Leah had six sons and a daughter. In her children she witnessed praise and much sorrow.
How it must have broken her heart to see the mess that came from Dinah’s decision to venture unaccompanied into Shechem. Dinah must have been a beautiful young woman to have attracted the attention of the prince of the land. At first glance, it seems like a fairy tale for him to look out and see her and fall in love. But in his eagerness for her, he rushed things. Rather than going through the proper procedure of asking for permission and then marrying, he took her and then asked permission.
How did Leah feel about this pagan prince taking her daughter into his palace then asking for her hand in marriage? Of course, it didn’t really matter what she thought, because her sons Simeon and Levi took justice into their own hands, killing all the men of Shechem and taking all the women and children as captive. How horrified she must have been by their actions.
Then imagine her dismay when she heard that Reuben, her oldest, had slept with Bilhah, Rachel’s maidservant.
How it would have shocked her to know that her beloved sons plotted to kill Rachel’s son, and though Reuben tried to save Joseph, Judah convinced the others to sell him as a slave to a company of Ishmaelites.
Unfortunately, Leah didn’t live to see her sons forgiven by Joseph. She died before the family moved to Egypt. But tucked away in Genesis 49:31, we find a beautiful verse of hope. Jacob’s dying words to his sons were to bury him next to Leah in the cave where Abraham and Sarah, and Isaac and Rebekah were buried. Though in life, Leah was second, in death she found her place next to Jacob.
Leah’s Death in Scripture: Genesis 49:31-33
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