Jacob ( /ˈdʒeɪkəb/; Hebrew: יַעֲקֹב Yaʿakov, Yaʿăqōḇ; Septuagint Greek: Ἰακώβ Iakōb; Arabic: يَعْقُوب Yaʿqūb; "heel" or "leg-puller"), also later known as Israel (Hebrew: יִשְׂרָאֵל, Yisraʾel, Yiśrāʾēl, "persevere with God"; Septuagint Greek: Ἰσραήλ Israēl; Arabic: إِسْرَائِيل Isrāʼīl), as described in the Hebrew Bible, the Talmud, the New Testament and the Qur'an was the third patriarch of the Hebrew people with whom God made a covenant, and ancestor of the tribes of Israel, which were named after his descendants.
In the Hebrew Bible, he is the son of Isaac and Rebekah, the grandson of Abraham, Sarah and of Bethuel, and the younger twin brother of Esau. Jacob had twelve sons and at least one daughter, by his two wives, Leah and Rachel, and by their female slaves Bilhah and Zilpah. The children named in Genesis were Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, daughter Dinah, Joseph, and Benjamin.
Before the birth of Benjamin, Jacob is renamed "Israel" by God (Genesis 32:28-29 and 35:10). The name "Israel" can be translated as "God contended", but other meanings have also been suggested. Some commentators say the name comes from the verb śœarar ("to rule, be strong, have authority over"), thereby making the name mean "God rules" or "God judges". Other possible meanings include "the prince of God" (from the King James Version) or "El fights/struggles".
As a result of a severe drought in Canaan, Jacob moved to Egypt at the time when his son Joseph was viceroy. After Jacob died there 17 years later, Joseph carried Jacob's remains to the land of Canaan, where he gave them stately burial in the same Cave of Machpelah as were buried Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah and Jacob's wife, Leah (Genesis 49:29-50:14).
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Famous quotes containing the word jacob:
“I was not unemployed in my profession by the late John Jacob Astor; a name which, I admit, I love to repeat, for it hath a rounded and orbicular sound to it, and rings like unto bullion.”
—Herman Melville (18191891)
“As for me, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are now only the subtlest imaginable essences, which would not stain the morning sky.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)