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Leah (pronounced lay-ah) was the wife of Jacob (who God renamed as Israel), the firstborn daughter Laban (Leah and Jacob were cousins - see Jacob and Laban), and the sister of Rachel. Leah is the mother of Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun - the progenitors of 6 of Israel's 12 Tribes (Genesis 35:23). She is also the mother of Israel's only recorded daughter, Dinah (Genesis 30:21).

Hebron Although she was by all accounts always loyal to Jacob, the sentiment was not returned to the same degree - they were not one of the greatest "love stories" of The Bible. Jacob actually loved Rachel, Leah's younger sister, and they were intended to be married, but because of the custom that the older must be married first, Laban, Leah's father, resorted to a wedding-night switch in the darkness. In the morning, Jacob discovered that Leah had become his wife. Laban then permitted Jacob to also marry Rachel a week later. (Genesis 29:15-30)

Jacob's continued second-rate regard for Leah apparently never ended. Years later, when he was about to meet his brother Esau for the first time since their bitter parting (see Rebekah), Jacob thought full-well that Esau would attack with his 400 men (Genesis 32:6), so he put Leah and her children near the front of the line, and kept Rachel and her children safely in the rear. (Genesis 33:2)

God was not about to let anything happen to Leah however. She is one of the key ancestors of the most important people in Bible History and Bible Prophecy.

Who are some of Leah's descendants?

Judah (from whom the Jews originated), Levi (from whom came the Levites), Moses, Aaron, King David, Elizabeth, John The Baptist, Barnabas, Peter, Joseph, and through His mother Mary, Jesus Christ Himself.

When Leah died, she was buried in the family tomb in Hebron, known today as the Tomb of The Patriarchs, along with Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, and Jacob/Israel (Genesis 49:31).

Fact Finder: Was the memory of Leah used as a blessing for Ruth?
Ruth 4:11

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