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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.




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 Judith
Adah
Mahalath
Oholibamah

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

References


Footnotes (including sources)

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