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Leah

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Leah (Hebrew: לאה, Lēʼāh; Arabic: ليئة, Layʼa; "Name means::weary, tired") (m. Married::Abib 2245 AM) was the first wife of Jacob and mother of six of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, along with one daughter.[1]

Family

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
descendant of::Terah
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
descendant of::Haran
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lot
 
descendant of::Milcah
 
descendant of::Nahor
 
Sarah
 
Abraham
 
Hagar
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Moab
 
Ammon
 
granddaughter of::Bethuel
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
daughter of::Laban
 
Rebekah
 
 
 
Isaac
 
Ishmael
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Leah
 
sister of::Rachel
 
Esau
 
Jacob

Leah was the daughter of Laban and the older sister of Rachel, Jacob's second (and favored) wife. Jacob was her first cousin, as Jacob's mother Rebekah was Laban's sister.

The Bible does not say when Leah was born, or when she died, except that she died before Jacob did.

Marriage

Leah first heard about Jacob when her younger sister Rachel brought back word of a helpful stranger whom she met at the community well. Jacob stayed with Laban for a month, in Laban's service. At the end of that month, Laban asked Jacob to name his price.

Of the two sisters, Rachel was the more beautiful, and both sisters likely knew it. Jacob indeed named Rachel as his price, and offered Laban seven years of service. Laban accepted that price.

As was the custom of the day, Jacob waited a week to marry Rachel. But on the night of the wedding, Laban sent Leah to the marriage tent in Rachel's place. When Jacob discovered the switch, he protested. Laban answered that local custom did not permit a younger sister to marry before the older sister. Laban immediately said that if Jacob would serve him for an additional seven years, he could marry Rachel as well. Jacob agreed to this, and so married both sisters.[2]

Six Sons

Though Rachel had Jacob's favor, Leah was fertile. During the next four years, she bore four sons: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah. After she bore Judah, she discovered that she had become sterile. She then gave Jacob her handmaid, Zilpah, following Rachel's example. Zilpah bore two other sons, Gad and Asher, who were considered Leah's legal sons.[1]

The Mandrakes

In Sivan of 2251 AM (literally, "in the days of the wheat harvest"), Reuben went into the field and gathered mandrakes (Mandragora officinarum) for his mother Leah. Rachel asked Leah for a portion of them, and Leah protested that Rachel already had the favor of Jacob, and now was asking for a supply of the one thing that each woman supposed would make her fertile. Rachel then offered to allow Leah to lie with Jacob that evening. Leah agreed, and when Jacob returned from the field, Leah told him directly that she had "hired" him for the evening, at the price of a few mandrakes.

The Bible records that Leah conceived that evening. Issachar was born in the next year, and Zebulun was born a year after that. Leah's last child was a daughter, Dinah.

Flight from Laban

Jacob served Laban for a total of twenty years, and then he and Laban fell out. Leah and her sister Rachel took Jacob's side in the quarrel, saying that Laban had squandered their inheritance. Jacob led his entire household, now quite large, away by night. Three days later, Laban caught up with Jacob and his party and accused Jacob of stealing his household idols, or teraphim. Rachel had stolen these, but neither Jacob nor Leah knew anything about it. Laban searched Jacob's camp but did not find the teraphim. Later Jacob would command all the people of his camp to put away all such things that they possessed.

Death and Burial

Leah died before Jacob did, but the Bible does not record the year of her death. Perhaps she died before Jacob entered Egypt, because the Bible does not say that Leah lived in Egypt. Jacob buried her in the Cave of Machpelah. (Genesis 49:30-31 ).

Descendants

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
wife of::Jacob
 
Leah
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Unknown
 
mother of::Judah
 
Tamar
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
grandmother of::Er
 
grandmother of::Onan
 
Shelah
 
grandmother of::Pharez
 
grandmother of::Zerah
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
ancestor of::Hezron
 
ancestor of::Hamul


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jacob
 
Leah
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Reuben
 
Simeon
 
Levi
 
Judah
 
Issachar
 
Zebulun
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Gershon
 
Kohath
 
Merari
 
Jochebed
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Amram
 
Izhar
 
Hebron
 
Uzziel
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Miriam
 
Aaron
 
Moses
 

Bible Record

See Also

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References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Konig, George. "Leah." AboutBibleProphecy.com, 2001. Accessed November 13, 2008.
  2. James Ussher, The Annals of the World, Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2003, pghh. 113, 115-116