the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature
(Heb. Yaukob', יִעֲקֹב supplanter, from עָקִב, to bite the heel [to which signification there is allusion in Genesis 25:26; Genesis 27:36; Hosea 12:31; Sept. and N.T. Ι᾿ακώβ; Josephus Ι᾿άκωβος, which latter is identical with the Greek name for "James"), the name of two men in the Bible.
I. The second-born of the twin sons of Isaac by Rebekah (B.C. 2004). His importance in Jewish history requires a copious treatment, which we accordingly give in full detail.
1. His conception is stated to have been supernatural (Genesis 25:21 sq.). Led by peculiar feelings, Rebekah went to inquire of the Lord (as some think, through the intervention of Abraham) and was informed that she was about to become a mother, that her offspring should be the founders of two nations, and that the elder should serve the younger — circumstances which ought to be borne in mind when a judgment is pronounced on her conduct in aiding Jacob to secure the privileges of birthright to the exclusion of his elder brother Esau. He was born with Esau, when Isaac was 59 and Abraham 159 years old, probably at the well Lahai-roi.
As the boys grew, Jacob appeared to partake of the gentle, quiet, and retiring character of his father, and was accordingly led to prefer the tranquil safety and pleasing occupations of a shepherd's life to the bold and daring enterprises of the hunter, for which Esau had an irresistible predilection. The latter was his father's favorite, however, while Rebekah evinced a partiality for Jacob (Genesis 25:27-28). That selfishness, and a prudence which approached to cunning, had a seat in the heart of the youth Jacob, appears but too plainly in his dealing with Esau, when he exacted from a famishing brother so large a price for a mess of pottage as the surrender of his birthright (Genesis 25:29-34). B.C. cir. 1985. (See Kitto, Daily Bible Illust. ad loc.)
The leaning which his mother had in favor of Jacob would naturally be augmented by the conduct of Esan in marrying, doubtless contrary to his parents' wishes, two Hittite women, who are recorded as having been a grief of mind to Isaac and Rebekah (Genesis 26:34-35). B.C. 1964.
Circumstances thus prepared the way for procuring the transfer of the birthright, when Isaac, being now old, proceeded to take steps to pronounce the irrevocable blessing, which acted with all the force of a modern testamentary bequest. This blessing, then, it was essential that Jacob should receive in preference to Esau. Here Rebekah appears as the chief agent; Jacob is a mere instrument in her hands. Isaac directs Esau to procure him some venison. This Rebekah hears, and urges her reluctant favorite to personate his elder brother. Jacob suggests difficulties; they are met by Rebekah, who is ready to incur any personal danger so that her object be gained (see Thomson, Land and Book, 2, 355). Her voice is obeyed, the food is brought, Jacob is equipped for the deceit; he helps out his fraud by direct falsehood, and the old man, whose senses are now failing, is at last with difficulty deceived (Genesis 27). B.C. 1927. It cannot be denied that this is a most reprehensible transaction, and presents a truly painful picture, in which a mother conspires with one son in order to cheat her aged husband, with a view to deprive another son of his rightful inheritance. Justification is here impossible; but it should not be forgotten, in the estimate we form, that there was a promise in favor of Jacob, that Jacob's qualities had endeared him to his mother, and that the prospect to her was dark and threatening which arose when she saw the negligent Esau at the head of the house, and his hateful wives assuming command over herself.
For the sale of his birthright to Jacob, Esau is branded in the N. Test. as a "profane person" (Hebrews 12:16). The following sacred and important privileges have been mentioned as connected with primogeniture in patriarchal times, and as constituting the object of Jacob's desire:
(a) Superior rank in the family (see Genesis 49:3-4).
(b) A double portion of the father's property (so Aben-Ezra) (see Deuteronomy 21:17, and Genesis 47:22).
(c) The priestly office in the patriarchal church (see Numbers 8:17-19). In favor of this, see Jerome, ad Evang. Ep. 83, § 6; Jarchi, in Genesis 25; Estius, il Hebrews 12; Shuckford, Connexion, bk. 7; Blunt, Undes. Coinc. i, 1, § 2, 3; and against it, Vitringa, Observ. Sac; and J. D. Michaelis, Mosaisch. Recht, 2, § 64, cited by Rosenmü ller in Genesis 25.
(d) A conditional promise or adumbration of the heavenly inheritance (see Cartwright in the Crit. Sacr. on Genesis 25).
(e) The promise of the Seed in which all nations should be blessed, though not included in the birthright, may have been so regarded by the patriarchs, as it was by their descendants (Romans 9:8, and Shuckford, 8). The whole subject has been treated in separate essays by Vitringa in his Observat. Sacr. 1. 11, § 2; also by J.H. Hottinger, and by J. J. Schrö der. See Eycke, De venditione primogeniturae Esavi (Wittenb. 1729); Gmelin, De benedict. paterna Esavo a Jacobo praerepta (Tub. 1706); Heydegger, Hist. Patriarch. 2, 14. (See BIRTHRIGHT).
With regard to Jacob's acquisition of his father's blessing (ch. 27), few persons will accept the excuse offered by St. Augustine (Serm. 4:§ 22, 23) for the deceit which he practiced: that it was merely a figurative action, and that his personation of Esau was justified by his previous purchase of Esau's birthright. It is not, however, necessary, with the view of cherishing a Christian hatred of sin, to heap opprobrious epithets upon a fallible man whom the choice of God has rendered venerable in the eyes of believers. Waterland (4, 208) speaks of the conduct of Jacob in language which is neither wanting in reverence nor likely to encourage the extenuation of guilt: "I do not know whether it be justifiable in every particular; I suspect that it is not. There were several very good and laudable circumstances in what Jacob and Rebekah did, but I do not take upon me to acquit them of all blame. Blunt (Undes. Coinc.) observes that none "of the patriarchs can be set up as a model of Christian morals. They lived under a code of laws that were not absolutely good, perhaps not so good as the Levitical; for, as this was but a preparation for the more perfect law of Christ, so possibly was the patriarchal but a preparation for the Law of Moses." The circumstances which led to this unhappy transaction, and the retribution which fell upon all parties concerned in it, have been carefully discussed by Benson (Hulsean Lectures  on Scripture Difficulties, 16, 17). See also Woodgate (Historical Sermons, 9) and Maurice (Patriarchs and Lawgivers, 5). On the fulfillment of the prophecies concerning Esau and Jacob, and on Jacob's dying blessing, see bishop Newton, Dissertations on the Prophecies, § 3, 4.
Punishment soon ensued to all the parties to this iniquitous transaction (see Jarvis, Church of the Redeemed, p. 47). Fear seized the guilty Jacob, who is sent by his father, at the suggestion of Rebekah, to the original seat of the family, in order that he might find a wife among his cousins, the daughters of his mother's brother, Laban the Syrian (Genesis 28). Before he is dismissed, Jacob again receives his father's blessing, the object obviously being to keep alive in the young man's mind the great promise given to Abraham, and thus to transmit that influence which, under the aid of divine Providence, was to end in placing the family in possession of the land of Palestine, and, in so doing, to make it "a multitude of people." The language, however, employed by the aged father suggests the idea that the religious light which had been kindled in the mind of Abraham had lost somewhat of its fullness, if not of its clearness also, since "the blessing of Abraham," which had originally embraced all nations, is now restricted to the descendants of this one patriarchal family. And so it appears, from the language which Jacob employs (Genesis 28:16) in relation to the dream that he had when he tarried all night upon a certain plain on his journey eastward, that his idea of the Deity was little more than that of a local god: "Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not." Nor does the language which he immediately after employs show that his ideas of the relations between God and man were of an exalted and refined nature: "If God will be with me, and will keep me in the way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father's house in peace, then shall the Lord be my God." The vision, therefore, with which Jacob was favored was not without occasion, nor could the terms in which he was addressed by the Lord fail to enlarge and correct his conceptions, and make his religion at once more comprehensive and more influential. (Jacob's vision at Bethel is considered by Miegius in a treatise [De Scald Jacobi] in the Thesaur us novus Theologico-Philologicus, 1, 195. See also Augustine, Serm. 122; Kurz, History of the Old Covenant, 1, 309.)
2. Jacob, on coming into the land of the people of the East, accidentally met with Rachel, Laban's daughter, to whom, with true Eastern simplicity and politeness, he showed such courtesy as the duties of pastoral life suggest and admit (Genesis 29). Here his gentle and affectionate nature displays itself under the influence of the bonds of kindred and the fair form of the youthful maiden. "Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice and wept." It must be borne in mind, however, that Jacob himself had now reached the mature age of seventy-seven years, as appears from a comparison of Joseph's age (Genesis 30:25; Genesis 41:46; Genesis 45:6) with Jacob's (Genesis 47:9; Genesis 31:41). After he had been with his uncle the space of a month, Laban inquires of him what reward he expects for his services. He asks for the "beautiful and well-favored Rachel."
His request is granted on condition of a seven years' service — a long period, truly, but to Jacob "they seemed but a few days for the love he had to her." When the time was expired, the crafty-Laban availed himself of the customs of the country in order to substitute his elder and "tender-eyed" daughter, Leah. In the morning Jacob found how he had been beguiled; but Laban excused himself, saying, "It must not be done in our country, to give the younger before the first-born." Another seven years' service gains for Jacob the beloved Rachel. Leah, however, has the compensatory privilege of being the mother of the first-born, Reuben; three other sons successively follow, namely, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, sons of Leah. This fruitfulness was a painful subject of reflection to the barren Rachel, who employed language on this occasion that called forth a reply from her husband which shows that, mild as was the character of Jacob, it was by no means wanting in force and energy (Genesis 30:2). An arrangement, however, took place, by which Rachel had children by means of her maid, Bilhah, of whom Dan and Naphtali were born. Two other sons, Gad and Asher, were born to Jacob of Leah's maid, Zilpah. Leah herself bare two more sons, namely, Issachar and Zebulun; she also bare a daughter, Dinah. At length Rachel herself bare a son, and she called his name Joseph. As this part of the sacred history has been made the subject of cavil on the alleged ground of anachronism (see Hengstenberg, Auth. des Pentat. 2, 851), it may be well to present here a table showing the chronological possibility of the birth of these children within the years allotted in the narrative (Genesis 29:32; Genesis 30:24).
Jacob's polygamy is an instance of a patriarchal practice quite repugnant to Christian morality, but to be accounted for on the ground that the time had not then come for a full expression of the will of God on this subject. The mutual rights of husband and wife were recognized in the history of the Creation, but instances of' polygamy are frequent among persons mentioned in the sacred records, from Lamech (Genesis 4:19) to Herod (Josephus, At. 17, 1, 2). In times when frequent wars increased the number of captives and orphans, and reduced nearly all service to slavery, there may have been some reason for extending the recognition and protection of the law to concubines or half-wives, as Bilhah and Zilpah. In the case of Jacob, it is right to bear in mind that it was not his original intention to marry both the daughters of Laban. (See, on this subject, Augustine, Contra Faustum, 22, 47-54.)
Most faithfully and with great success had Jacob served his uncle for fourteen years, when he became desirous of returning to his parents. At the urgent request of Laban, however, he is induced to remain for an additional term of six years. The language employed upon this occasion (Genesis 30:25 sq.) shows that Jacob's character had gained considerably during his service, both in strength and comprehensiveness; but the means which he employed in order to make his bargain with his uncle work so as to enrich himself, prove too clearly that his moral feelings had not undergone an equal improvement (see Baumgarten, Comment. I, 1, 276), and that the original taint of prudence, and the sad lessons of his mother in deceit, had produced some of their natural fruit in his bosom. (Those who may wish to inquire into the nature and efficacy of the means which Jacob employed, may, in addition to the original narrative, consult Michaelis and Rosenmü ller on the subject, as well as the following: Jerome, Quaest. in Genesis; Pliny, Hist. Nat. 7, 10; Oppian, Cyneg. 1, 330 sq.; Michaelis Verm. Schrift. i, 61 sq.; Hastfeer, Ueber Schafzucht; Bochart, Hieroz. 1, 619; Nitschmann, De corylo Jacobi in Thesaur. novus Theologico- Philologicus, 1, 201. Winer [Handwö rterb. s.v. Jacob] gives a parallel passage from Elian, Hist. Anitw. 8, 21.)
The prosperity of Jacob displeased and grieved Laban, so that a separation seemed desirable. His wives are ready to accompany him. Accordingly, he set out, with his family and his property, "to go to Isaac his father in the land of Canaan" (Genesis 31) (B.C. 1907). It was lot till the third day that Laban learned that Jacob had fled, when he immediately set out in pursuit of his nephew, and, after seven days' journey, overtook him in Mount Gilead. Laban, however, is divinely warned not to hinder Jacob's return. Reproach and recrimination ensued. Even a charge of theft is put forward by Laban: "Wherefore hast thou stolen my gods?" In truth, Rachel had carried off certain images which were the objects of worship. Ignorant of this misdeed, Jacob boldly called for a search, adding, "With whomsoever thou findest thy gods, let him not live." A crafty woman's cleverness eluded the keen eye of Laban.
Rachel, by an appeal which one of her sex alone could make, deceived her father. Thus one sin begets another; superstition prompts to theft, and theft necessitates deceit. Whatever opinion may be formed of the teraphim (q.v.) which Rachel stole, and which Laban was so anxious to discover, and whatever kind or degree of worship may in reality have been paid to them, their existence in the family suffices of itself to show how imperfectly instructed regarding the Creator were at this time those who were among the least ignorant in divine things. Laban's conduct on this occasion called forth a reply from Jacob, from which it appears that his service had been most severe, and which also proves that, however this severe service might have encouraged a certain servility, it had not prevented the development in Jacob's soul of a high and energetic spirit, which, when roused, could assert its rights, and give utterance to sentiments both just, striking, and forcible, and in the most poetical phraseology. Peace, however, being restored, Laban on the ensuing morning took a friendly, if not an affectionate farewell of his daughters and their sons, and returned home.
3. So far, things have gone prosperously with Jacob; the word of God to him at Bethel, promising protection and blessing, has been wonderfully verified, and, with a numerous family and large possessions, he has again reached in safety the borders of Canaan. But is there still no danger in front? Shortly after parting with Laban, he met, we are told, troops of angels, apparently a double band, and wearing somewhat of a warlike aspect, for he called the place in honor of them by the name of Mahanaim [two hosts] (Genesis 32:1-2. Whether this sight was presented to him in vision, or took place as an occurrence in the sphere of ordinary life, may be questioned, though the latter supposition seems best to accord with the narrative; but it is not of material moment, for either way the appearance was a reality, and bore the character of a specific revelation to Jacob, adapted to the circumstances in which he was placed. It formed a fitting counterpart to what he formerly had seen at Bethel; angels were then employed to indicate the peaceful relation in which he stood to the heavenly world when obliged to retire from Canaan, and now, on his return, they are again employed with a like friendly intent-to give warning, indeed, of a hostile encounter, but at the same time to assure him of the powerful guardianship and support of heaven. The former part of the design was not long in finding confirmation; for, on sending messengers to his brother Esau with a friendly greeting, and apprising him of his safe return after a long and prosperous sojourn in Mesopotamia, he learned that Esau was on his way to meet him with a host of 400 men.
There could be no reasonable doubt, especially after the preliminary intimation given through the angelic bands, as to the intention of Esau in advancing towards his brother with such a force. The news of Jacob's reappearance in Canaan, and that no longer as a dependant upon others, but as possessed of ample means and a considerable retinue, awoke into fresh activity the slumbering revenge of Esau, and led him, on the spur of the moment, to resolve on bringing the controversy between them to a decisive issue. This appears from the whole narrative to be so plainly the true state of matters, that it seems needless to refer to other views that have been taken of it. But Jacob was not the man at any time to repel force with force, and he had now learned, by a variety of experiences, where the real secret of his safety and strength lay. His first impressions, however, on getting the intelligence, were those of trembling anxiety and fear; but, on recovering himself a little, he called to his aid the two great weapons of the believer-pains and prayer. He first divided his people, with the flocks and herds, into two companies, so that if the one were attacked the other might escape. Then he threw himself in earnest prayer and supplication on the covenant-mercy and faithfulness of God, putting God in mind of his past loving-kindnesses, at once great and undeserved; reminding him also of the express charge he had given Jacob to return to Canaan, with the promise of his gracious presence, and imploring him now to establish the hopes he had inspired by granting deliverance from the hands of Esau. So ended the first night; but on the following day further measures were resorted to by Jacob, though still in the same direction. Aware of the melting power of kindness, and how "a gift in secret pacifieth anger," he resolved on giving from his substance a munificent present to Esau, placing each kind by itself, one after the other, in a succession of droves, so that on hearing, as he passed drove after drove, the touching words, "A present sent to my lord Esau from thy servant Jacob," it might be like the pouring of live coals on the head of his wrathful enemy. How could he let his fury explode against a brother who showed himself so anxious to be on terms of peace with him? It could scarcely be, unless there were still in Jacob's condition the grounds of a quarrel between him and his God not yet altogether settled, and imperiling the success even of the best efforts and the most skilful preparations. That there really was something of the sort now supposed seems plain from what ensued.
Jacob had made all his arrangements, and had got his family as well as his substance transported over the Jabbok (a brook that traverses the land of Gilead, and runs into the Jordan about half way between the Lake of Galilee and the Dead Sea), himself remaining behind for the night. It is not said for what purpose he so remained, but there can be little doubt it was for close and solitary dealing with God. While thus engaged, one suddenly appeared in the form of a man, and in the guise of an enemy wrestling with him and contending for the mastery. Esau was still at some distance, but here was an adversary already present with whom Jacob had to maintain a severe and perilous conflict; and this plainly an adversary in appearance only human, but in reality the angel of the Lord's presence. It was as much as to say, "You have reason to be afraid of the enmity of one mightier than Esau, and, if you can only prevail in getting deliverance from this, there is no fear that matters, will go well with you otherwise; right with God, you may trust him to set you right with your brother." The ground and reason of the matter lay in Jacob's deceitful and wicked conduct before leaving the land of Canaan, which had fearfully compromised the character of God, and brought disturbance into Jacob's relation to the covenant. Leaving the land of Canaan covered with guilt, and liable to wrath, he must now re-enter it amid sharp contending, such as might lead to great searchings of heart, deep spiritual abasement, and the renunciation of all sinful and crooked devices as utterly at variance with the childlike simplicity and confidence in God which it became him to exercise. In the earnest conflict, he maintained his ground, till the heavenly combatant touched the hollow of his thigh and put it out of joint, in token of the supernatural might which this mysterious antagonist had at his command, and showing how easy it had been for him (if he had so pleased) to gain the mastery.
But even then Jacob would not quit his hold; nay, all the more he would retain it, since now he could do nothing more, and since, also, it was plain he had to do with one who had the power of life and death in his hand; he would, therefore, not let him go till he obtained a blessing. Faith thus wrought mightily out of human weakness-strong by reason of its clinging affection, and its beseeching importunity for the favor of heaven, as expressed in Hosea 12:4 : " By his strength he had power with God; yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed; he wept and made supplication unto him." In attestation of the fact, and for a suitable commemoration of it, he had his name changed from Jacob to Israel (combatant or wrestler with God); "for as a prince," it was added, by way of explanation, "hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed." Jacob, in turn, asked after the name of the person who had wrestled with him-not as if any longer ignorant who it might be, but wishing to have the character or manifestation of Godhead, as this had now appeared to him, embodied in a significant and appropriate name. His request, however, was denied; the divine wrestler withdrew, after having blessed him. But Jacob himself gave a name to the place, near the Jabbok, where the memorable transaction had occurred: he called it Peniel (the face of God), "for," said he, "I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved" (Genesis 32:25-31). The contest indicated that he had reason to fear the reverse: but his preservation was the sign of reconciliation and blessing.
This mysterious wrestling has been a fruitful source of difficulty and misinterpretation (see Hofmann, Varia Sacra, 185 sq.; Heumann, Sylloq. diss. 1, 147 sq.). The narrator did not, we think, intend it for the account of a dream or illusion (see Ziegler in Henke's Nat. Mag. 2, 29 sq.; Hengstenberg, Bileam, p. 51; Herder, Geist der Heb. Poesie, 1, 266; Tuch's Genesis p. 468). A literal interpretation may seem difficult, for it makes the Omnipotent vanquish one of his own creatures, not without a long struggle, and at last only by a sort of art or stratagem (compare similar accounts in heathen mythology, Bauer, Heb. Mythol. 1, 251 sq.; Movers, Phonic. 1, 433; Bohlen, Isdien, i, 225). At the same time it must be said that the only way to expound the narrative is to divest ourselves of our own modern associations, and endeavor to contemplate it from the position in which its author stood (see Bush's Note, ad loc.). Still, the question recurs, What was the fact which he has set forth in these terms? (see De Wette, Krit. d. Is. Gesch. p. 132; Ewald, Israeliten, 1, 405; Rosenmü ller, Scholia, ad loc.) The design (says Wellbeloved, ad loc.), "was to encourage Jacob, returning to his native land, and fearful of his brother's resentment, and to confirm his faith in the existence and providence of God. And who will venture to say that in that early period any other equally efficacious means could have been employed?" (Comp. the language already quoted [Genesis 32:28].)' A very obvious end pursued throughout the history of Jacob was the development of his religious convictions; and the event in question, no less than the altars he erected and the dreams he had, may have materially conduced to so important a result. That it had a lasting spiritual effect upon Jacob is evident from the devout tenor of his after life. (For a beautiful exposition of this event, see Charles Wesley's poem entitled "'Wrestling Jacob." Compare Krummacher, Jacob Wrestling [Lond. 1838].)
After this night of anxious but triumphant wrestling, Jacob rose from Peniel with the sun shining- upon him (an emblem of the bright and radiant hope which now illuminated his inner man), and went on his way halting- weakened corporeally by the conflict in which he had engaged, that he might have no confidence in the flesh, but strong in the divine favor and blessing. Accordingly, when Esau approached with his formidable host, all hostile feelings gave way; the victory had been already won in the higher sphere of things, and he who turneth the hearts of kings like the rivers of water, made the heart of Esau melt like wax before the liberal gifts, the humble demeanor, and earnest entreaties of his brother. They embraced each other as brethren, and for the present at least, and for anything that appears during the remainder of their personal lives, they maintained the most friendly relations.
4. After residing for a little on the farther side of Jordan, at a place called Succoth, from Jacob's having erected there booths (Hebrew sukkoth) for his cattle, he crossed the Jordan, and pitched his tent near Shechene ultimately the center of the Samaritans. [In the received text, it is said (Genesis 33:18), "He came to Shalem, a city of Shechem" — but some prefer the reading Shalom: "He came in peace to city of Shechem."] There he bought a piece of ground from the family of Shechem, and obtained a footing among the people as a man of substance, whose friendship it was desirable to cultivate. But ere long, having, by the misconduct of Hamor the Hivite (See DINAH) and the hardy valor of his sons, been involved in danger from the natives of Shechem in Canaan, Jacob is divinely directed, and, under the divine protection, proceeds to Bethel, where he is to "make an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the lace of Esau thy brother" (Genesis 34, 35) (B.C. cir. 1900). Obedient to the divine command, he first purifies his family from "strange gods," which he hid under "the oak which is by Shechem," after which God appeared to him again, with the important declaration, "I am God Almighty," and renewed the Abrahamic covenant. While journeying from Beth-el to Ephrath, his beloved Rachel lost her life in giving birth to her second son. Benjamin (Genesis 35:16-20) (B.C. cir. 1899). At length Jacob came to his father Isaac at Mamre, the family residence, in time to pay the last attentions to the aged patriarch (Genesis 35:27) (B.C. 1898). The complete reconciliation between Jacob and Esau at this time is shown by their uniting in the burial rites of their father. Not long after this bereavement, Jacob was robbed of his beloved son, Joseph, through the jealousy and bad faith of his brothers (Genesis 37) (B.C. 1896).' This loss is the occasion of showing us how strong were Jacob's paternal feelings; for, on seeing; what appeared to be proofs that "some evil beast had devoured Joseph," the old man "rent his clothes, and put sackcloth- upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days, and refused to be comforted" (Genesis 37:33).
A widely extended famine induced Jacob to send his: sons down into Egypt, where he had heard there was corn, without knowing by whose instrumentality (Genesis 42 sq.) (B.C. 1875). The patriarch, however, retained his youngest son Benjamin, "lest mischief should befall him," as it had befallen Joseph. The young men returned with the needed supplies of corn. They related, however, that they had been taken for spies, and that there was but one way in which they could disprove the charge, namely, by carrying down Benjamin to "the lord of the land." This Jacob vehemently refused (Genesis 42:36). The pressure of the famine, however, at length forced Jacob to allow Benjamin to accompany his brothers on a second visit to Egypt; whence, in due time, they brought back to their father the pleasing intelligence, "Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt." How naturally is the effect of t
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McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Jacob'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/​encyclopedias/​eng/​tce/​j/jacob.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.