martes, 26 de octubre de 2010

Jacob


Jacob

De Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre
Este artículo trata sobre Jacob el patriarca. Para otros usos de este término, véase Jacob (desambiguación).
Jacob luchando con el AngelGustave Doré, 1855 (Collection Granger , New York).
Jacob o Ya'akov, en hebreo יַעֲקֹב "sostenido por el talón" o en árabe يعقوب Yaʿqūb, conocido después como Israel hebreo יִשְׂרָאֵל "el que pelea con Dios", árabe اسرائيل Isrāʾīl) es uno de los patriarcas en la Biblia. Su historia es contada en el libro del Génesis.
Yavé continuamente declaró su amor por Jacob (Malaquías: "... yo amé a Jacob, y odié a Esaú...").
Cuenta el relato que Jacob compró la primogenitura de su hermano Esaú por un plato de lentejas (Génesis 25:34), y a su esposa, Raquel, la compró a su tío Labán a cambio de catorce años de trabajo. (Después de los siete primeros Labán lo engañó, entregándole a su hija Lea. Siete años más tarde le entregaría recién a Raquel).
Dios renombró a Jacob como Israel (Génesis 35:9-11) tiempo después que este protagonizara una lucha contra un ángel (Elhoim-dios) (Génesis 32:23-30), y llegaría a ser el padre de los israelitas.
Jacob, según la tradición, probablemente naciera en Lahai-roi, unos veinte años después del matrimonio entre Isaac y Rebeca, cuando para ese tiempo su padre tenía sesenta años de edad (Génesis 25:26), y su abuelo Abraham ciento sesenta años. Al igual que su padre, Jacob era de disposición tranquila, porque, según el relato, el era un ish tam, traducido como sencillo o puro, en el sentido de la perfecta sencillez. También dice que yacía en la tienda lo cual, interpretado por muchos eruditos bíblicos, es una señal de ser alguien muy estudioso.
Era el segundo nacido de los hijos mellizos de Isaac y Rebeca. Durante el embarazo, los niños "luchaban" dentro de ella (Génesis 25:22). Cuando Rebeca le consultó a Dios el porqué de la lucha, recibió el mensaje de parte de Él, que dos naciones, muy distintas entre ellas, estaban formándose en su vientre, y que el mayor serviría al menor. Rebeca siempre recordó estas palabras. De hecho, ella siempre favoreció a Jacob. Entretanto, su padre, Isaac, siempre favoreció a Esaú, el otro hijo mellizo, quien era un hombre de campo, y un gran cazador.

Contenido

[ocultar]

[editar] Historias bíblicas

[editar] Bendición del primogénito

Isaac bendice a Jacob, por Govert Flinck, 1638 (Rijksmuseum Amsterdam).
La biblia dice que cuando los muchachos estaban creciendo, Esaú, el cazador, un día vino hambriento, y le pidió a su hermano Jacob el plato de lentejas que estaba comiendo. Jacob, por consejo de su madre, le pidió que le vendiera la primogenitura como hijo mayor, a cambio del alimento. Esaú, viendo que este derecho era inservible para él si llegaba a morir, accedió, y así, en palabras bíblicas "despreció su primogenitura".
Este derecho no sólo incluía el tradicional rito bíblico de los primogénitos, el cual garantizaba un rango superior en la familia (Génesis 49:3), sino también, una doble porción de la herencia paternal (Deuteronomio 21:17).
Cuando Isaac envejeció, y había perdido bastante su vista al punto de quedar casi ciego, envió a Esaú a los campos, diciéndole que cazara algo para una última comida antes de recibir su bendición. Rebeca escuchó, y le dijo a Jacob que degollara dos cabritos, y se los trajera a su padre, para que recibiera de él la bendición de su hermano. Jacob objetó que su padre, aunque estaba casi ciego, podría notar la sustitución sólo con tocarlo, ya que Esaú era bastante velludo, y él era lampiño. Rebeca le dijo que no se preocupara, y le colocó a modo de fundas las pieles de los cabritos sobre cuello y manos.
Jacob, así vestido, fue a la presencia de su padre clamando ser su hermano, entonces Isaac, sospechando de su voz, pidió que se acercara para palparlo. Una vez que se "aseguró" que era "Esaú", le dio la bendición. Tan pronto como Jacob recibió dicha bendición y se marchó, Esaú llegó, cayendo en gran cólera por lo que había ocurrido. Isaac, quien ya se había dado cuenta del error, le dijo que lo único que podía darle era una bendición menor. Esaú, en cambio, juró que iba a matar a su hermano, una vez que su padre muriese.

[editar] Labán y Raquel

Jacob y Raquel junto a una fuente (grabado del siglo XIX).
Rebeca, su madre, dándose cuenta de antemano de las intenciones asesinas de Esaú, le llamó y lo hizo huir, enviándolo donde su tío, Labán, hasta que la furia de Esaú disminuyera. También, le aconsejó que buscara una esposa mientras viviera allí.
En el camino a Harán, experimentó una extraña visión, en la que sostenía una escalera que llegaba hasta el cielo, una visión que es comúnmente referida en las Escrituras como La Escalera de Jacob. Desde la cima de la escalera, escuchó la voz de Dios, que repetía muchas bendiciones hacia Jacob. Continuando su camino, llegó a Harán. Paró allí, y encontró a la hija más joven de su tío Laban, su prima Raquel. Después de que Jacob había vivido un mes con sus familiares, Laban le ofreció paga por la ayuda que le había dado. Jacob indicó que le serviría por siete años, pues no tenia dote o pertenencias para ofrecerle a cambio de la mano de Raquel en matrimonio, a lo cual Laban accedió.
Estos siete años le parecieron a Jacob "unos pocos días, por el amor que le tenía a ella". Pero una vez que se completó el tiempo establecido, Laban le dio a su hija mayor, Lea, en su lugar. En la mañana, cuando Jacob descubrió el cambio, se quejó, a lo que Laban dijo que en su país era inaceptable dar en matrimonio a la hija menor antes que la hija mayor. Entonces ofreció a Jacob darle a Raquel también, aunque sólo si permanecía con Lea. Él cumplió con la luna de miel y trabajó otros siete años.
Una vez que se casó con ambas, "Jacob amó a Raquel y despreció a Lea". Dios, viendo esto, hizo que Lea procreara muchos hijos. Ella le dio a luz a Rubén, Simeón, Leví, y a Judá antes de partir al desierto. Raquel, viendo que era incapaz de procrear un hijo, se puso celosa de su hermana, entonces pidió a Jacob que tuviera hijos con su criada, Bilha, para que ella pudiera tener un hijo a través de ella. Jacob hizo así, y Bilha le dio a luz a Dan y Neftalí. Así, Lea también entró en celos, y le pidió a Jacob que tuviera hijos también con su criada, Zilpa. Ella a su vez, le dio a Gad y Aser. Entonces, Lea volvió a ser fértil nuevamente, y le dio a luz a Isacar y Zabulóny Dina. Entonces Dios se acordó de Raquel y al fin, le dio un hijo, al que llamó José.
Para el tiempo en que nació José, Jacob deseaba volver a casa, pero Laban notó que Dios le había bendecido en gran manera mientras Jacob estuvo allí, por lo que le rogó que se quedara. Laban ofreció pagarle, entonces Jacob mencionó, como posible pago, parte del hato de ganado de Laban, el cual había aumentado grandemente. Laban accedió, e inmediatamente le dio todas las reses que Jacob había solicitado.
Conforme el tiempo pasaba, los hijos de Laban se dieron cuenta de que Jacob tomaba la mejor parte de sus rebaños, además de que la actitud amistosa de Laban hacia Jacob había cambiado. Entonces, Dios le advirtió a Jacob salir del pueblo, y después de una rápida consulta a sus esposas, el partió sin dar aviso a Laban. Antes de partir, Raquel robó los íconos de la casa de su padre.
Laban en gran ira, persiguió a Jacob durante siete días, pero la noche antes de que lo lograra alcanzar, Dios le habló en sueños y le dijo: "Debes tener cuidado de no hablar mal a Jacob" (Génesis 31:24).
El día que se encontraron, en el monte Gilead, Laban acusó a Jacob de escabullirse con sus hijas, como si fueran cautivos, y le cuestionó por qué no le había avisado de su partida con anticipación. Le menciono a Jacob que pudo herirlo, pero el mensaje de Dios la noche anterior lo detuvo de hacer esto. Finalmente preguntó por qué los íconos habían sido robados.
Jacob no sabía que Raquel había robado los iconos. Por tanto, le dijo a Laban que quienquiera que los haya robado debe ser muerto, a lo cual le solicitó permitirle buscar. Laban lo hizo así, mas cuando buscó en la tienda de Raquel, ella los escondió sentándose sobre ellos. Una vez que terminó su búsqueda, y vino sin nada, Jacob, molesto, lo reprendió por haberlos perseguido e insistir en revisar sus cosas, recordándole todo el tiempo que habían perdido mientras revisaban las tiendas. Ambos hicieron la paz, y Laban regresó a casa, y Jacob siguió su camino.

[editar] De regreso a la Tierra Prometida

"Y Jacob siguió su camino, y los Ángeles de Dios lo encontraron", debido a su fe en el Dios de Abraham. Debido a este encuentro Jacob llamó al lugar Majanaim, del hebreo מחניים, "el doble campo". Aquí, previamente él había visto a los ángeles, de los cuales había soñado verlos "subiendo y bajando en la escalera cuyo inicio alcanza los cielos" (Génesis 28:12).
Tan pronto se acercó a la Tierra Prometida, Jacob envió un mensaje a su hermano, Esaú. Sus sirvientes volvieron con la noticia de que Esaú estaba aproximándose, a encontrarse con Jacob con un ejército de 400 hombres. En gran agonía, Jacob se preparó para lo peor. Sintió que ahora debía encomendarse...
«dijo Jacob: Dios de mi padre Abraham, y Dios de mi padre Isaac, Yahvé (Jehová), líbrame ahora de la mano de mi hermano, de la mano de Esaú, porque le temo…» (Gn 32:10,11)
«Entonces Jacob dijo a su familia y a todos los que con él estaban: Quitad los dioses ajenos que hay entre vosotros… (Gn 35:2) «Dijo Dios a Jacob: Levántate y sube a Bet-el, y quédate allí; y haz allí un altar al Dios que te apareció cuando huías de tu hermano Esaú» (Gn 35:1).
Notar que Jacob no dice: vayamos y haré un altar a Dios, sino:
«subamos a Bet-el; y haré allí altar al Dios que me respondió en el día de mi angustia, y ha estado conmigo…» (Gn 35:2)

[editar] De los "dioses ajenos" al Dios de Jacob

«Y dieron a Jacob todos los dioses ajenos que había en poder de ellos…» (Gn 35:4)
Resulta conveniente ahondar el porqué de la existencia de esos «dioses ajenos» en la familia de Jacob:
Originalmente su abuelo Abraham y su bisabuelo Teraj adoraban a dioses "extraños" (posiblemente el dios Anu) (ver Josue 24:2). (Hay que tener en cuenta que durante centurias, toda la región había estado influida por las religiones de origen cananeo, cuya principal deidad era el dios IL (El, Elohim en hebreo), principal deidad de los nómadas y, por ende, con funciones eminentemente éticas y sociales. Es descrito como tolerante y benigno: recibe los títulos de «Padre de los dioses», «creador de las criaturas», «rey», «padre de los hombres», «amable», «misericordioso» y «toro». De este 'dios', Baal era "hijo").
Por otra parte es sabido que el patriarca Abraham fue llamado por esa grandiosa divinidad llamada Yahvé (Jehová) (Gn 12:1; 17:1; 22:11-16). Y ese omnipotente dios también llega a su mayordomo (Gn 24:12,26), a su sobrino Lot (Gn 19:16), a su sobrino Betuel (Gn 24:50), a su sobrino nieto Labán (Gn 24:31), y a su hijo Isaac (Gn 25:21).
Posteriormente, cuando Abraham llegó a Canaán se encontró con que los cananeos (la población local) a dios lo denominaban El. Así, en la ciudad de Siquem se lo conocía como «El Berit» (Jue 9:46). En Betel se lo llamaba «El Betel» (Gn 31:13). En Jerusalén le decían «El Elyón» (Gn 14:18-20). En Bersheba, «El Olam» (Gn 21:33). En el desierto del Néguev, «El Roí» (Gn 16:13)...
Allí, una vez establecidos, aquellos patriarcas empezaron a rendir culto a «Dios» en los santuarios del dios El. Es posible advertir que Isaac le pide a El Shaddai bendiciones para su hijo Jacob (Génesis 28:3) Todo parece contribuir a una especie de sincretismo entre el dios El y el Dios Yahvé.
Asimismo es interesante observar que Jacob se encontró con un "ángel" (Elohim-dios) con el cual tuvo que luchar hasta vencerlo: «Y el varón (ángel) le dijo: ¿Cuál es tu nombre? Y él respondió: Jacob. Entonces el varón (ángel) dijo: No se dirá más tu nombre Jacob, sino Israel; porque has luchado con Dios y con los hombres, y has vencido» (Gn 32:27,28).
Pero es notable que ese «dios» no conocía su nombre, ni le dice el suyo. No obstante, Jacob le pide bendición (Génesis 32:26-30).
[Ese «ángel» no puede haber sido un ángel del verdadero Dios Yahvé , pues le teme a la luz del amanecer (ver Job 24:17 y Oseas 12:4). Pero dado aquél sincretismo religioso en que vivían por entonces, Jacob dice haber visto a dios cara a cara (Gn 32:30)]. Al analizar su nuevo nombre surge la identidad de ese 'dios':
Israel (ישראל, del hebreo "el que lucha con(tra)EL"). (ver dios El)
Por su parte, el verdadero Dios Yahvé se le había aparecido cuando huía de su hermano… (Gn 35:7). [Este (Elohim) o «ángel» (lit. el "mensajero" o "enviado" de Yahvé) no es aquí un ser distinto de Dios (ver Éxodo 3:2 y 3:6), sino el mismo Señor en cuanto que se hace presente para comunicar un mensaje].
Lo destacable es que Jacob y sus descendientes (israelitas) se caracterizarían por luchar contra aquellos ídolos y por lo tanto adorar al único Dios Yahvé. Durante siglos, el pueblo de Israel lucharía contra la idolatría (los dioses del materialismo como El, Baal, Asera...)

[editar] Renombrado dos veces?

Posteriormente, en el Capítulo 35, la Biblia indica:
«Apareció otra vez Dios a Jacob, cuando había vuelto de Padan-aram, y le bendijo. Y le dijo Dios: Tu nombre es Jacob; no se llamará más tu nombre Jacob, sino Israel será tu nombre; y llamó su nombre Israel. También le dijo Dios: Yo soy el Dios omnipotente» (Gn 35:9-11)
Es fácil advertir que en esta oportunidad el verdadero Dios omnipotente Yahvé es el que se presenta a Jacob, (de quien no ignora el nombre) y lo bendice.
Jacob se estableció en Sucot por un tiempo. Mientras viajaba posteriormente a Efrata, camino de Belén, Raquel murió dando a luz a su segundo hijo, Benjamín, seis años después del nacimiento de José (Génesis 35:16-20).
Los descendientes de Jacob vivirían en Egipto. Continuaron el sincretismo religioso y se contaminaron con la vida materialista, egoísta e interesada de ese imperio (con sus 'dioses materiales')(Ezequiel 20:7), por eso el verdadero Dios tenía necesariamente que darse a conocer:
"El día que alcé mi mano para jurar a la descendencia de la casa de Jacob, cuando me di a conocer a ellos en la tierra de Egipto, cuando alcé mi mano y les juré, diciendo: Yo soy Yahvé, vuestro Dios" (Ez 20:5)
Se entiende entonces que entre tantos dioses que impregnaban la vida del pueblo (Ez 20:8), los hebreos destacaran posteriormente: "nuestro baluarte es el Dios de Jacob" (Salmo 46:7, 11)

[editar] Pérdida y reencuentro con José

"La túnica de José" por el pintor neoclásico José Vergara (1790)
Isaac murió a la edad de 180 años, 44 después de que bendijera a Jacob y lo enviara a Harán a buscar esposa. En este tiempo también, José, quien contaba con 30 años, había sido liberado de prisión en Egipto y había sido nombrado Gobernador de esas tierras, sólo por debajo del Faraón.
Tiempo antes de esto, Jacob había sido profundamente "herido en su alma" con la desaparición de su hijo amado, José, quien había sido vendido a unos mercaderes por sus hermanos a causa de los celos que le guardaban (Génesis 37:33). El resto del Génesis sigue la historia del hambre y de las idas sucesivas hacia Egipto para comprar grano (Génesis 42), que llevó al descubrimiento del José perdido.
El patriarca fue a Egipto con toda su casa a pedido de su hijo José. Las escrituras dicen que Jacob llegó a residir en la tierra de Gosén, con su familia que sumaban «setenta almas» (Éxodo 1:5); (Deuteronomio 10:22).
Llegando al fin de su vida, convocó a sus hijos al lado de su lecho y los bendijo. Junto con sus últimas palabras repitió la historia de la muerte de Raquel, aunque habían pasado ya 51 años desde su deceso, "como si hubiera sucedido ayer". Entonces, "él hizo un último pedido a sus hijos, recogió sus pies en el lecho, y expiró su alma" (Génesis 49:33), a la edad de 147 años (Génesis 47:28).
El cuerpo de Jacob fue embalsamado y llevado a la tierra de Canaán, donde fue enterrado con su esposa Lea, en la Cueva de Macpelá, de acuerdo a su solicitud antes de morir.

[editar] Los hijos de Jacob

Jacob tuvo doce hijos. De su primera esposa Lía tuvo a Rubén, Simeón, Leví, Judá, Isacar y Zabulón. También tuvo a su única hija Dina.
De Bilha, sierva de Raquel, tuvo a Dan y Neftalí.
De Zilpa, sierva de Lía, tuvo a Gad y Aser.
Por último, de su esposa favorita, Raquel, tuvo a José y Benjamín.
Estos comprendían las doce Tribus de Israel. Sin embargo, con Leví y José el asunto fue más complicado. Los descendientes de Leví, llamados levitas, fueron sacerdotes, y por lo tanto, no tenían tierras. Con el fin de hacer que el número de tribus fueran doce, ya que no se mencionaba a Leví, y no existía Tribu de José, se nombraron a los hijos de este último, que tuvo en Egipto con Asenat, como sustitutos: Efraím y Manasés.

[editar] Otros personajes bíblicos con el nombre Jacob

[editar] Referencias

[editar] Enlaces externos

Espacios de nombres
Variantes
Acciones

Jacob

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Jacob Wrestling with the AngelGustave Doré, 1855 (Granger Collection, New York).
Biblical longevity
Name Age LXX
Methuselah 969 969
Jared 962 962
Noah 950 950
Adam 930 930
Seth 912 912
Kenan 910 910
Enos 905 905
Mahalalel 895 895
Lamech 777 753
Shem 600 600
Eber 464 404
Cainan 460
Arpachshad 438 465
Salah 433 466
Enoch 365 365
Peleg 239 339
Reu 239 339
Serug 230 330
Job 210? 210?
Terah 205 205
Isaac 180 180
Abraham 175 175
Nahor 148 304
Jacob 147 147
Esau 147? 147?
Ishmael 137 137
Levi 137 137
Amram 137 137
Kohath 133 133
Laban 130+ 130+
Deborah 130+ 130+
Jehoiada 130 130
Sarah 127 127
Miriam 125+ 125+
Aaron 123 123
Rebecca 120+ 120+
Moses 120 120
Joseph 110 110
Joshua 110 110
Jacob (pronounced /ˈdʒeɪkəb/; Hebrew: יַעֲקֹב‎, Standard Yaʿakov, Tiberian Yaʿăqōḇ; Septuagint Arabic: يَعْقُوبYaʿqūb; Greek: Ἰακώβ Armenian: ՀակոբIakōb; "heel" or "leg-puller"), also later known as Israel (Hebrew: יִשְׂרָאֵל‎, Standard Yisraʾel, Tiberian Yiśrāʾēl; Septuagint Greek: Ἰσραήλ Israēl; Arabic: إِسْرَائِيلIsrāʾīl; "persevere with God"[1]), as described in the Hebrew Bible, was the third patriarch of the Jewish people whom God made a covenant with, and ancestor of the tribes of Israel, named after his descendants.
In the Hebrew Bible he is the son of Isaac and Rebekah, the grandson of Abraham and Sarah and of Bethuel, and the younger brother of Esau. He had twelve sons and several daughters, by his two wives, Leah and Rachel, and their maidservants, Bilhah and Zilpah. The children were Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, daughter Dinah, Joseph, and Benjamin.[2][3]
Before the birth of Benjamin, Jacob is renamed "Israel" by an angel (Genesis 32:28-29 and 35:10). The name "Israel" can be translated as "God contended",[4] 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".[5] Other possible meanings include "the prince of God" (from the King James Version) or "El fights/struggles".[6]
As a result of a severe drought in Canaan, Jacob moved to Egypt at the time when his son Joseph was viceroy. Jacob died there 17 years later, and 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).

Contents

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[edit] Accounts in the Hebrew Bible

The biblical account of the life of Jacob is found in the Book of Genesis, chapters 25-50.

[edit] Jacob and Esau's birth

Jacob and his twin brother, Esau, were born to Isaac and Rebekah after 20 years of marriage, when Isaac was 60 (Genesis 25:20, 25:26). Rebekah was uncomfortable during her double pregnancy and went to inquire of God why she was suffering. She received the prophecy that twins were fighting in her womb and would continue to fight all their lives, and after they became two separate nations. The prophecy also said that the older would serve the younger; its statement "one people will be stronger than the other" has been taken to mean that the two nations would never gain power simultaneously: when one fell, the other would rise, and vice versa. Traditionally, Rebekah did not share the prophecy with her husband.
When the time came for Rebekah to give birth, the first to come out emerged red and hairy all over, with his heel grasped by the hand of the second to come out. According to the traditional story, onlookers[citation needed] named the first עשו, Esau (`Esav or `Esaw, meaning "hairy" or "rough", from Hebrew: עשה‎, `asah, "do" or "make";[7] or "completely developed", from Hebrew: עשוי‎, `assui[citation needed]). The second is named יעקב, Jacob (Ya`aqob or Ya`aqov, meaning "heel-catcher", "supplanter", "leg-puller", "he who follows upon the heels of one", from Hebrew: עקב‎, `aqab or `aqav, "seize by the heel", "circumvent", "restrain", a wordplay upon Hebrew: עקבה‎, `iqqebah or `iqqbah, "heel").[8]
The boys displayed very different natures as they matured. "Esau became a hunter, a man of the field, but Jacob was a simple man, a dweller in tents" (Genesis 25:27). Moreover, the attitudes of their parents toward them also differ: "Isaac loved Esau because game was in his mouth, but Rebecca loved Jacob" (ibid., 25:28).

[edit] Sale of the birthright

Jacob offering a dish of lentils to Esau for his birthright, 18th century painting by Zacarias Gonzalez Velazquez.
The Hebrew Bible states that Esau, returning famished from the fields, begged Jacob to give him some of the stew. (Esau referred to the dish as, "that red, red stuff", giving rise to his nickname, Hebrew: אדום‎ (`Edom, meaning "Red").) Jacob offered to give Esau a bowl of stew in exchange for his birthright (the right to be recognized as firstborn), and Esau agreed.

[edit] Jacob's deception of Isaac

Much later, Isaac became blind in his old age and, uncertain of when he would die, decided to bestow the blessing of the firstborn upon Esau. He sent Esau out to the fields to trap and cook a piece of savory game for him, so that he could eat it and bless Esau.
Rebecca overheard this conversation and realized prophetically that Isaac's blessings would go to Jacob, since she was told before the twins' birth that the older son would serve the younger.[9] She therefore ordered Jacob to bring her two goats from the flock, which she cooked in the way Isaac loved, and had him bring them to his father in place of Esau.
When Jacob protested that his father would recognize the deception and curse him as soon as he felt him, since Esau was hairy and Jacob smooth-skinned, Rebekah said that the curse would be on her instead. Before she sent Jacob to his father, she dressed him in Esau's garments and laid goatskins on his arms and neck to simulate hairy skin.
Isaac Blessing Jacob, by Govert Flinck, 1638 (Rijksmuseum Amsterdam).
Thus disguised, Jacob entered his father's room. Surprised to perceive that Esau was back so soon, Isaac asked how it could be that the hunt went so quickly. Jacob responded, "Because the Lord your God arranged it for me"; Rashi (on Genesis 27:21) says Isaac's suspicions were aroused because Esau never used the personal name of God. Isaac demanded that Jacob come close so he could feel him, but the goatskins felt just like Esau's hairy skin. Confused, Isaac exclaimed, "The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau!" (27:22). Still trying to get at the truth, Isaac asked him point-blank, "Are you really my son Esau?" and Jacob answered simply, "I am" (which can be taken as "I am me", not "I am Esau"). Isaac proceeded to eat the food and to drink the wine that Jacob gave him, and then he blessed him with the dew of the heavens, the fatness of the earth, and rulership over many nations as well as his own brother.
Jacob had scarcely left the room when Esau returned from the hunt to prepare his game and receive the blessing. The realization that he has been deceived shocked Isaac, yet he acknowledged that Jacob had received the blessings as sworn, by adding, "Indeed, he will be [or remain] blessed!" (27:33).
Esau was heartbroken by the deception, and begged for his own blessing. Having made Jacob a ruler over his brothers, Isaac could only promise, "By your sword you shall live, but your brother you shall serve; yet it shall be that when you are aggrieved, you may cast off his yoke from upon your neck" (27:39-40).
Esau was filled with hatred toward Jacob for taking away both his birthright and his blessing. He vowed to himself to kill Jacob as soon as Isaac died. When Rebecca heard about his murderous intentions,[10] she ordered Jacob to travel to her brother Laban's house in Haran, until Esau's anger subsided. She convinced Isaac to send Jacob away by telling him that she despaired of him marrying a local girl from the idol-worshipping families of Canaan (as Esau had done). After Isaac sent Jacob away to find a wife, Esau realized that his own Canaanite wives were evil in his father's eyes, and he took a daughter of Isaac's half-brother Ishmael as another wife.

[edit] Jacob's ladder

Jacob's Ladder, early 1900's Bible illustration
Nearby Luz en route to Haran, Jacob experienced a vision of a ladder or staircase reaching into heaven with angels going up and down it, commonly referred to as "Jacob's ladder". From the top of the ladder he heard the voice of God, who repeated many of the blessings upon him.
According to Rashi, this ladder signified the exiles that the Jewish people would suffer before the coming of the Jewish Messiah: the angels that represented the exiles of Babylonia, Persia, and Greece each climbed up a certain number of steps, paralleling the years of the exile, before they "fell down"; but the angel representing the last exile, that of Rome or Edom, kept climbing higher and higher into the clouds. Jacob feared that his children would never be free of Esau's domination, but God assured him that at the End of Days, Edom too would come falling down.
Jacob awakened, and continued on his way to Haran in the morning, naming the place "Bethel", "God's house".

[edit] Jacob's marriages

Arriving in Haran, Jacob saw a well where the shepherds were gathering their flocks to water them, and met Laban's younger daughter Rachel, Jacob's first cousin; she was working as a shepherdess. He loved her immediately, and after spending a month with his relatives, asked for her hand in marriage in return for working seven years for Laban. Laban agreed to the arrangement. These seven years seemed to Jacob "but a few days, for the love he had for her"; but when they were complete and he asked for his wife, Laban deceived Jacob by switching Rachel's older sister, Leah, as the veiled bride.
Rachel and Jacob by William Dyce
In the morning, when the truth became known, Laban justified himself, saying that in his country it was unheard of to give the younger daughter before the older. However, he agreed to give Rachel in marriage as well if Jacob would work another seven years for her. After the week of wedding celebrations with Leah, Jacob married Rachel, and he continued to work for Laban for another seven years.
Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah, and Leah felt hated. God opened Leah's womb and she gave birth to four sons rapidly: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah. Rachel, however, remained barren. Following the example of Sarah, who gave her handmaid to Abraham after years of infertility, Rachel gave Jacob her handmaid, Bilhah, in marriage, so that Rachel could raise children through her. Bilhah gave birth to Dan and Naphtali. Seeing that she had left off childbearing temporarily, Leah then gave her handmaid Zilpah to Jacob in marriage so that Leah could raise more children through her. Zilpah gave birth to Gad and Asher. (According to some commentators, Bilhah and Zilpah were younger daughters of Laban.)[citation needed] Afterwards, Leah became fertile again and gave birth to Issachar, Zebulun, and Dinah. God remembered Rachel, who gave birth to Joseph. If pregnancies of different marriages overlapped, the twelve births could have occurred within seven years.
After Joseph was born, Jacob decided to return home to his parents. Laban was reluctant to release him, as God had blessed his flock on account of Jacob. Laban asked what he could pay Jacob, and Jacob proposed that all the spotted, speckled, and brown goats and sheep of Laban's flock, at any given moment, would be his wages. Jacob placed peeled rods of poplar, hazel, and chestnut within the flocks' watering holes or troughs, an action he later attributes to a dream. The text suggests that Jacob performed breeding experiments over the years to make his own flocks both more abundant and stronger than Laban's, that Laban responded by repeatedly reinterpreting the terms of Jacob's wages, and that the breeding favored Jacob regardless of Laban's pronouncements. Thus Jacob's herds increased and he became very wealthy.
As time passed, Laban's sons noticed that Jacob was taking the better part of their flocks, and Laban's friendly attitude towards Jacob began to change. God told Jacob that he should leave, and he and his wives and children did so without informing Laban. Before they left, Rachel stole the teraphim, considered to be household idols, from Laban's house.
In a rage, Laban pursued Jacob for seven days. The night before he caught up to him, God appeared to Laban in a dream and warned him not to say anything good or bad to Jacob. When the two met, Laban played the part of the injured father-in-law and also demanded his teraphim back. Knowing nothing about Rachel's theft, Jacob told Laban that whoever stole them should die, and stood aside to let him search. When Laban reached Rachel's tent, she hid the teraphim by sitting on them and stating she could not get up because she was menstruating; this event was considered by the Biblical audience as conveying significant defilement upon the teraphim.[citation needed] Jacob and Laban then parted from each other with a pact to preserve the peace between them. Laban returned to his home and Jacob continued on his way.

[edit] Journey back to Canaan

Jacob struggles with the angel, by Rembrandt (Gemäldegalerie, Berlin).
As Jacob neared the land of Canaan, he sent messengers ahead to his brother Esau. They returned with the news that Esau was coming to meet Jacob with an army of 400 men. With great apprehension, Jacob prepared for the worst. He engaged in earnest prayer to God, then sent on before him a tribute of flocks and herds to Esau, "a present to my lord Esau from thy servant Jacob".
Jacob then transported his family and flocks across the ford Jabbok by night, then recrossed back to send over his possessions, being left alone in communion with God. There, a mysterious being appeared ("man", Genesis 32:24, 28; or "God", Genesis 32:28, 30, Hosea 12:3, 5; or "angel", Hosea 12:4), and the two wrestled until daybreak. When the being saw that he did not overpower Jacob, he touched Jacob on the sinew of his thigh (the gid hanasheh, גיד הנשה), and as a result, Jacob developed a limp (Genesis 32:31). Because of this, "to this day the people of Israel do not eat the sinew of the thigh that is on the hip socket" (Genesis 32:32). This incident is the source of the mitzvah of porging.[11]
Jacob then demanded a blessing, and the being declared that from then on, Jacob would be called יִשְׂרָאֵל, Israel (Yisra`el, meaning "one that struggled with the divine angel" (Josephus), "one who has prevailed with God" (Rashi), "a man seeing God" (Whiston), "he will rule as God" (Strong), or "a prince with God" (Morris), from Hebrew: שרה‎, "prevail", "have power as a prince").[12] Jacob asked the being's name, but he refused to answer. Afterwards Jacob named the place Penuel (Penuw`el, Peniy`el, meaning "face of God"),[13] saying "I have seen God face to face and lived."
Because the terminology is ambiguous ("el" in Yisra`el) and inconsistent, and because this being refused to reveal his name, there are varying views as to whether he was a man, an angel, or God. Josephus uses only the terms "angel", "divine angel", and "angel of God", describing the struggle as no small victory. According to Rashi, the being was the guardian angel of Esau himself, sent to destroy Jacob before he could return to the land of Canaan. Trachtenberg theorized that the being refused to identify itself for fear that, if its secret name was known, it would be conjurable by incantations.[14] Literal Christian interpreters like Henry M. Morris say that the stranger was "God Himself and, therefore, Christ in His preincarnate state", citing Jacob's own evaluation and the name he assumed thereafter, "one who fights victoriously with God", and adding that God had appeared in the human form of the Angel of the LORD to eat a meal with Abraham in Genesis 18.[15]
In the morning, Jacob assembled his 4 wives and 11 sons, placing the maidservants and their children in front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph in the rear. Some commentators cite this placement as proof that Jacob continued to favor Joseph over Leah's children, as presumably the rear position would have been safer from a frontal assault by Esau, which Jacob feared. Jacob himself took the foremost position. Esau's spirit of revenge, however, was apparently appeased by Jacob's bounteous gifts of camels, goats and flocks. Their reunion was an emotional one.
Peter Paul Rubens, The Reconciliation of Jacob and Esau, 1624.
Esau offered to accompany them on their way back to Israel, but Jacob protested that his children were still young and tender (born 6 to 13 years prior in the narrative); Jacob suggested eventually catching up with Esau at Mount Seir. According to the Sages, this was a prophetic reference to the End of Days, when Jacob's descendants will come to Mount Seir, the home of Edom, to deliver judgment against Esau's descendants for persecuting them throughout the millennia (see Obadiah 1:21). Jacob actually diverted himself to Succoth and was not recorded as rejoining Esau until, at Machpelah, the two bury their father Isaac, who lived to 180 and was 60 years older than them.
Jacob then arrived in Shechem, where he bought a parcel of land, now identified as Joseph's Tomb. In Shechem, Jacob's daughter Dinah was kidnapped and raped by the ruler's son, who desired to marry the girl. Dinah's brothers, Simeon and Levi, agreed in Jacob's name to permit the marriage as long as all the men of Shechem first circumcised themselves, ostensibly to unite the children of Jacob in Abraham's covenant of familial harmony. On the third day after the circumcisions, when all the men of Shechem were still in pain, Simeon and Levi put them all to death by the sword and rescued their sister Dinah, and their brothers plundered the property, women, and children. Jacob condemned this act, saying "You have brought trouble on me by making me a stench to the Canaanites and Perizzites, the people living in this land."[16] He later rebuked his two sons for their anger in his deathbed blessing (Genesis 49:5-7).
Jacob returned to Bethel, where he had another vision of blessing. Although the death of Rebecca, Jacob's mother, is not explicitly recorded in the Bible, Deborah, Rebecca's nurse, died and was buried at Bethel, at a place that Jacob calls Allon Bachuth (אלון בכות), "Oak of Weepings" (Genesis 35:8). According to the Midrash,[17] the plural form of the word "weeping" indicates the double sorrow that Rebecca also died at this time.
Jacob then made a further move while Rachel was pregnant; near Bethlehem, Rachel went into labor and died as she gave birth to her second son, Benjamin (Jacob's twelfth son). Jacob buried her and erected a monument over her grave. Rachel's Tomb, just outside Bethlehem, remains a popular site for pilgrimages and prayers to this day. Jacob then settled in Migdal Eder, where his firstborn, Reuben, slept with Rachel's servant Bilhah; Jacob's response was not given at the time, but he did condemn Reuben for it later, in his deathbed blessing. Jacob was finally reunited with his father Isaac in Mamre (outside Hebron).
When Isaac died at the age of 180, Jacob and Esau buried him in the Cave of the Patriarchs, which Abraham had purchased as a family burial plot. At this point in the Biblical narrative, two genealogies of Esau's family appear under the headings "the generations of Esau". A conservative interpretation is that, at Isaac's burial, Jacob obtained the records of Esau, who had been married 80 years prior, and incorporated them into his own family records, and that Moses augmented and published them.[18]
Joseph's Coat Brought to Jacob
by Giovanni Andrea de Ferrari, c. 1640.

[edit] Jacob in Egypt

Joseph was Jacob's favorite son, and Jacob gave him a coat of many colors. Jacob's other sons were jealous of Joseph, and when he was 17 years old, they sold him to traders heading to Egypt. They dipped Joseph's coat in blood and brought it to Jacob. Robert Alter notes that at this point the narrative switches to formal verse: there is "an element of self-dramatization in the way Jacob picks up the hint of his son's supposed death and declaims it metrically before his familial audience."[19] Jacob says (Genesis 37:33), "It is my son’s tunic. A wild beast has devoured him. Without doubt Joseph is torn to pieces." Yet, even as Jacob was mourning for his son, Joseph was being sold as a slave to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh's officials.
While a slave in Potiphar's house, Joseph resisted the advances of his master's wife. He was accused of trying to rape her, and was thrown into prison. After a while, the Pharaoh of Egypt had two troubling dreams, and his butler recalled having met Joseph in prison, and told Pharaoh of his ability to interpret dreams. Joseph was called from prison and interpreted the dreams as prophesying seven years each of abundance and famine. Pharaoh was so impressed that he made Joseph viceroy (second in command) over Egypt and the manager of Egypt's grain stores, due to the prophecy of famine. When the prophesied famine struck throughout the known world, Joseph sold stored grain to men of all nations.
When famine fell on Canaan, Jacob sent ten of his sons to Egypt to buy grain, the youngest, Benjamin, remaining with Jacob in Canaan.[20] Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him. Joseph received them roughly and accused them of being spies, and sent them back to their father, demanding that they return with Benjamin. And so the brothers returned to Jacob in Canaan, with Reuben lamenting that they had not listened to him and spared the life of their brother Joseph.[21]
Joseph identified by his brothers by Charles Thévenin.
Jacob sent his sons again to Egypt for grain. As Joseph had commanded them not to appear before him again without Benjamin, Jacob was compelled to let Benjamin go with them. And they were amazed when this time the viceroy received them kindly, and took them to feast in his own house, inquiring after their father and their youngest brother Benjamin.[22] But while they feasted, Joseph gave orders to his servants to fill their sacks with wheat and put his silver goblet in Benjamin's sack. On the following morning the brothers departed, but before they had gone far a messenger overtook them, accusing them of stealing the goblet. And when the messenger searched their sacks he found the goblet in Benjamin's sack, and ordered them to return. In front of Joseph, whom he still did not know, Judah pleaded that Benjamin be allowed to return to his father, and he himself kept in Benjamin's place.[23]
Overcome by Judah's appeal, Joseph disclosed himself to his brothers, assuring them that in treating him as they did they had been carrying out the will of God. He then urged them to return home quickly and bring all their families to Egypt, to live in the land of Goshen. And Pharaoh, when he heard of this, rejoiced, and gave to Joseph and his brothers the best that Egypt could offer.[24]
And so Jacob and all his family came to Egypt, seventy persons plus their wives,[25] and all, except for Joseph, his two sons and one grandchild, were settled in the Land of Goshen.[26] Joseph presented Jacob and five of his brothers to Pharaoh, and Jacob blessed Pharaoh.[27]

[edit] The blessing of Jacob

When Jacob felt that his days were near, he blessed Manasseh and Ephraim, the sons of Joseph, giving them equal inheritance with his own sons. But despite protests by Joseph, Jacob blessed Ephraim the younger first above Manasseh.[28] He also gave his blessing upon all his sons. (Genesis 49) Though he blessed them in order by their age, the blessing he gave Joseph was greater than the others:
'Joseph is a fruitful tree by a spring, whose branches climb over the wall. The archers savagely attacked him, shooting and assailing him fiercely, but Joseph's bow remained unfailing and his arms were tireless by the power of the Strong One of Jacob, by the name of the Shepherd of Israel, by the God of your father-so may he help you! By God Almighty-so may he bless you with the blessings of heaven above, and the blessings of the deep that lies below! The blessings of breast and womb and the blessings of your father are stronger than the blessings of the eternal mountains and the bounty of the everlasting hills. May they rest on the head of Joseph, on the brow of him who was prince among his brothers.'
Jacob blessing his grandchildren, Ephraim and Manasseh, in the presence of Joseph and their mother Asenath by Mattia Preti, 17th century (Whitfield Fine Art Gallery).
Jacob adopted Joseph's two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, as his own. Anticipating his death, he blessed each of his 12 sons with varying blessings he deemed appropriate. It has been understood that Judah, the fourth born, received the primary blessing, due to Reuben's incest and Simeon's and Levi's betrayal.

[edit] Death

As the story is told in Genesis, After being settled for 17 years in Egypt, when Jacob felt his end was approaching, he called Joseph to him, and made him swear to bury him not in Egypt, but with his fathers.[29]
When Jacob died, at the age of 147,[30] Joseph had Jacob's body embalmed and, with Pharaoh's permission, taken back to Canaan, with the twelve sons carrying their father's coffin and many Egyptian officials accompanying them,[31] and Jacob was buried in the cave of Machpelah, which Abraham had bought, and in which Abraham and Sarah, and Isaac and Rebecca, and Jacob's first wife Leah were buried.

[edit] Sons of Jacob

Jacob's wives had twelve sons and one daughter: Reuben (Genesis 29:32), Simeon (Genesis 29:33), Levi (Genesis 29:34), Judah (Genesis 29:35), Dan (Genesis 30:5), Naphtali (Genesis 30:7), Gad (Genesis 30:10), Asher (Genesis 30:12), Issachar (Genesis 30:17), Zebulun (Genesis 30:19), Dinah (Genesis 30:21), Joseph (Genesis 30:23), and Benjamin (Genesis 35:18).

The offspring of Jacob's sons became the tribes of Israel following the Exodus, when the Israelites conquered and settled in the Land of Israel.

[edit] Jewish teachings

According to the classic Jewish texts, Jacob, as the third and last patriarch, lives a life that parallels the descent of his offspring, the Jewish people, into the darkness of exile. In contrast to Abraham — who illuminates the world with knowledge of God and earns the respect of the inhabitants of the land of Canaan — and Isaac — who continues his father's teachings and also lives in relative harmony with his neighbors —
There are two opinions in the Midrash as to how old Rebekah was at the time of her marriage and, consequently, at the twins' birth. According to the traditional counting cited by Rashi, Isaac was 37 years old at the time of the Binding of Isaac, and news of Rebekah's birth reached Abraham immediately after that event.[32] In that case, since Isaac was 60 when Jacob and Essau were born and they had been married for 20 years, then Isaac was 40 years old when he married Rebekah (Gen. 25:20), making Rebekah 3 years old at the time of her marriage, and 23 years old at the birth of Jacob and Essau. According to the second opinion, Isaac was 29 years old and Rebekah was 14 years old at the time of their marriage, and 34 years old at the birth of Jacob and Essau.[33] In either case, Isaac and Rebekah were married for 20 years before Jacob and Esau were born. The Midrash says that during Rebekah's pregnancy whenever she would pass a house of Torah study, Jacob would struggle to come out; whenever she would pass a house of idolatry, Esau would agitate to come out.[34]
Rashi explained that Isaac, when blessing Jacob instead of Esau, smelled the heavenly scent of Gan Eden (Paradise) when Jacob entered his room and, in contrast, perceived Gehenna opening beneath Esau when the latter entered the room, showing him that he had been deceived all along by Esau's show of piety.[35]
When Laban planned to deceive Jacob into marrying Leah instead of Rachel, the Midrash recounts that both Jacob and Rachel suspected that Laban would pull such a trick; Laban was known as the "Aramean" (deceiver), and changed Jacob's wages ten times during his employ (Genesis 31:7). The couple therefore devised a series of signs by which Jacob could identify the veiled bride on his wedding night. But when Rachel saw her sister being taken out to the wedding canopy, her heart went out to her for the public shame Leah would suffer if she were exposed. Rachel therefore gave Leah the signs so that Jacob would not realize the switch.

[edit] Apocalyptic literature

The Apocalyptic literature includes many ancient texts with narratives about Jacob, many times with details different from Genesis. The more important are the book of Jubilees and the Book of Biblical Antiquities. Jacob is also the protagonist of the Testament of Jacob, of the Ladder of Jacob and of the Prayer of Joseph, which interpret the experience of this Patriarch in the context of merkabah mysticism.

[edit] Eastern Christianity

Russian Orthodox Icon of St. Jacob, 18th century (Iconostasis of Kizhi monastery, Russia).
The Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite see Jacob's dream as a prophecy of the Incarnation of the Logos, whereby Jacob's ladder is understood as a symbol of the Theotokos (Virgin Mary), who, according to Orthodox theology, united heaven and earth in her womb. The biblical account of this vision (Genesis 28:10-17) is one of the standard Old Testament readings at Vespers on Great Feasts of the Theotokos.
The account of Jacob's blessing of Joseph's sons is also seen as prophetic: when he crosses his arms to bestow his patriarchal blessing (Genesis 48:8-20), this is seen as a foreshadowing of the blessings Christians believe resulted from Jesus' death on the cross.

[edit] Islam

Islam sees Jacob (Ya'qub) as a Prophet of Islam and Muslims believe that he preached the same monotheistic faith as his forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Ishmael. In Arabic, Jacob is known as Ya`qūb ( يعقوب). He is revered as a prophet who received inspiration from God. The Qur'an does not give the details of Jacob’s life but makes it extremely clear that he was among the most righteous of men. God perfected His favor upon Jacob as He had perfected His favor upon Abraham and Isaac (12:6). Jacob was a man of might and vision (38:45) and was chosen by God to preach the Message.
One thing to note is that, in the Qur'an, there is no mention of Jacob's Ladder, the vision he is said to have experienced in the Torah, and the story of which is told of in the Hebrew Bible. Instead, the Qur'an stresses that worshiping and bowing to the One true God was the main legacy of Jacob and his fathers (2:132-133). Salvation, according to the Qur'an, hinges upon this legacy rather than being a Jewish Patriarch (See Qur'an 2:130-141) or experiencing a vision of any sort.
According to the Qur'an, Jacob was of the company of the Elect and the Good (38:47, 21:75). Ya`qūb is a name that is accepted in Muslim community showing the value attributed to Jacob.

[edit] See also

  • History of ancient Israel and Judah
  • Jacob Wrestling with the Angel, the name given to at least three different major paintings
  • During the Second World War the French writer and anti-Nazi resistance fighter André Malraux worked on a long novel, The Struggle Against the Angel, the manuscript of which was destroyed by the Gestapo upon his capture in 1944. The name was apparently inspired by the Jacob story. A surviving opening book to The Struggle Against the Angel, named The Walnut Trees of Altenburg, was published after the war.

[edit] References

  1. ^ Wells, John C. (1990). Longman pronunciation dictionary. Harlow, England: Longman. p. 381. ISBN 0582053838.  entry "Jacob"
  2. ^ See Genesis 37:35
  3. ^ Enumerations of the twelve tribes vary. Because Jacob effectively adopted two of his grandsons by Joseph and Asenath, namely Ephraim and Manasseh, the two grandsons were often substituted for the Tribe of Joseph, yielding thirteen tribes, or twelve if Levi is set apart.
  4. ^ Mike Campbell, Behind the Name, entry Israel
  5. ^ Hamilton 1995, p. 334
  6. ^ Wenham 1994, pp. 296–297
  7. ^ Strong's Concordance 6215, 6213.
  8. ^ Strong's Concordance 3290, 6117.
  9. ^ Scherman, Rabbi Nosson (1993). The Chumash. Brooklyn, New York: Mesorah Publications, p. 135.
  10. ^ Genesis 27:42
  11. ^ Eisenstein, Judah David (1901-1906). "Porging". Jewish Encyclopedia. New York City. LCCN:16014703. http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=453&letter=P. Retrieved 2008-11-19. 
  12. ^ Strong's Concordance 3478, 8280.
  13. ^ Strong's Concordance 6439.
  14. ^ Trachtenberg 1939, p. 80.
  15. ^ Morris, Henry M. (1976). The Genesis Record: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House. pp. 337, 499–502. 
  16. ^ Genesis 34:30
  17. ^ Bereshit Rabbah 81:5.
  18. ^ Morris, Henry M. (1976). The Genesis Record: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House. pp. 524–525. 
  19. ^ Robert Alter, The Art of Biblical Narrative (Basic Books, 1981), 4.
  20. ^ Genesis 41:53-57
  21. ^ Genesis 42
  22. ^ Genesis 43:47
  23. ^ Genesis 44
  24. ^ Genesis 45
  25. ^ Genesis 46:26-27
  26. ^ Genesis 46:28
  27. ^ Genesis 47:1-11
  28. ^ Genesis 48:1-22
  29. ^ Genesis 47:28-31
  30. ^ Genesis 47:28
  31. ^ Genesis 50:1-14
  32. ^ Rashi writes, "The Holy One, blessed be He, announced to him [Abraham] that Rebekah, his [Isaac's] mate, had been born." Commentary on Gen. 22:20.
  33. ^ Torah Insights: Parshat Toldot.
  34. ^ Bereshit Rabbah 63:6.
  35. ^ Pirkei d'Rav Kahana, quoted in Scherman, p. 139.

[edit] Further reading

  • Trachtenberg, Joshua (1939), Jewish Magic and Superstition: A Study in Folk Religion, New York: Behrman's Jewish Book house 

[edit] External links

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