Jacob in the Bible


It all began with Abraham, then his son Issac, and then his grandson Jacob. God had promised Abram (later renamed Abraham) that he would be a great nation and that his descendants would be like the stars in the sky. Abraham’s first two sons, Ishmael and Issac certainly would.

Issac and his wife Rebekah had two children, Esau and Jacob. Esau, the firstborn, was a rugged, outdoor type of man, who enjoyed hunting and would bring his catch home to please his father. He was an impressive man and his body was covered with hair. The two had a close relationship.

Jacob, on the other hand, was more quiet and reserved. He would tend the flocks and was closer to his mother than his father. Issac preferred Esau, while Rebekah favored Jacob. This sets up what would be a rather dramatic turn of events.

The firstborn was usually the son that would inherit the lion’s share of his father’s estate, and Issac had every intention of giving Esau his property. Esau would have received twice as much as Jacob, because of his birthright.

Jacob, the younger, had no legitimate claim. Interestingly, Issac himself was not the oldest son, as his half-brother Ishmael was the firstborn of Abraham, but God had intended all along that Issac, born to Abraham’s wife Sarah, would be the one to carry on the legacy.

Jacob wants Esau’s birthright

Esau did not care about the birthright, or at least he didn’t think about it. He just lived his life, hunting, enjoying each day. Jacob, on the other hand, wanted the birthright.

One day after hunting, Esau came home tired and hungry. Jacob was preparing dinner and had a pot simmering. Esau immediately wanted some.

He asked Jacob to give him some of the food. Jacob, a wise and cleaver man, told his brother that he would give him food if Esau would sell him his birthright.

Esau was a man who lived in the moment, one day at a time, and gave no thought to the meaning and significance of his birthright. He was hungry. He reasoned that his birthright was useless and that food was more important. He gave his birthright to Jacob.

Rebekah heard the whole conversation and she came up with a plan that would hand the birthright over to Jacob.

Jacob gets Esau birthright

Rebekah told Jacob to go out to the flock and bring back two lambs to be cooked, just the way Esau would cook them for his father. She told him cook the food and present it to Issac, but Jacob reminded her that he and his brother were not alike. Esau had hairy arms, while Jacob’s arms were smooth.

Jacob was afraid that the deception would anger his father, but Rebekah assured him that if he did what she instructed all would be well. She got some of Esau’s clothes and told Jacob to put them on. She placed some of the skins on his arms and hands, so he would “feel” like his older brother.

He went with the food to see his father, who was surprised to see him. Jacob identified himself as Esau. Issac’s eyesight was failing. He thought he recognized the voice of Jacob, so he asked him to come closer. When he felt his arms and hands, he was convinced it was Esau. Issac ate the food and gave Jacob the blessing, thinking he was Esau.

Esau decides to kill Jacob because of birthright

Soon after Esau came home, with his hunt, and prepared food for his father. When Esau came in and offered it, Issac was confused and asked “Who are you?” Esau answered him, then Issac trembled and asked, “The who is the one who came in and gave me the food and I blessed him?”

Esau knew what had happened and was angry. Issac was old and Esau decided that when his father died, he would kill Jacob and take back his birthright.

God chooses Jacob to make a great nation

Jacob (Hebrew meaning one who supplants) had little idea what was before him. He had tricked his brother Esau into giving up his birthright, with the help of his mother.

Very sneaky. But just as God had intended Isaac to be the heir to Abraham, Issac’s son Jacob was to continue making the great nation that God has promised.

Jacob gets wrong wife

Jacob left Canaan and went out to seek a wife. He met and wanted to marry Rachel, so he worked for her father, Laban, for seven years to earn her hand. But on the wedding night, Laban snuck Leah, his older daughter, into Jacob’s tent, a switch Jacob did not realize until morning.

Jacob, who stole his brother’s blessing, now had the wrong wife. Still he loved Rachel, so he worked another seven years to earn her hand.

Then he had two wives and each wife shared their servants with Jacob. All told, Jacob had twelve sons. Leah was the mother of Ruben (the oldest), Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun.

Rachel gave birth to Joseph and Benjamin. Zilpah (Leah’s maid servant) was the mother of Gad and Asher. Bilhah (Rachel’s maidservant) was the mother of Dan and Naphtali. (These sons would later be the names of the 12 tribes of Israel.)

Jacob returns to Canaan

While settling with Laban, Jacob became prosperous. That brought on some friction with the rest of the family, and that put Jacob’s life in jeopardy. The Lord told him to go back home to Canaan, so he packed up his wife, his servants and his children and returned to his homeland.

Before he crossed the river to enter, he sent his family and his possessions ahead and remained on the bank. During the night a man came to him and they wrestled each other.

Why? The Bible does not tell us. The fight was a draw basically, but ended when the mysterious man struck Jacob’s hip and pulled it out of joint.

The man asked Jacob to quit fighting and let go, but Jacob refused unless the man would bless him. The man said his name would no longer be Jacob, but Israel, “because you have struggled with both God and men and have won.”

And He (the mysterious person) said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” . . . And He blessed him there. (Genesis 32:24)

Jacob’s youngest son, changes history

Jacob’s youngest son, Joseph, changed this history and direction of the Israelites forever. Sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, Joseph would in the years ahead, rise to be the second most powerful man in Egypt.

When famine came to their homeland, the Israelites (Jacob’s offspring) went to Egypt for food. When their numbers grew, fearing their power, the Pharaoh ordered them to be enslaved. Some 400 years later, God used Moses to deliver them.

In the beginning was the Word…

The Bible


The Most Important Book

The Bible is an amazing book. It’s the most important book in human history. It defines existence. It is our story, regardless of race, gender or national origin. It’s God’s revelation of Himself to His creation.

No other book in human history has had the kind of scrutiny, has been debated more, or has been the cause of as much social upheaval.

The Bible represents ABSOLUTE TRUTH about how we were created, why we exist and how we should live. Although parts of it were written more than 3400 years ago, it is completely relevant for today.

The Bible represents COMPLETE LOVE, because God is willing to communicate to us through His word. He shows us how to live through His Law, and because of His mercy, He sends His only Son to us so that we can live forever with Him.

The Bible represents UNAVOIDABLE JUSTICE for all. He rights the wrongs that have been committed by the world, delivering the perfect penalty to those who deserve it.

The Bible represents an INFINITE RESOURCE that we can study our entire lives and still find new and exciting revelations in, every day.

Bible Verse

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

John 1


The Bible is the manual for human life. It gives insight and clarity into human behavior by examining man’s psychological makeup, and like no other book ever written, explains why we are the way we are. It is the story of how we came into being, but more importantly, WHY we came into being.

The Bible is not a history book, yet its history is accurate and at times strikingly detailed. It is not a science book, yet its scientific information is solid. It is the story of the relationship between God and man, written over a 1400 year period by over 40 different authors.

The Good Book

By some, the Bible is considered “the good book,” while others consider it to be the inspired word of God. Some consider every word to be the literal truth, while others view it as truths contained in stories of people. Its wisdom is undeniable, and its commandments are the basis of all Western Law.

For some, the Bible may seem too difficult to understand and therefore not useful for practical, every day matters. Still others consider it vital to those mundane aspects of human life and rely on its guidance and directives to avoid calamity.

For some it’s all about religion, rules and regulations, and how to act. Some others view it as the gentle teachings of a loving parent. It was written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, but translated into nearly every written language on the globe.

To set one important fact in place before you go any further, we not trying to prove the existence of God. For the followers of the Bible, namely Jews and Christians, it is a matter of faith more than fact, despite the overwhelming evidence it presents.

The Bible Chronicles Israel and the Life of Christ

The Hebrew texts of the Old Testament chronicle the amazing development of Israel, and the land that God promised to His people. For Christians, the story in the New Testament continues with the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah, written about by the Prophets.

The books of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, are one continuous story. Old Testament writings are considered by many Christians to be the very foundation of Christianity, essential to the faith and of equal importance to the New Testament writings. More specifically, Christians see the entire Bible as being the story of Jesus and God’s plan for mankind. It is God’s unfolding plan that can be seen beginning in the opening chapters of Genesis. As the history unfolds, so does insight into the nature and character of God, as he uses human events to shape the future of the world.

God Does Not Change

Human nature never changes. Science and technology certainly do, as does culture, but human nature is the constant. This is important to know because what was true of men and women 6000 years ago, is true today. The emotions are the same, the aspirations the same and the motivations are the same. It’s like the old saying, “the more things change the more they stay the same.”

The accounts of the Israelites in the desert can be easily applied to the motivations of people today, no matter what country they live in. That’s what makes the Bible amazing. It’s amazing because God was the inspiration and God does not change. He is the same—yesterday, today and tomorrow. The people he created are likewise the same and will be tomorrow.

We will try to give you reliable information and at times direct you to authoritative places to gain more knowledge and insight. We do not claim to be apologists (defenders of the faith), nor do we want you to consider our point of view as non-negotiable.

Read The Bible

We invite you to read the Bible for yourself and make up your own mind about what it means. God gave us free will and invited us to use reason to understand the relevance of His word. We just want to meet you where you are at and help your along your spiritual journey.

This site is a brief summary of an enormous topic, and will give you an introduction into the Bible. It is very likely to become the most important and enduring book of your life.