- First Reference: Genesis 25:26
- Last Reference: Hebrews 11:21
- Included in Eastons: Yes
- Included in Hitchcocks: Yes
- Included in Naves: Yes
- Included in Smiths: Yes
- Included in Websters: No
- Included in Strongs: Yes
- Included in Thayers: Yes
- Included in BDB: Yes
One who follows on another's heels; supplanter, (Genesis 25:26; 27:36; Hosea 12:2-4), the second born of the twin sons of Isaac by Rebekah. He was born probably at Lahai-roi, when his father was fifty-nine and Abraham one hundred and fifty-nine years old. Like his father, he was of a quiet and gentle disposition, and when he grew up followed the life of a shepherd, while his brother Esau became an enterprising hunter. His dealing with Esau, however, showed much mean selfishness and cunning (Genesis 25:29-34).
When Isaac was about 160 years of age, Jacob and his mother conspired to deceive the aged patriarch (Genesis 27), with the view of procuring the transfer of the birthright to himself. The birthright secured to him who possessed it (1) superior rank in his family (Genesis 49:3); (2) a double portion of the paternal inheritance (Deuteronomy 21:17); (3) the priestly office in the family (Numbers 8:17-19); and (4) the promise of the Seed in which all nations of the earth were to be blessed (Genesis 22:18).
Soon after his acquisition of his father's blessing (Genesis 27), Jacob became conscious of his guilt; and afraid of the anger of Esau, at the suggestion of Rebekah Isaac sent him away to Haran, 400 miles or more, to find a wife among his cousins, the family of Laban, the Syrian (28). There he met with Rachel (29). Laban would not consent to give him his daughter in marriage till he had served seven years; but to Jacob these years "seemed but a few days, for the love he had to her." But when the seven years were expired, Laban craftily deceived Jacob, and gave him his daughter Leah. Other seven years of service had to be completed probably before he obtained the beloved Rachel. But "life-long sorrow, disgrace, and trials, in the retributive providence of God, followed as a consequence of this double union."
At the close of the fourteen years of service, Jacob desired to return to his parents, but at the entreaty of Laban he tarried yet six years with him, tending his flocks (31:41). He then set out with his family and property "to go to Isaac his father in the land of Canaan" (Genesis 31). Laban was angry when he heard that Jacob had set out on his journey, and pursued after him, overtaking him in seven days. The meeting was of a painful kind. After much recrimination and reproach directed against Jacob, Laban is at length pacified, and taking an affectionate farewell of his daughters, returns to his home in Padanaram. And now all connection of the Israelites with Mesopotamia is at an end.
Soon after parting with Laban he is met by a company of angels, as if to greet him on his return and welcome him back to the Land of Promise (32:1, 2). He called the name of the place Mahanaim, i.e., "the double camp," probably his own camp and that of the angels. The vision of angels was the counterpart of that he had formerly seen at Bethel, when, twenty years before, the weary, solitary traveller, on his way to Padan-aram, saw the angels of God ascending and descending on the ladder whose top reached to heaven (28:12).
He now hears with dismay of the approach of his brother Esau with a band of 400 men to meet him. In great agony of mind he prepares for the worst. He feels that he must now depend only on God, and he betakes himself to him in earnest prayer, and sends on before him a munificent present to Esau, "a present to my lord Esau from thy servant Jacob." Jacob's family were then transported across the Jabbok; but he himself remained behind, spending the night in communion with God. While thus engaged, there appeared one in the form of a man who wrestled with him. In this mysterious contest Jacob prevailed, and as a memorial of it his name was changed to Israel (wrestler with God); and the place where this occured he called Peniel, "for", said he, "I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved" (32:25-31).
After this anxious night, Jacob went on his way, halting, mysteriously weakened by the conflict, but strong in the assurance of the divine favour. Esau came forth and met him; but his spirit of revenge was appeased, and the brothers met as friends, and during the remainder of their lives they maintained friendly relations. After a brief sojourn at Succoth, Jacob moved forward and pitched his tent near Shechem (q.v.), 33:18; but at length, under divine directions, he moved to Bethel, where he made an altar unto God (35:6, 7), and where God appeared to him and renewed the Abrahamic covenant. While journeying from Bethel to Ephrath (the Canaanitish name of Bethlehem), Rachel died in giving birth to her second son Benjamin (35:16-20), fifteen or sixteen years after the birth of Joseph. He then reached the old family residence at Mamre, to wait on the dying bed of his father Isaac. The complete reconciliation between Esau and Jacob was shown by their uniting in the burial of the patriarch (35:27-29).
Jacob was soon after this deeply grieved by the loss of his beloved son Joseph through the jealousy of his brothers (37:33). Then follows the story of the famine, and the successive goings down into Egypt to buy corn (42), which led to the discovery of the long-lost Joseph, and the patriarch's going down with all his household, numbering about seventy souls (Exodus 1:5; Deuteronomy 10:22; Acts 7:14), to sojourn in the land of Goshen. Here Jacob, "after being strangely tossed about on a very rough ocean, found at last a tranquil harbour, where all the best affections of his nature were gently exercised and largely unfolded" (Genesis 48). At length the end of his checkered course draws nigh, and he summons his sons to his bedside that he may bless them. Among his last words he repeats the story of Rachel's death, although forty years had passed away since that event took place, as tenderly as if it had happened only yesterday; and when "he had made an end of charging his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost" (49:33). His body was embalmed and carried with great pomp into the land of Canaan, and buried beside his wife Leah in the cave of Machpelah, according to his dying charge. There, probably, his embalmed body remains to this day (50:1-13). (See HEBRON.)
The history of Jacob is referred to by the prophets Hosea (12:3, 4, 12) and Malachi (1:2). In Micah 1:5 the name is a poetic synonym for Israel, the kingdom of the ten tribes. There are, besides the mention of his name along with those of the other patriarchs, distinct references to events of his life in Paul's epistles (Romans 9:11-13; Hebrews 12:16; 11:21). See references to his vision at Bethel and his possession of land at Shechem in John 1:51; 4:5, 12; also to the famine which was the occasion of his going down into Egypt in Acts 7:12 (See LUZ; BETHEL.)
that supplants, undermines; the heel
Son of Isaac, and twin brother of Esau
Genesis 25:24-26; Joshua 24:4; 1 Chronicles 1:34; Acts 7:8
Ancestor of Jesus
Given in answer to prayer
Obtains Esau's birthright for a mess of pottage
Genesis 25:29-34; Hebrews 12:16
Fraudulently obtains his father's blessing
Genesis 27:1-29; Hebrews 11:20
Esau seeks to slay, escapes to Padan-Aram
Genesis 27:41-46; Genesis 28:1-5; Hosea 12:12
His vision of the ladder
God confirms the covenant of Abraham to
Genesis 28:13-22; Genesis 35:9-15; 1 Chronicles 16:13-18
Sojourns in Haran with his uncle Laban
1 Chronicles 1:29; Hosea 12:12
Serves fourteen years for Leah and Rachel
Genesis 29:15-30; Hosea 12:12
Sharp practice of, with the flocks and herds of Laban
Dissatisfied with Laban's treatment and returns to the land of Canaan
Meets angels of God on the journey, and calls the place Mahanaim
Dreads to meet Esau; sends him presents; wrestles with an angel
Name of, changed to Israel
Genesis 32:28; Genesis 35:10
Reconciliation of, with Esau
Journeys to Succoth
Journeys to Shalem, where he purchases a parcel of ground from Hamor, and erects an altar
His daughter, Dinah, humbled
Returns to Beth-El, where he builds an altar, and erects and dedicates a pillar
Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, dies, and is buried at Beth-El
Journeys to Ephrath; Benjamin is born to; Rachel dies, and is buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem
Genesis 35:16-19; Genesis 48:7
Erects a monument at Rachel's grave
The incest of his son, Reuben, and his concubine, Bilhah
List of the names of his twelve sons
Returns to Arbah, the city of his father
Dwells in the land of Canaan
His partiality for his son, Joseph, and the consequent jealousy of his other sons
Joseph's prophetic dream concerning
His grief over the loss of Joseph
Sends into Egypt to bury corn
Genesis 42:1-2; Genesis 43:1-14
His grief over the detention of Simeon, and the demand for Benjamin to be taken into Egypt
His love for Benjamin
Genesis 43:14; Genesis 44:29
Hears that Joseph still lives
Removes to Egypt
Genesis 46:1-7; 1 Samuel 12:8; Psalms 105:23; Acts 7:14-15
List of his children and grandchildren who went down into Egypt
Pharaoh receives him, and is blessed by Jacob
The land of Goshen assigned to
Genesis 47:11-12; Genesis 47:27
Dwells in Egypt seventeen years
Exacts a promise from Joseph to buy him with his fathers
His benediction upon Joseph and his two sons
Gives the land of the Amorites to Joseph
Genesis 48:22; John 4:5
His final prophetic benedictions upon his sons:
Simeon and Levi
Charges his sons to bury him in the field of Machpelah
Body of, embalmed
Forty days mourning for
Genesis 29:31-35; Genesis 30:1-24; Genesis 35:18; Genesis 35:22-26; Genesis 46:8-27; Exodus 1:1-5; Exodus 13:2
Prophecies concerning himself and descendants
Genesis 25:23; Genesis 27:28-29; Genesis 28:10-15; Genesis 31:3; Genesis 35:9-13; Genesis 46:3; Deuteronomy 1:8; Psalms 105:10-11
(supplanter), the second son of Isaac and Rebekah. He was born with Esau, probably at the well of Lahai-roi, 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. (Jacob did not obtain the blessing because of his deceit, but in spite of it. That which was promised he would have received in some good way; but Jacob and his mother, distrusting God's promise, sought the promised blessing in a wrong way, and received with it trouble and sorrow.
ED.) Jacob, in his 78th year, was sent from the family home to avoid his brother, and to seek a wife among his kindred in Padan-aram. As he passed through Bethel, God appeared to him. After the lapse of twenty-one 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 Isr'l. 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 exceeded his 130th year when he went tither. He was presented to Pharaoh, and dwelt for seventeen 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. 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; 4:5,12; Acts 7:12,16; Romans 9:11-13; Hebrews 11:21; 12:16)
JAC'OBIN, noun [So named from the place of meeting, which was the monastery of the monks called Jacobines.]
The Jacobins, in France, during the late revolution, were a society of violent revolutionists, who held secret meetings in which measures were concerted to direct the proceedings of the National Assembly. Hence, a jacobin is the member of a club, or other person, who opposes government in a secret and unlawful manner or by violent means; a turbulent demagogue.
JAC'OBINE, noun A monk of the order of Dominicans.
1. A pigeon with a high tuft.
JACOBIN'ICAL, adjective Resembling the Jacobins of France; turbulent; discontented with government; holding democratic principles.
JAC'OBINISM, noun Jacobinic principles; unreasonable or violent opposition to legitimate government; an attempt to overthrow or change government by secret cabals or irregular means; popular turbulence.
JAC'OBINIZE, verb transitive To taint with Jacobinism.
JAC'OBITE, noun [from Jacobus, James.] A partizan or adherent of James II, king of England, after he abdicated the throne, and of his descendants; of course, an opposer of the revolution in 1688, in favor of William and Mary.
1. One of a sect of christians in Syria and Mesopotamia, who hold that Jesus Christ had but one nature.
JAC'OBITE, adjective Pertaining to the partizans of James II.
JAC'OBITISM, noun The principles of the partizans of James II.
a deep spring in the vicinity of Shechem (called Sychar in Christ's time and Nablus at the present day). It was probably dug by Jacob whose name it bears. On the curb of the well Jesus sat and discoursed with the Samaritan woman. (John 4:5-26) It is situated about half a mile southeast of Nablus, at the foot of Mount Gerizim. It is about nine feet in diameter and 75 feet deep. At some seasons it is dry; at others it contains a few feet of water.
(John 4:5, 6). This is one of the few sites in Palestine about which there is no dispute. It was dug by Jacob, and hence its name, in the "parcel of ground" which he purchased from the sons of Hamor (Genesis 33:19). It still exists, but although after copious rains it contains a little water, it is now usually quite dry. It is at the entrance to the valley between Ebal and Gerizim, about 2 miles south-east of Shechem. It is about 9 feet in diameter and about 75 feet in depth, though in ancient times it was no doubt much deeper, probably twice as deep. The digging of such a well must have been a very laborious and costly undertaking.
"Unfortunately, the well of Jacob has not escaped that misplaced religious veneration which cannot be satisfied with leaving the object of it as it is, but must build over it a shrine to protect and make it sacred. A series of buildings of various styles, and of different ages, have cumbered the ground, choked up the well, and disfigured the natural beauty and simplicity of the spot. At present the rubbish in the well has been cleared out; but there is still a domed structure over it, and you gaze down the shaft cut in the living rock and see at a depth of 70 feet the surface of the water glimmering with a pale blue light in the darkness, while you notice how the limestone blocks that form its curb have been worn smooth, or else furrowed by the ropes of centuries" (Hugh Macmillan).
At the entrance of the enclosure round the well is planted in the ground one of the wooden poles that hold the telegraph wires between Jerusalem and Haifa.
JACOB'S-LADDER, noun A plant of the genus Polemonium.
JACOB'S-ST'AFF, noun A pilgrim's staff.
1. A staff concealing a dagger.
2. A cross staff; a kind of astrolabe.
JAC'OBUS, noun [Jacobus, James.] A gold coin, value twenty-five shillings sterling, struck in the reign of James I.