31 ¶And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren. 32 And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the LORD hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me.*n8 33 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Because the LORD hath heard that I was hated, he hath therefore given me this son also: and she called his name Simeon.*n9 34 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have born him three sons: therefore was his name called Levi.*n10 35 And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, Now will I praise the LORD: therefore she called his name Judah; and left bearing.
Here we see the second mention of polygamy, the first being a descendant of Cain. This doesn’t mean that the practice was ok with God but that doesn’t change the fact that men still practiced it anyway, especially in other groups. We see the practice reach it pinnacle with Solomon but by the New Testament era, Paul tells us that a minister, or Bishop must be the husband of one wife.
Jesus gives us the perfect illustration of how polygamy just won’t ever work.
24 ¶No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Man’s heart is built in such a way that he cannot love two hearts at the same time. It will NEVER work.
We don’t see Jacob complaining about having these two sisters as wives, but we shall soon see that having more than one wife will cause him a whole lot of trouble.
In verse 31 we see again that Jacob didn’t just favor Rachel more than Leah but that he hated her and we also see that she might have been God’s choice for Jacob.
1. She has children first. God opened her womb while Rachel was barren.
2. She gives birth to two very important children, Levi and Judah.
The sons of Jacob:
1. Reuben – “See a son”
Leah had hoped that a son would bring her husband closer to her but it didn’t.
2. Simeon – “The Lord has heard”
The first son didn’t bring them any closer and this second one won’t either.
3. Levi – “Join”
This son would surely bring them together, yet it doesn’t.
4. Judah – “Praise”
This time there is no mention of her husband. Leah had realized that no matter how many children she gave Jacob, it still wouldn’t bring them any closer together. This fourth child does, however show that she had grown closer to the Lord in the process.