Friday, February 4, 2022

Jacob Marries Leah and Rachel

Jacob Marries Leah and Rachel
Image Credit:  Free Bible Images 

Isaac and Rebekah sent Jacob back to Rebekah's brother's house, the house of Laban, so that Jacob could find a wife.  Jacob arrives safely to his uncle's house . . . but little does he know what's in store for him.  As Jacob arrives, the shepherds were preparing to water their flocks at the well. Laban's younger daughter, Rachel, is a shepherd.  Jacob meets Rachel when she brings her flock to the well.  It's an emotional meeting as Jacob has now arrived at this destination after a long journey and has met Laban's younger daughter.  When Rachel learns who Jacob is, the son of Laban's sister, she runs to tell Laban.  Laban welcomes Jacob warmly.

Jacob Marries Leah and Rachel

Jacob stays and works for Laban.  After a month, Laban tells Jacob,

Just because you are a relative of mine, should you work for me for nothing?  Tell me what your wages should be.  Genesis 29:15

Jacob loves Laban's younger daughter, Rachel.  Jacob tells Laban that he will work for him for 7 years in return for Rachel.  

I can't help but laugh at Laban's response:

It's better that I give her to you than to some other man. Genesis 29:19

Jacob works for 7 years so that he can marry Rachel, but it doesn't seem like 7 years to him because he loves her.

So Jacob served 7 years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her. Genesis 29:20

After 7 years of work, Jacob asks Laban for Rachel.  Laban throws a big feast that night, but instead of sending Rachel to Jacob, he sends Leah.

Jacob Marries Leah and Rachel
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Jacob doesn't realize he has been deceived until the next morning. In those days, it was common for brides to be sent in to their new husbands veiled, and the veils remained in place. This is why Jacob doesn't know it is Leah instead of Rachel until the next morning.

Jacob confronts Laban about his deception.  Laban explains that it is not customary to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older daughter.  He instructs Jacob to remain with Leah for one week, Leah's bridal week.  Then, he will give Rachel to Jacob in exchange for another 7 years of work.

After one week, Laban is true to his word as he gives Rachel to Jacob with the understanding that Jacob must stay and work for another 7 years.

Jacob loves Rachel more than Leah.

God sees that Leah is not loved as much as Rachel, so he blesses her with four sons:  Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah.  (Jesus will be born through the bloodline of Judah, through Leah's bloodline, rather than Rachel's.)

Rachel is jealous of Leah because Leah has had children, but Rachel has not had any children.  Rachel gives her servant, Bilhah, to Jacob so that Bilhah can have children for Rachel.

Bilhah gives birth to Dan and Naphtali.

Leah realizes that she has stopped having children, so she gives her servant, Zilpah, to Jacob so that Zilpah can have children for her.  

Zipah gives birth to Gad and Asher.

Leah and Rachel get into a spat over mandrakes.  Leah's son, Reuben, had gone out to gather some and then brought them to his mother, Leah. Rachel goes to Leah and asks her to give her some of Reuben's mandrakes.  Leah says, "Wasn't it enough that you took away my husband?  Will you take my son's mandrakes too?"

Rachel tells Leah that she can have Jacob for the night in exchange for the mandrakes.  When Jacob returns home from the fields, Leah tells him about the deal.  Jacob stays with Leah.  Eventually, Leah gives Jacob two more sons:  Issachar and Zebulun

Leah also gives birth to a daughter, Dinah.

Finally, God remembers Rachel and gives her a son.  She names him Joseph.

Wow, what a story!  But out of this story comes 11 of the 12 tribes of Jacob.  Later on, these 12 tribes are called the 12 tribes of Israel because God eventually changes Jacob's name to Israel.

The following is a simple chart of all 12 of Jacob's sons and their mothers. It's a freebie for you. Simply right-click and save the image to your computer. (Benjamin is on the chart, but he has not been born to Rachel yet.)

You can read this story from the Bible in Genesis 29 - 30:24 at Bible Gateway here.

Jacob Marries Leah and Rachel

Jacob Marries Leah and Rachel
This item is available here.

Teach the Kids

Jacob's Rachel and Leah Craft from Jesus Without Language

7 Thought Provoking Review Questions for the Story of Jacob, Leah, and Rachel from Bible Baton

Who am I? by Kids Korner

Jacob, Rachel, and Leah Pairs Game from Jesus Without Language

Download a PDF for Family Reading from Life Hope & Truth

12 Sons of Jacob Posters from Bible Fun for Kids

Rachel and Leah Coloring Page from Super Coloring

Jacob and Rachel Crossword from Sermons4Kids

Jacob and Rachel Bible Lesson from Children's Bible Lessons

Jacob Returns Home Maze from

Games to Play When Teaching About Jacob, Rachel, and Leah from Jesus Without Language


Jacob Marries Leah and Rachel

Jacob was deceived when Laban brought Leah to him instead of Rachel. That was tough, but remember that it was Jacob who deceived his father, Isaac, into giving him his brother's (Esau's) blessing. Our Bible patriarchs were far from perfect, but we learn so much from their stories.  

You can learn more about Jacob's deception in this post:  Jacob Takes Esau's Blessing
Jacob Marries Leah and Rachel
Jacob Takes Esau's Blessing

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