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Jacob Wrestling with the AngelGustave Doré, 1855 (Granger Collection, New York).

Jacob is a figure in the Abrahamic religions. He was a patriarch of the Hebrew people, as told in the Hebrew Bible, the Talmud, the New Testament and the Qur'an. He was the ancestor of the tribes of Israel, which were named after his male children. He had 13 children, 12 sons and a daughter.

Jacob had an older brother, Esau. His mother was named Rebecca and his father named Isaac. According to the Talmud, immediately after Abraham died, Jacob prepared a lentil stew as a traditional mourner's meal for his father.[1] The Hebrew Bible says that Esau, who was very hungry, begged Jacob to give him some of the stew. (Esau called the dish, "that red, red stuff", which is why he is called Edom, Hebrew: אדום (`Edom, meaning "Red").) Jacob said, "If you give me your birthright I will give you some stew." Esau agreed.[2] Soon, Issac became almost blind. Rebecca tricked Issac into giving Jacob the blessing. Jacob's brother got angry, so Rebecca sent Jacob away.

Jacob works for his uncle Laban so he can marry his daughter Rachel. But he is tricked into marrying Leah, her older sister as well. He has children with both women, and with their concubines.

He is very upset when his son Joseph is sold into slavery in Egypt by his brothers. Jacob moves to Egypt when there is a famine. He dies and is buried in Canaan.


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