Summary: It’s very passionating to know the life history of great women in Israel. Leah and Rachel are sisters with different structure and different spiritual qualities. To know their real struggle please browse this sermon.

Theme: Leah and Rachel

Text: Genesis 29:16-29


Greetings: The Lord is good and His love endures forever!

Introduction: We are meditating the Biblical leaders with a call to remember, to consider, and to imitate them. Today we are looking into two important characters of the early history of the nation of Israel, Leah and Rachel.



Torah tells us about their roles as wholly righteous women and founders of the Jewish nation. Rachel and Leah are Sisters, rivals, mothers, and matriarchs. Their story reveals strong emotions of rejection, shame, and jealousy. However, God shows His control over their situations. He demonstrates His care and concern for their hearts. Leah was a homemaker, Rachel was an outdoor professional. The following verses refer to the names of Leah and Rachel (Genesis 29:16, 17, 31, 31:4, 14, 33:2, 7, Ruth 4:11). According to one tradition of Rabbis, they were twins (ref: Ruth 4:11 mentions in the order as Rachel and Leah).



Leah means “cow”. Leah is described as having “soft (lovely) eyes” (Genesis 29:17). Leah first appears in Genesis 29 as daughter of Laban, and an older sister of Rachel. Jacob loved Rachel and served Laban for seven years (a bride-price) to marry her, as per an ancient Near Eastern wedding contract. The gift of the groom was called a MOHAR in Hebrew (Genesis 34:12). Gifts may include furniture, clothing, textiles, jewellery, servants, or land.


1. She had a chaotic wedding

After the wedding feast, in the dark of evening, Jacob goes in to consummate the marriage, but Leah has been substituted for her sister; in the morning, Jacob claims that “It was Leah!” (Genesis 29:25). The deceiver had been deceived, everyone reaps what they sowed (Galatians 6:7). This is a multiple reversal: the trickster has been tricked, and the man who supplanted his elder brother married the elder sister.

Leah was supposed to marry Esau but now Jacob has the portion of Esau, so he has to take Leah along with the Birth rights. Leah became a Card played by the players according to their wish and whims. Leah was treated without dignity that continued till her death. Leah died before Jacob (Genesis 49:31).

However, the Rabbis lavish in their praise of Leah. She became the mother of Priestly tribe of Levi and Kingly tribe of Judah, these two tribes were superior to all the rest. Toward the end of his life, even Jacob admits that Leah is the “head of his bed”. Leah died before Jacob (Genesis 49:31). Leah is buried in the tomb of the Patriarchs along with Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, and Jacob (Genesis 49:31).

2. She was a Silent Sufferer:

She was a struggling lady. Lifelong challenges with her own sister because of the decisions of the male dominated society. Leah had been pushed into a loveless marriage by her father so more than likely she felt very much unloved by him also. The father in this case appears to have arranged this marriage at the expense of both his daughter’s happiness due to his greed. Jacob may have had some very negative feelings toward Leah because he had obtained her through deception.


Leah is a symbol of millions of the women down the History who were forced into the marriage, has married life without the consent, without love, without care, concern, and interest. In the name of culture, customs, and for the dignity of the parents, how many had lost their precious sweet life.  She became a child bearing machine


Leah wanted the love of her father, the love of her husband, but came to know the love of God Almighty instead. The one who mattered the most, she now knew loved her. Leah appears to accept God’s grace as sufficient. She was dishonoured (Genesis 30:20). . Bible repeatedly records that Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah.

3. She was a Prophetess

Leah was a prophet, and the names she gave her sons allude to each tribe’s future. Genesis 29:21 states “Hashem saw that Leah was hated” (Genesis 29:31). The text does not say Jacob hated Leah, but says simply that Leah was hated. She not only unloved, but hated. God saw her and had compassion and “opened her womb”. Leah gives birth to four sons: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah. Zilpah, Leah’s maid, gives birth to Gad and Asher. Then, Leah gave birth two sons and a daughter: Issachar, Zebulun, and Dinah.

Reuben, (because the Lord has seen my affliction, surely now my husband will love me - Genesis 29:32). Simeon (The Lord has heard I am unloved - Genesis 29:33). Levi (now my husband will become attached to me -Genesis 29:34). Judah, (I will praise the Lord - Genesis 29:35).

Leah hoped against hope that giving birth to three sons would draw her husband to her. It appears though that with the birth of her fourth son there was a true turning point in her life where she becomes satisfied to just praise the Lord. The Midrash asserts that from the day that God created His world, Hashem was not praised by anyone until Leah said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” (Genesis 29:35).

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