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Biography

Jacob (Israel) (Supplanter.) The younger of the twin sons of Isaac (Gen. 25:24–26). The two brothers were rivals from their birth, and Esau’s descendants, the Edomites, were rivals of the Israelites (Gen. 25:23). The chief events of Jacob’s life were the “purchase” of the birthright (25:29–34); the dream and vow (Gen. 28); his long stay in the house of Laban (Gen. 29–31); the return to Canaan, the reception at Penuel of the new name of Israel, and the reconciliation with Esau (Gen. 32–33); his later life with his family at Shechem, Ephrath, and Mamre (Hebron) (Gen. 33–37); his journey into Egypt, his death there, and his burial in the cave of Machpelah (Gen. 45–50). It was through Jacob that the covenant of Abraham continued (Gen. 28:1–4, 12–22); it was then passed on to Joseph and Ephraim.

There has been much misunderstanding about Jacob, and even well-meaning students of the Bible criticize some of Jacob’s dealings. The supposed deception of his father in obtaining the blessing (Gen. 27) cannot be taken at face value. The Lord is not obligated to bless an unworthy person simply because gracious words were pronounced upon him by mistake. The key to the matter is expressed in Gen. 27:33 wherein Isaac, after learning Jacob’s true identity, said, “Yea, and he shall be blessed.” Isaac could have revoked the blessing at that time, but he seemed to affirm that it had been rightly delivered. Jacob’s subsequent life demonstrates that he deserved the blessing he received, while Esau’s life shows disobedience and some displeasing choices of wives (Gen. 26:34–35; 28:8–9). The so-called purchase of the birthright from Esau may very well be equally justified by items of Esau’s errant behavior that disqualified him but that are not recorded in our Bible. We learn from latter-day revelation that Jacob “did none other things than that which [he was] commanded” and is today exalted upon a throne in heaven, in company with Abraham and Isaac (D&C 132:37). There are references to Jacob in Hosea 12:3–4, 12; Mal. 1–2; Matt. 8:11; 22:32; Rom. 9:13; Heb. 11:9, 20–21.

Genesis 27 Narrative

Rebekah guides Jacob in seeking blessings—Jacob is blessed to have dominion and rule over peoples and nations—Esau hates Jacob and plans to slay him—

Genesis 29 Narrative

Jacob meets Rachel at the well—He serves Laban seven years for her—Laban gives to Jacob first Leah then Rachel in marriage—Jacob serves another seven years—Leah bears Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah. Genesis 29.

Genesis 30 Narrative

Jacob marries Bilhah, and she bears Dan and Naphtali—He marries Zilpah, and she bears Gad and Asher—Leah bears Issachar and Zebulun and a daughter, Dinah—Then Rachel conceives and bears Joseph—Jacob works for Laban for wages of cattle and sheep.Genesis 30.

Genesis 46 Narrative

Jacob and his family travel to Egypt and settle in the Land of Goshen where is gather his family of 70 souls. After bestowing his final blessing, and making his final request to be buried in the Cave of the Patriarchs with his wife Leah, he dies there.



Children


Offspring of Jacob or Israel and Leah, daughter of Laban
Name Birth Death Joined with
Reuben ben Jacob 9999 Land of Canaan 9999 Land of Canaan Eliuram, daughter of Ewi the Canaanite

Simeon ben Jacob 9999 Land of Canaan 9999 Land of Canaan
Levi ben Jacob 9999 Land of Canaan 9999 Land of Canaan Milkah, daughter of Aram.

Judah ben Jacob 9999 Land of Canaan 9999 Land of Canaan Daughter of Shau
Tamar

Issachar ben Jacob 9999 Land of Canaan 9999 Land of Canaan
Zebulun ben Jacob 9999 Land of Canaan 9999 Land of Canaan
Dinah, daughter of Jacob 9999 Land of Canaan 9999 Land of Canaan

Offspring of Jacob or Israel and Rachel, daughter of Laban
Name Birth Death Joined with
Joseph ben Jacob 9999 Land of Canaan 9999 Egypt Asenath the daughter of Poti-pherah

Benjamin ben Jacob 9999 Land of Canaan 9999 Land of Canaan

Offspring of Jacob or Israel and Bilhah, daughter of Laban
Name Birth Death Joined with
Dan ben Jacob 9999 Land of Canaan 9999 Land of Canaan
Naphtali ben Jacob 9999 Land of Canaan 9999 Land of Canaan

Offspring of Jacob or Israel and Zilpah, daughter of Laban
Name Birth Death Joined with
Gad ben Jacob 9999 Land of Canaan 9999 Land of Canaan
Asher ben Jacob 9999 Land of Canaan 9999 Land of Canaan

Siblings


Offspring of Isaac and Rebekah, daughter of Bethuel
Name Birth Death Joined with
Esau ben Isaac Adah bat Elon
Aholibamah bat Anah
Bashemath bat Ishmael
Judith, daughter of Beeri the Hittite

Jacob ben Isaac 9999 Land of Canaan 9999 Goshen, Egypt Leah, daughter of Laban
Rachel, daughter of Laban
Bilhah, daughter of Laban
Zilpah, daughter of Laban

References


Footnotes (including sources)

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