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Bible Dictionaries

People's Dictionary of the Bible


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Jacob (jâ'kob), supplanter. The second son of Isaac and Rebekah. He was born with Esau probably at the well of Lahairoi, about b.c. 1837. His history is related in the latter half of the Book of Genesis. He bought the birthright from his brother Esau, and afterward acquired the blessing intended for Esau by practicing a well-known deceit on Isaac. Genesis 25:21-34; Genesis 27:1-40. Jacob, in mature years, was sent from the family home to avoid his brother, and to seek a wife among his kindred in Padanaram. As he passed through Bethel, God appeared to him. After the lapse of 21 years he returned from Padan-aram with two wives, two concubines, eleven sons and a daughter, and large property. He escaped from the angry pursuit of Laban, from a meeting with Esau, and from the vengeance of the Canaanites provoked by the murder of Shechem; and in each of these three emergencies he was aided and strengthened by the interposition of God, and in sign of the grace won by a night of wrestling with God his name was changed at Jabbok into Israel. Deborah and Rachel died before he reached Hebron; Joseph, the favorite son of Jacob, was sold into Egypt eleven years before the death of Isaac; and Jacob had probably reached his 130th year when he went thither. He was presented to Pharaoh and dwelt for 17 years in Rameses and Goshen, and died in his 147th year. His body was embalmed, carried with great care and pomp into the land of Canaan, and deposited with his fathers, and his wife Leah, in the cave of Machpelah. Gen. chs. 27 to 50. The example of Jacob is quoted by the first and the last of the minor prophets. Besides the frequent mention of his name in conjunction with the names of the other two patriarchs, there are distinct references to the events in the life of Jacob in four books of the New Testament—John 1:51; John 4:5; John 4:12; Acts 7:12-15; Romans 9:11-13; Hebrews 11:21; Hebrews 12:16.

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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Jacob'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. 1893.

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