Jacob is found on the Bible Timeline from 1836 BC to 1689 BC.  He was the second of the twin sons born to Rebekah and Issac.  The name Jacob is believed to mean one that follows on another’s heels. Another well-accepted meaning of his name is a deceiver. Jacob showed himself to be shrewd in his dealings with his impatient and passionate twin brother Esau as he took advantage of Esau’s extreme hunger to persuade him to trade his birthright for a bowl of stew. Also, Jacob and his mother Rebekah, co-conspired to acquire the blessing of the birthright from Jacob’s aged father, Issac.

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Esau sells his birthright to Jacob

The Birthright

This all important and strongly coveted birthright consisted of several benefits. They were:

  • The leadership in worship and the head of the family.
  • A double portion of the family inheritance.
  • Right to the covenant blessings that God promised Abraham in which all nations would be blessed

Jacob’s Own Deception

After successfully acquiring the blessing of the birthright from his father, he began to fear the wrath of his brother. Because of the encouragement of his mother and the recommendation of his father, Jacob fled to the land of Haran. There he was to find a wife. Jacob did fall in love with Rachel, his cousin, and negotiated to serve seven years of labor to acquire her hand in marriage. However, Jacob’s uncle Laban deceived Jacob and gave him his older sister Leah instead of Rachel according to their custom. Bargaining for another seven years of labor for Rachel, Jacob did eventually earn Rachel as his wife. Jacob proceeded to build his family. He had six sons and a daughter from his wife Leah, two sons from Leah’s maidservant, two sons from his wife Rachel’s maidservant, and two sons from his wife, Rachel.

The Return Home

After another six years, without announcement Jacob left to return to his father’s house. On his return journey, Jacob was visited by three angels. Many believe this was a sort of welcoming party back to the Promised Land. When he became aware of the approaching band of people led by his brother he sent a peace offering and greetings on to his brother Esau. He also sent his family on ahead of him so he could spend the night in communion with the Lord. During his time with the Lord, Jacob was visited by another angel of the Lord. This unusual visit was spent in a wrestling match between the angel and Jacob. As the angel could not overcome Jacob, he touched his hip and caused it to be wrenched from then on. Jacob refused to release the angel until he blessed him. From then on the Lord changed Jacob’s name to Israel, which means struggles with God. When Jacob resumed his journey home and met up with his brother Esau, the brothers met as friends and continued that relationship through the remainder of their lives. Rachel died during the birth of her last son Benjamin. Shortly after, Jacob suffered severe grief again when he was convinced that his favorite son Joseph had died.

During a severe famine, Jacob’s sons went to Egypt to acquire much-needed food. The events that ensued led Jacob to Egypt to be reunited with his long-lost son Joseph. He had his entire family together settled in Egypt for about seventeen years at the end of his life. His dying request was that he be buried where his fathers had been buried in the Promised Land.

Elsewhere in the World

Emperor YU ruled in China around this time. The First Intermediate Kingdom existed in Egypt. The Hittites took over the area now occupied by Turkey.

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5 thoughts on “Jacob

  1. It was said that the hebrews were in egypt 400 years, does that put exodus around 1300 bc.?

    1. Not according to our timeline based on the dates in King James Authorized compiled by Bishop James Ussher. Here is an article on that subject

    2. probably! its about a 70% chance though.

    3. Exodus was in 1446/1445 BC.

      The Hebrews were only in Egypt for half of that 400-year period, so from around 1670 or so BC to 1446 BC.

      The 400-year timeline starts with God’s covenant with Abraham in Genesis and includes the time Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob spent in Canaan before going down to Egypt.

  2. Jacob begot Joseph, how can that be the same Joseph the husband of Mary? That Joseph was before the Exodus from Egypt, or have I got my dates wrong?

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