Skip to main content
Select Source:

Jacob

Jacob in the Bible, a Hebrew patriarch, the younger of the twin sons of Isaac and Rebecca, who persuaded his brother Esau to sell him his birthright and tricked him out of his father's blessing (Genesis 25, 27).

Jacob married his cousin Rachel and (through the deception of their father, his uncle Laban) her sister Leah; it was Rachel's children, his youngest sons Joseph and Benjamin who were dearest to him. His twelve sons became the founders of the twelve tribes of ancient Israel.
Jacob sheep a breed of piebald sheep named originally from the story in Genesis 30:40, in which Jacob, who has herded his uncle Laban's cattle and sheep, is given the speckled and brown animals for his portion.
Jacob's ladder a ladder reaching up to heaven, seen in a dream by Jacob (Genesis 28:12), when he saw the angels of God ascending and descending; it was in the same dream that God spoke to him and promised to him and his descendants the land on which he was then lying. When he woke in the morning he set up the stone which had been his pillow to mark the place, which was later named Bethel.
Jacob's stone a name given to the stone of Scone, said to have been the stone used by Jacob for a pillow when he had the dream of Jacob's ladder.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Jacob." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Jacob." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/jacob

"Jacob." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/jacob

Jacob

Jacob (jā´kəb), in the Bible, ancestor of the Hebrews, the younger of Isaac and Rebecca's twin sons; the older was Esau. In exchange for a bowl of lentil soup, Jacob obtained Esau's birthright and, with his mother's help, received the blessing that the dying Isaac had intended for his older son. Esau became so enraged that Jacob fled to his uncle, Laban, in Paddan-aram. On his way, at Bethel, he had a vision of angels ascending and descending the ladder to heaven. After 20 years serving Laban, Jacob started back to his native land with his two wives, Leah and Rachel, and his many sons—the eponymous ancestors of the 12 tribes of Israel. On the banks of the Jabbok, Jacob wrestled with an angel, received the name of Israel, and reconciled with Esau the next day. Later, Jacob migrated to Egypt, where he was reunited with his son Joseph. Jacob died there, but his sons buried him in the family plot at Machpelah. Modern biblical scholars question the historicity of Jacob. In the New Testament the name James is equivalent to the Hebrew Jacob.

See Y. Zakovitch, Jacob: Unexpected Patriarch (2012).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Jacob." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Jacob." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/jacob

"Jacob." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/jacob

Jacob

Jacob (Heb., Yaʿakov). Third Hebrew patriarch. Jacob was the younger twin son (with Esau) of Isaac and Rebekah. In the aggadah, the story of Jacob is understood as symbolic of the later history of the Jews—so Esau struggling with Jacob in their mother's womb is interpreted as the conflict between Rome and Israel (e.g. Gen.R. 63. 8).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Jacob." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Jacob." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/jacob

"Jacob." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/jacob

Jacob

Jacob Old Testament figure, grandson of Abraham and, by tradition, ancestor of the nation of Israel. He was the second-born son of Isaac and Rebecca and younger twin brother of Esau. Stories about him and his family form the last part of Genesis (25:19–50:13). The descendants of his 12 sons became the 12 tribes of Israel.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Jacob." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Jacob." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/jacob-0

"Jacob." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/jacob-0

Jacob

Jacob •Jacob •Arab, carob, scarab, Shatt al-Arab •cherub

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Jacob." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Jacob." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/jacob-0

"Jacob." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/jacob-0