In looking back at lessons I have written about Leah and Rachel, the wives of Jacob, I can see that I was struggling with the prophetic picture these women present. To the praise of the Lord, a Christian Sister named Rachel showed me the picture and how it fits the Church and Israel.
First, a little background: Jacob fled his home after deceiving his father, Isaac, and went to his uncle Laban. There, Jacob fell in love with Rachel and worked for Laban for seven years to marry her. Unknown to Jacob, on his wedding night Laban gave him Leah the eldest, instead of Rachel. The next morning, “behold it was Leah,” per the King James Version. Jacob agreed to work another seven years to marry Rachel.
Also, the Lord loved the people Israel and chose them to be His bride. This was to be culminated at Mount Sinai when the Lord gave the marriage contract (the Ten Commandments) to Moses. But, while Moses was receiving the contract, the bride was committing spiritual adultery with the golden calf.
So, here is the prophetic picture as presented by our Christian Sister Rachel (not Rachel of the Old Testament). The Lord first loved and chose the people Israel, just as Jacob first loved and chose Rachel. Rachel is a type of Israel. The name of Rachel means “ewe,” a female sheep. Israel, the ewe, gave birth to the Lamb of God, Jesus. However, Leah was more fruitful than Rachel. Leah is a type of the evangelical Church, which has been more fruitful than the people of Israel, referred to today as Jews.
Ah, and it gets better! Who was the first bride? Leah, as a foreshadow of the Church. The Lord will come for the Church first, at what we call the “rapture,” and then there will be a wedding feast in Heaven. (Revelation 19:7-9) Jacob worked for Rachel an additional seven years. Seven years after the rapture, assuming seven years of tribulation, when the Lord Jesus sets foot on earth revealing Himself as Messiah, He will come for Rachel, who foreshadows Israel, His first love.
Leah was “fruitful” and bore seven children to Jacob. Rachel had only two children, Joseph and Benjamin. And Rachel did not bear any children until Leah was through with child-bearing, again a picture of Israel bearing fruit for the Lord after the “time of the Gentiles,” probably during the Millennial Kingdom.
I believe the Bible is true and correct. I interpret it literally. That does not preclude the understanding of the types and foreshadows found throughout the Word of God. This picture of Leah and Rachel (a literal event) is one of many telling us that the Church will be taken before the “time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7) I am thankful for that blessed hope, and I am thankful for modern Rachel showing me this picture of the Rachel of old.
May the Lord be praised forever!