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5. Jacob

Boy Writing Hebrew Letters on Blackboard

Who is Jacob?

Jacob, whose grandparents were Abraham and Sarah, had a remarkable journey in the Bible. His parents were Isaac and Rebekah, and his twin brother was Esau. Jacob was known for being a bit tricky, like when he got his brother Esau's blessing by pretending to be him. Along his journey, he had dreams about angels and even wrestled with one! Eventually, his name was changed to Israel, which means he struggled with God. He became the father of twelve sons, who started the twelve tribes of Israel. His wives were Leah and Rachel, and their handmaids were Bilhah and Zilpah. Jacob's sons were Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin. His daughter was Dinah.

One remarkable incident in Jacob's life was when he wrestled with a mysterious man all night long, symbolizing his struggle with both human and divine forces. Despite enduring a physical injury during the match, Jacob refused to let go until he received a blessing, showing his perseverance and faithfulness. This story highlights Jacob's transformative journey and his deep connection with God.

Torah Scroll

Jacob: Genesis 25-50

  • Takes Esau's birthright: Genesis 25:29-34

  • Gets the birthright blessing: Genesis 27

  • Has his dream about the ladder reaching heaven: Genesis 28:10-22

  • Marries his wives after being tricked to work for his father-in-law, Laban, for 14 years: Genesis 29-30

  • Runs away from Laban's home and his wife, Rachel, steals her father's most prized possessions: Genesis 31

  • Reunites with his brother Esau: Genesis 32

  • Wrestles a man one night during his journey. At the end, this being (God?) changes Jacob's name to Israel: Genesis 32:22-32

  • Ends up back in his home of Bethel, and his name is changed to Israel: Genesis 35

  • Has his family. The main character switches from Jacob to his son, Joseph: Genesis 35:22-26

  • Has his last words to his family: Genesis 49

Names: Did you know names have meanings in the Bible?

Take Jacob, for instance. His name was changed to Israel, which is pretty cool because it became the name of a whole nation! 

And get this: Jacob/Israel had 12 sons (and one daughter), and they ended up leading the 12 tribes of Israel. 

Names can hold a lot of significance, don't you think? What does your name mean? 

"Rated R"

Dinah, Jacob's daughter from his wife Leah, is an important but often overlooked character in the Bible. In chapter 34, a tragic event occurs when she is assaulted. This story is explored in depth from Dinah's perspective in "The Red Tent" by Anita Diamant, offering a unique and thought-provoking interpretation of her experiences.

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