In the bible stories of the Old Testament, we see that marriage holds a very important place. This can be seen, for example, when Abraham sends his servant to his home country to find a wife for his son Isaac. The servant, led by God, meets Rebekah who would become Isaac’s wife. So when it comes time for Jacob to marry, his father blesses him and orders him to return to their homeland to find a wife. He would find not one, but two. Read on to learn the story of Jacob’s wives: Rachel and Leah!
Following deception on the part of his uncle Laban, Jacob worked for 7 years only to find himself with Leah as his first wife instead of Rachel. Read Leah’s whole story here!
When he first arrived in the Padan-Aram region, Jacob met Rachel and fell in love with her, to the point of agreeing to work for a total of 14 years to marry her. Read Rachel’s story here!
“When the LORD saw that Leah was not loved, he enabled her to conceive, but Rachel remained childless. Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, ‘It is because the LORD has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.’ She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, ‘Because the LORD heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too.’ So she named him Simeon. Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, ‘Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.’ So he was named Levi. She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, ‘This time I will praise the LORD.’ So she named him Judah. Then she stopped having children." (Genesis 29:31-35)
“God listened to Leah, and she became pregnant and bore Jacob a fifth son. Then Leah said, ‘God has rewarded me for giving my servant to my husband.’ So she named him Issachar. Leah conceived again and bore Jacob a sixth son. Then Leah said, ‘God has presented me with a precious gift. This time my husband will treat me with honor because I have borne him six sons.’ So she named him Zebulun. Some time later she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah." (Genesis 30:17-21)
“Then God remembered Rachel; he listened to her and enabled her to conceive. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son and said, ‘God has taken away my disgrace.’ She named him Joseph, and said, ‘May the LORD add to me another son.” (Genesis 30:22-24)
“Then they moved on from Bethel. While they were still some distance from Ephrath, Rachel began to give birth and had great difficulty. And as she was having great difficulty in childbirth, the midwife said to her, ‘Don’t despair, for you have another son.’ As she breathed her last—for she was dying—she named her son Ben-Oni. But his father named him Benjamin.” (Genesis 35:16-18)
“So she gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife. Jacob slept with her, and she became pregnant and bore him a son. Then Rachel said, ‘God has vindicated me; he has listened to my plea and given me a son.’ Because of this she named him Dan. Rachel’s servant Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. Then Rachel said, ‘I have had a great struggle with my sister, and I have won.’ So she named him Naphtali.” (Genesis 30:4-8)
When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she took her servant Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife. Leah’s servant Zilpah bore Jacob a son. Then Leah said, ‘What good fortune!’ So she named him Gad. Leah’s servant Zilpah bore Jacob a second son. Then Leah said, ‘How happy I am! The women will call me happy.” So she named him Asher. (Genesis 30:9-13)