi by Rabbi Moshe Hadarshan]   וַיֵּֽבְךְּ: לְפִי שֶׁצָּפָה בְרוּח הַקֹּדֶש שֶאֵינָהּ נִכְנֶסֶת עִמּוֹ לִקְבוּרָה. דָּבָר אַחֵר לְפִי שֶׁבָּא בְּיָדַיִם רֵקָנִיּוֹת; אָמַר, אֱלִיעֶזֶר עֶבֶד אֲבִי אַבָּא הָיוּ בְיָדָיו נְזָמִים וּצְמִידִים וּמִגְדָּנוֹת וַאֲנִי אֵין בְּיָדִי כְלוּם; לְפִי שֶׁרָדַף אֶלִיפַז בֶּן עֵשָׂו בְּמִצְוַת אָבִיו אַחֲרָיו לְהָרְגוֹ וְהִשִּׂיגוֹ, וּלְפִי שֶׁגָּדַל אֶלִיפַז בְּחֵיקוֹ שֶׁל יִצְחָק, מָשַׁךְ יָדָיו. אָמַר לוֹ מָה אֱעֱשֶׂה לַצִּוּוּי שֶׁל אַבָּא? אָמַר לוֹ יַעֲקֹב טֹל מַה שֶּׁבְּיָדִי, וְהֶעָנִי חָשׁוּב כַּמֵּת:
12And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father's kinsman and that he was Rebecca's son, and she ran and told her father.   יבוַיַּגֵּ֨ד יַֽעֲקֹ֜ב לְרָחֵ֗ל כִּ֣י אֲחִ֤י אָבִ֨יהָ֙ ה֔וּא וְכִ֥י בֶן־רִבְקָ֖ה ה֑וּא וַתָּ֖רָץ וַתַּגֵּ֥ד לְאָבִֽיהָ:
that he was her father’s kinsman: Heb. אִחִי אָבִיהָ, lit., her father’s brother. Related to her father, as (above 13:8): “we are kinsmen (אַחִים)” (Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer, ch. 36). Its midrashic interpretation is: If he (Laban) comes to deceive me, I, too, am his brother in deception, and if he is an honest man, I, too, am the son of his honest sister Rebecca. [from Gen. Rabbah 70:13]   כִּי אֲחִי אָבִיהָ הוּא: קָרוֹב לְאָבִיהָ, כְּמוֹ אֲנָשִׁים אַחִים אֲנָחְנוּ. וּמִדְרָשׁוֹ, אִם לְרַמָּאוּת הוּא בָא, גַם אֲנִי אָחִיו בְּרַמָּאוּת, וְאִם אָדָם כָּשֵׁר הוּא, גַּם אֲנִי בֶן רִבְקָה אֲחוֹתוֹ הַכְּשֵׁרָה:
and told her father: Since her mother was dead, she had no one to tell but him.[from Gen. Rabbah 70:13]   וַתַּגֵּד לְאָבִֽיהָ: לְפִי שֶׁאִמָּהּ מֵתָה, וְלֹא הָיָה לָהּ לְהַגִּיד אֶלָּא לוֹ (בראשית רבה):
13Now it came to pass when Laban heard the report of Jacob, his sister's son, that he ran towards him, and he embraced him, and he kissed him, and he brought him into his house. He told Laban all these happenings.   יגוַיְהִי֩ כִשְׁמֹ֨עַ לָבָ֜ן אֶת־שֵׁ֣מַע | יַֽעֲקֹ֣ב בֶּן־אֲחֹת֗וֹ וַיָּ֤רָץ לִקְרָאתוֹ֙ וַיְחַבֶּק־לוֹ֙ וַיְנַשֶּׁק־ל֔וֹ וַיְבִיאֵ֖הוּ אֶל־בֵּית֑וֹ וַיְסַפֵּ֣ר לְלָבָ֔ן אֵ֥ת כָּל־הַדְּבָרִ֖ים הָאֵֽלֶּה:
that he ran towards him: He thought that he (Jacob) was laden with money, for the servant of the household (Eliezer) had come here with ten laden camels.[from Gen. Rabbah 70:13]   וַיָּרָץ לִקְרָאתוֹ: כַּסָּבוּר מָמוֹן הוּא טָעוּן, שֶׁהֲרֵי עֶבֶד הַבַּית בָּא לְכָאן בַּעֲשָׂרָה גְמַלִּים טְעוּנִים:
and he embraced: When he (Laban) did not see anything with him (Jacob), he said, “Perhaps he has brought golden coins, and they are in his bosom.” [from Gen. Rabbah 70:13]   וַיְחַבֶּק־: כְּשֶׁלֹּא רָאָה עִמּוֹ כְלוּם, אָמַר שֶׁמָּא זְהוּבִים הֵבִיא וְהִנָּם בְּחֵיקוֹ:
and he kissed him: He said, “Perhaps he has brought pearls, and they are in his mouth.” [from Gen. Rabbah 70:13]   וַיְנַשֶּׁק־לוֹ: אָמַר שֶׁמָּא מַרְגָּלִיוֹת הֵבִיא וְהֵם בְּפִיו, בּרֵאשִׁית רַבָּה:
He told Laban: that he had come only because he was compelled to do so because of his brother (Esau), and that they had taken his money from him. — [from Gen. Rabbah 70:13]   וַיְסַפֵּר לְלָבָן: שֶׁלֹּא בָא אֶלָּא מִתּוֹך אֹנֶס אָחִיו, וְשֶׁנָּטְלוּ מָמוֹנוֹ מִמֶּנּוּ:
14And Laban said to him, "Indeed, you are my bone and my flesh." And so he stayed with him a full month.   ידוַיֹּ֤אמֶר לוֹ֙ לָבָ֔ן אַ֛ךְ עַצְמִ֥י וּבְשָׂרִ֖י אָ֑תָּה וַיֵּ֥שֶׁב עִמּ֖וֹ חֹ֥דֶשׁ יָמִֽים:
Indeed, you are my bone and my flesh: “In view of this, I have no reason to take you into the house, because you have nothing. Because of kinship, however, I will put up with you for a month’s time.” And so he did, but this too was not gratis, for he (Jacob) pastured his sheep. — [from Gen. Rabbah 70:14]   אַךְ עַצְמִי וּבְשָׂרִי: מֵעַתָּה אֵין לִי לְאָסְפְּךָ הַבַּיְתָה, הוֹאִיל וְאֵין בְּיָדְךָ כְלוּם, אֶלָּא מִפְּנֵי קוּרְבָה אֲטַפֵּל בְּךָ חֹדֶש יָמִים, וְכֵן עָשָׂה, וְאַף זוֹ לֹא לְחִנָּם, שֶׁהָיָה רוֹעֶה צֹאנוֹ:
15And Laban said to Jacob, "Because you are my kinsman, should you work for me gratis? Tell me what your wages shall be."   טווַיֹּ֤אמֶר לָבָן֙ לְיַֽעֲקֹ֔ב הֲכִֽי־אָחִ֣י אַ֔תָּה וַֽעֲבַדְתַּ֖נִי חִנָּ֑ם הַגִּ֥ידָה לִּ֖י מַה־מַּשְׂכֻּרְתֶּֽךָ:
Because you are my kinsman: Heb. הִכִי, an interrogative expression: Because you are my kinsman, should you work for me gratis?- [from Targum Onkelos]   הֲכִֽי־אָחִי אַתָּה: לְשׁוֹן תֵּמַהּ, וְכִי בִּשְׁבִיל שֶׁאָחִי אַתָּה תַּעַבְדֵנִי חִנָּם:
should you work for me: Heb. וַעִבַדְתַּנִי like וְתַעַבְדֵנִי, and likewise, any word that is in the past tense, [Scripture] prefixes to it a “vav,” which converts the word to the future tense.   וַֽעֲבַדְתַּנִי: כְּמוֹ וְתַעַבְדֵנִי; וְכֵן כָּל תֵּבָה שֶׁהִיא לְשׁוֹן עָבָר הוֹסִיף וָי"ו בְּרֹאשָׁהּ, וְהִיא הוֹפֶכֶת הַתֵּבָה לְהַבָּא:
16Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.   טזוּלְלָבָ֖ן שְׁתֵּ֣י בָנ֑וֹת שֵׁ֤ם הַגְּדֹלָה֙ לֵאָ֔ה וְשֵׁ֥ם הַקְּטַנָּ֖ה רָחֵֽל:
17Leah's eyes were tender, but Rachel had beautiful features and a beautiful complexion.   יזוְעֵינֵ֥י לֵאָ֖ה רַכּ֑וֹת וְרָחֵל֨ הָֽיְתָ֔ה יְפַת־תֹּ֖אַר וִיפַ֥ת מַרְאֶֽה:
tender: Because she expected to fall into Esau’s lot, and she wept, because everyone was saying, “Rebecca has two sons, and Laban has two daughters. The older [daughter] for the older [son], and the younger [daughter] for the younger [son]” (B.B. 123a).   רַכּוֹת: שֶׁהָיְתָה סְבוּרָה לַעֲלוֹת בְּגוֹרָלוֹ שֶׁל עֵשָׂו וּבוֹכָה, שֶׁהָיוּ הַכֹּל אוֹמְרִים שְׁנֵי בָנִים לְרִבְקָה וּשְׁתֵּי בָנוֹת לְלָבָן, הַגְּדוֹלָה לַגָּדוֹל וְהַקְּטַנָּה לַקָּטָן (בבא בתרא קכ"ג):
features: Heb. תֹּאַר. That is the form of the countenance, an expression similar to (Isa. 44: 13) “he fixes it (יְתָאִרֵהוּ) with planes (בַשֶׂרֶד),” conpas in Old French, outline, shape.   תֹּאַר: הוּא צוּרַת הַפַּרְצוּף, לְשׁוֹן יְתָאֲרֵהוּ בַשֶּׂרֶד: (ישעיהו מ"ד, י"ג), קונ"פאש בלע"ז:
complexion: That is the shine of the countenance.   מַרְאֶֽה: הוּא זִיו קְלַסְתֵּר: