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Jacob and Leah: A Happy Ending

Genesis 49:31

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There Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried, there Isaac and his wife Rebekah were buried, and there I buried Leah.

Genesis 49:31 NIV

I have always felt sorry for Leah, Rachel’s older sister and Jacob’s first wife. Jacob loved Rachel and worked for seven years in order to pay the bride price set by her father. But then, on the morning after their wedding, he discovered, due to Laban’s deception, that he had actually married Leah instead. Ignore the obvious question of how Jacob could have mistaken the two sisters. Jacob was clearly displeased at being deceived, yet worked another seven years for Rachel.

But think about how Leah must have felt. Clearly, she knew that the only reason Jacob married her was that her father tricked Jacob into it. She must have felt unwanted by Jacob. And her little sister probably made sure she knew who Jacob’s favorite was.

But of Jacob’s twelve sons, Leah was the mother of fully half of them, while Rachel only had two. Clearly, Leah came out on top in that contest with her sister. Yet it still seems that Rachel and her sons were Jacob’s favorites. It is easy to feel sorry for Leah.

Yet this simple expression, uttered on Jacob’s deathbed, tells of Leah’s ultimate triumph over her sister. Rachel was buried in an unmarked tomb, alone. Jacob asked to be buried with Leah. Leah, who had been faithful to him over the long years of their life. She is the one that Jacob sees himself lying beside until the resurrection at the end of time.

Do you feel unloved or unwanted? Follow Leah’s example of faithfulness. And you may find that, in the end, you will be both loved and wanted.

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Ed Jarrett

Just an old clay jar that God continues to see fit to use in his kingdom's work. I am retired, married with 2 children, and 4 grandchildren. I have followed Jesus for many years. And I love to share what He has given me from His word.

A Note to Readers

The views expressed here are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person, group, or organization. While I believe they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible human and subject to misunderstanding. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.

39 thoughts on “Jacob and Leah: A Happy Ending – Genesis 49:31”

  1. We cannot help whom we love. Jacob loved Rachael from the very beginning. I wonder if Leah had a choice in the matter would she have chosen that life? To always be second best in a man’s heart? I know I would not. However, in the Bible it says there will be no marriages in heaven. We will be worshipping God.

  2. These two names are used to assist as symbols of spirituality. Leah means “weary,” and Rachel means “”one of purity.”. When we learn to accept that we are one with God we leave the mindset of being weary and enter the mindset, one of purity which is Christ Consciousness. We bury our old mindset of weariness connected to the cares of the world to rise with a mindset one of purity of Christ Consciousness. These two females represent symbols of Mercy ( for our weariness) and Grace (for one of purity). Spiritual Marriage is the Spirit and Soul becoming one.

  3. L comes before R and that settles it.
    Just kidding.
    I read and realized this today and then googled and found all of you.
    Leah was meek and she believed that she was unloved in the beginning. Rachael new she was loved but, was preoccupied with not being outdone by her older sister.
    Sounds familiar to many siblings, hmm
    Either way, plenty to glean and gather for us to put to practice.
    Thank you all for your input.

    • You’re welcome. Sibling rivalry has been with us from the beginning, starting with Cain and Abel, and continuing up to the present time.

  4. I appreciate your understanding and depth. I think from the world go Leah was actually God’s will for Jacob just that sometimes we don’t always go for His will for us. Rachael despite knowing the Worth of Jacob s God still went after her father s idol and that in the long-run brought untimely death to her because her husband actually placed a curse on whoever stole Laban s idol. Despite the fact that Leah was never loved by Jacob she trusted in the God of her husband. God rewards our faithfulness.

    • Thanks for sharing. I have never thought about Rachel’s death in relation to Jacob’s curse, although I am not sure that it was a curse. It seems more to have been punishment for the crime. And I do not know that Leah remained unloved by Jacob. Nothing is said in that regard that I recall. And, after bearing him 6 sons and a daughter, and living with him for many years, it would be easy to see them grow close.

      • That is exactly what Leah expected every time she gave birth she thought Jacob would accept her and be closer but it never happened . You note that even in the way the sons were named. But her last son her praise was now to God but not because she expected to please the husband and be close.

        • It was no doubt very challenging for Leah. We cannot know all that was taking place in that family. But I do feel very sorry for her and all she must have endured.

  5. If Rachel had not died in childbirth traveling, I believe Jacob would have buried her in the family tomb. I believe he would have wanted to be buried beside her in that tomb.

    • That could be. But the point I was trying to make was that it was the unloved Leah who ended up on top. It was a call to be faithful to God, regardless of your circumstances. If we are faithful, we will be rewarded.

  6. Rachel was not buried in an unmarked grave.

    Jacob erected a pillar as a monument to her at her tomb, and it’s only because they were with the Egyptians that practiced embalming that they were able to carry Leah’s body far enough to go to the family tomb. Also, she was his first wife and bore his first son. ‍♀️

    • You are correct concerning Rachel. Genesis 35:19-20 says “So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). Over her tomb Jacob set up a pillar, and to this day that pillar marks Rachel’s tomb.”

      But there is nothing to suggest that Leah ever came to Egypt. All we know is that she was buried with Abraham & Sarah and Isaac and Rebecca (Gen.49:31).

        • Doesn’t matter, really. Jesus descends from Leah’s line, not Rachel’s. In the end, Leah did kind of win. End of story.

          • You are missing the point of the article. It was about being faithful, even when your circumstances are not ideal.

        • What I mean is, no matter how much Jacob loved Rachel (and I won’t water-down that the reason Judah is even alive is because of Joseph, Rachel’s son) God loved Leah more. And having the love of God versus the love of a man IS winning in *EVERY* sense of the word. Are you a second wife? It seems that you are inserting personal feelings into this versus biblical truths.

          • Where do you get that God loved Lean more? Are you inserting personal feelings rather than biblical truth?

        • How do we know that? The thing is the reality of how it happened and why is the point. They could be buried and grown old together but Leahs son lineage is where Jesus came from, not Rachel.

  7. I don’t think there is judgemental attitude has the above comments. But it is reflections of individual thoughts.
    I think why God did not support Rachel is that God never allowed to marry more than one wife. He created Eve for Adam. If God wanted more women for Adam he could have created more women, but one

    Same way God has chosen a bride for his beloved Son Lord Jesus.
    The second thing I have reckoned that Rachel was idol worshipper. God cannot tolerate this owfull sin. Rachel has knowledge about the true living God through Jacob yet she willfully rejected Him.

    • It was not Rachel’s fault that she was the second wife. She had no say in the matter. While I do not believe polygamy was God’s ideal for us, it is not explicitly condemned and it was practiced in the Old Testament. Idolatry was also rampant among the followers of YHWH. In general they did not seem to understand the uniqueness of YHWH, often seeing him as one god among many. Yet God used and blessed his people. Even when they fell short of what we would expect of them today.

        • In the end, I suspect she had no real say in it. Although if she had made it clear to Jacob she did not want to marry him, he might not have pursued her.

  8. I have a heart for Leah as well. Rachel seemed very selfish also and when she gave birth to Joseph, instead of praising God with her whole heart, she IMMEDIATELY asks for another son. So ungrateful and greedy. It reminds me of how the Israelites weren’t happy with the Mana and wanted something more to eat so God sent them quail. The curse was the same for Rachel as it was for them. They both got their selfish prayers answered and paid the ultimate price for their greediness. Be grateful and in awe of the blessings you have this very moment.

    • When you judge mind that you are not doing the same!
      The bible has been written for us to reflect in our own life instead of judge how mean or ungrateful the others were!

      • We do need to be careful of our judgemental attitudes. But the narrative portions of the Bible, and their portrayal of people provide us with models of how people have lived and the consequences of their actions. There are both positive and negative lessons to be learned in that. And there is some judgement involved in that.


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