The son of Isaac and Rebecca, third great patriarch of the chosen people, and the immediate ancestor of the twelve tribes of Israel. The incidents of his life are given in parts of Gen., xxv, 21-1, 13, wherein the documents (J, E, P) are distinguished by modern scholars (see ABRAHAM, I, 52). His name-- possibly an abbreviation of Jacob-El (Babylonian: Ya kub-ilu), with which compare Israel, Ismael etc. -- means "supplanter", and refers to a well-known circumstance of his birth (Genesis 25:25). His early years were marked by various efforts to get the birthright from his brother Esau. His struggle for it began before he was born (xxv, 22-5). Later, he took advantage of Esau's thoughtlessness and despair to buy it from him for a pottage of lentils (xxv, 29-33). In virtue of this purchase, and through a ruse, he finally got it by securing the blessing which Isaac intended for Esau (xxvii, 1-37), Then it was that, to escape his brother's avenging wrath, and apparently also to obtain a wife from his parents' stock, he fled to Haran, the dwelling place of Laban, his maternal uncle (xxvii, 41-xxviii, 5). On his way thither, he had at Luza the vision of the angels ascending and descending by a mysterious ladder which reached from earth to heaven, and of Yahweh renewing to him the glorious promises which He had made to Abraham and to Isaac; in consequence of this, he called the place Beth-El, and vowed exclusive worship to Yahweh should He accompany him on his way and bring him back safely home (xxviii, 11-22). Jacob's relations with Laban's household form an interesting episode, the details of which are perfectly true to Eastern life and need not be set forth here. Besides blessing him with eleven children, God granted to Jacob a great material prosperity, so that Laban was naturally desirous of detaining him. But Jacob, long wearied with Laban's frequent trickery, and also bidden by God to return, departed secretly, and, although overtaken and threatened by his angry father-in-law, he managed to appease him and to pursue his own way towards Chanaan (xxix-xxxi). He managed also--after a vision of angels at Mahanaim, and a whole night's wrestling with God at Phanuel, on which latter occasion he received a new blessing and the significant name of Israel--to appease his brother Easu, who had come to meet him with 400 men (xxxii-xxxiii, 16).
|BELIEVE Religious Information Source - By Alphabet Our List of 2,300 Religious Subjects|
Publication information Written by Francis E. Gigot. Transcribed by Paul T. Crowley. Dedicated to Mr. Cornelius Crowley The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. Published 1910. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York
This page - -
- - is at
This subject presentation was last updated on - -
Send an e-mail question or comment to us: E-mail
The main BELIEVE web-page (and the index to subjects) is at: BELIEVE Religious Information Source - By Alphabet http://mb-soft.com/believe/indexaz.html