WOMEN OF THE BIBLE – 52 WEEK STUDYWeek 7 LEAH: Leah had a full life with many sons and wealth. However, she is best known for what she didn’t have: the love of her husband.
1. Genesis 29-25, 30, 49:312. Ruth 4:11
REFERENCE MATERIAL:1. The Holy Bible
2. All the Women of the Bible -Herbert Lockyer
3. Women of The Bible: 52 Bible Studies –Jean E. Syswerda (Available at Rhema World)
SYNOPSIS: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 who, it seems, she never reconciled.
More About Her:The Biblical matriarch Leah was the wife of Jacob and the mother of six of the twelve tribes: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun
Leah was the oldest daughter of Laban, Rebekah’s brother. The only physical description of her is that she had "weak eyes" (Genesis 29:17) Jacob married Leah because of a trick of Laban. Jacob ran to Haran to escape from his brother Esau. In Haran, Jacob fell in love with Rachel, Leah’s younger sister. He reached a deal with Laban that he would work for Laban seven years to marry Rachel. Jacob worked seven years and, at the end of that time, Laban made a feast at which he was to give his daughter to Jacob. Instead of giving him Rachel, however, Laban tricked Jacob and gave him Leah.
Jacob confronted Laban about the trickery and Laban agreed to give him Rachel one week later, provided Jacob would work for him an additional seven years. Jacob agreed, married Rachel, and loved Rachel more than Leah. This hurt Leah and God consoled her with children. Leah was not comforted, however, and named her sons accordingly.
Her firstborn was Reuben because "the Lord has seen (in Hebrew ra’ah) my affliction" and "now my husband will love me (ye’ehabani)"(Genesis 29:32). Her second son was Simeon because "the Lord heard (shama) that I was unloved"(Genesis 29:33). Her third she named Levi in the hope that "this time my husband will become attached (yillaweh) to me"(Genesis 29:34). Only her fourth son’s name was not directly connected to Leah’s relationship with her husband. She named him Judah because "this time I will praise (odeh) the Lord"(Genesis 29:35).
After Leah had four children, Jacob’s next two sons were born to Rachel’s maid Bilhah. Leah then gave Jacob her own maid, Zilpah, as a concubine. Zilpah gave birth to two sons, Gad and Asher.One time, during a harvest, Reuben brought Leah some mandrakes. Rachel asked for them and gave Leah the right to sleep with Jacob that night in exchange. Leah subsequently conceived her fifth son, Issachar. She had another son, Zebulun, and a daughter, Dinah, before Rachel gave birth to her first child.
After Rachel’s son, Joseph, was born, Jacob told Leah and Rachel that God had commanded him to return to his homeland of Canaan. They responded that he should do what God told him and they would follow.
The next time Leah is mentioned occurs when Jacob met with his estranged brother Esau. Jacob formed a receiving line of his wives and children, putting the maids and their children first, Leah and her children in the middle, and Rachel and her son at the end.
It is not written when Leah died, but only that she was buried in the Cave of Machpelah. Leah left as her legacy half of the 12 tribes, including Judah, father of the monarchy, and Levi, father of the priesthood. (Taken from www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org)LESSONS
1. God’s can use our pain to birth His divine plans (Leah left as her legacy half of the 12 tribes, including Judah, father of the monarchy, and Levi, father of the priesthood.)2. We might not be man’s “first choice” but we are the apple of God’s eye ALWAYS
3. Don’t under estimate our impact on history – YOU MATTER
LEGACY IN SCRIPTURE: (FROM WOMEN OF THE BIBLE: 52 BIBLE STUDIES –JEAN E. SYSWERDA)
READ GENESIS 29:30-34
1. Pick one word you think best describes how Leah felt about this marriage to Jacob
2. Many women today have husbands who love something more than their wives: job, position, money, sports. Many things other than another woman can put a wife in Leah’s position. If you know someone who is a “Leah,” pray daily for her and be an encouragement to her when given the opportunity. What can help a woman in Leah’s position?
3. Leah is an unparalleled example of God’s willingness to give “beauty” for “ashes” (see Isaiah 61:1-3). How has God worked this way in your life? How has he worked this way in the lives of your friends or relatives?
4. In Genesis 29:32-34, Leah expresses her desire for Jacob’s affection, an affection she knew she didn’t have. In your own words, describe how Leah probably felt and acted toward Jacbob. What do you think Jacob’s reaction was?
5. Have you ever felt unloved by your husband, your parents, or someone else? How did you feel and act? What is your only possible source of comfort when you desperately want a love you don’t have?
READ GENESIS 49:29-31
6. Jacob was buried next to the wife he loved less rather than next to the wife he loved more. What does this say no only about Leah’s position as a wife, but also as a mother of the Israelites?
7. Although Leah was, of course, unaware of the position she was awarded in death, what do these verses continue to reveal about God’s involvement in her life?
8. Leah had a full life with many sons and wealth. However, she is best known for what she didn’t have: the love of her husband. God noticed what she did not have but also what she lacked. What one thing do you want to learn from Leah and from her God?JOIN OUR MAILING LIST: Contact firstname.lastname@example.org