Leah: Her name may mean “Impatient” or “Wild Cow”
Her Character: Capable of both strong and enduring love, she was a faithful mother and wife. Manipulated by her father, she became jealous of her sister, with whom, it seems, she never reconciled.
Key Scriptures: Genesis 29-35; Ruth 4:11
- Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the youngest was Rachel.
- Leah is described as having weak eyes, but Rachel was very beautiful and well favored. (Genesis 29-17 NIV)
- Jacob was in love with Rachel, Leah’s younger sister
- Laban [the father] was deceptive by giving Leah to Jacob to marry instead of Rachel whom he was in love with. Genesis 29:16-30
Genesis 29:22-23 So Laban brought together all the people of the place and gave a feast. But when evening came, he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and Jacob made love to her (Leah).
- Jacob worked Seven year with the intent on marrying Leah’s younger sister.
Laban replied, “It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one. 27 Finish this daughter’s bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work.” Genesis 29:26-27
Jacob made love to Rachel also, and his love for Rachel was greater than his love for Leah. And he worked for Laban another seven years. Genesis 29:30 NIV
- Jacob Married Leah and her sister
- Leah was not loved by Jacob
And when the LORD saw that Leah [was] hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel [was] barren. And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the LORD had looked upon my affliction, now therefor my husband (Jacob) will love me. 33And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Because the LORD hath heard that I [was] hated, he hath therefore given me this [son] also: and she called his name Simeon. 34And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have born him three sons: therefore was his name called Levi. Genesis 29:32
- Leah gave birth to her first son, believing that Jacob would love her.
- Leah had three sons that were fathered by Jacob
- Leah and her sister together were known for building up the family of Israel.
Ruth 4:11 Then the elders and all the people at the gate said, “We are witnesses. May the LORD make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the family of Israel. May you have standing in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem.
- NIV Study Bible, Zondervan Corporation, 1995
- Syswerda, Jean, Women of the Bible, Zondervan, 1999