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A Biography of Jacob

A Biography of Jacob

-For purposes of simplicity, I will refer to Jacob and Israel both as Jacob.

-For purposes of point of view, nearly all of this paper is from Jacob’s point of view, only bringing in other events necessary for this to make sense that happened without Jacob seeing.

Jacob is the father of Israel, for his twelve children each gave life to an entire tribe of Israelites. He wasn’t always pious, sometimes being even blasphemous, but apparently, he always walked with god, and all who came in his way either prospered or were conquered.

Jacob and Esau were born to Rebekah and Isaac. Esau came out first and thus was the eldest, all red and hairy. Jacob came out second, gripping his brother’s heel to be pulled out by him. He was named Jacob because of that. This symbolic moment when Jacob was born was but a glimpse of the events to come between Jacob and his brother, Esau. His mother, Rebekah, had a special place in her heart for Jacob, while his father loved Esau. In all probability the name Jacob was originally theophorous, the divine element of which--commonly el—is now missing (like Isaac, Joseph, Jephthah). The restored form would then be Ya’agobh-el. (61)

As they get older, they develop personalities. Esau was a hunter who spent most of his time out in the field. Jacob was a quiet man who lived among the tents.

One day, when Jacob was cooking a stew, Esau came in from the field very so hungry. He asked Jacob for some stew. Jacob was willing to sell him some for his birthright. Since Esau thought he was dying of hunger, he didn’t think he had much use for a birthright if he died, so he gave Jacob his birthright for some stew.

Some time later, Isaac was in his last days, and his vision was bad. He ca...

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...: Oxford University Press, 1994. Gen 34:31

31. Edited by Metzger, Bruce M. and Murphy, Roland E.. The New Oxford Annotated Bible. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994. Gen 35:10

32. Edited by Metzger, Bruce M. and Murphy, Roland E.. The New Oxford Annotated Bible. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994. Gen 42:36

33. Edited by Buttrick, George A.. The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible. New York: Abingdon Press, 1962. p.782-786

34. Edited by Metzger, Bruce M. and Murphy, Roland E.. The New Oxford Annotated Bible. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994. Gen 47:9

35. Edited by Metzger, Bruce M. and Murphy, Roland E.. The New Oxford Annotated Bible. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994. Gen 48:15

36. Edited by Metzger, Bruce M. and Murphy, Roland E.. The New Oxford Annotated Bible. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994. Gen 48:18

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