‘protagonists’ in the Bible – Jacob

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Jacob was one of the Biblical ‘protagonists’ in Genesis, who was descendant of Isaac, who was a descendant of Abraham. Jacob led an interesting life, filled with some very interesting scenarios.

Before Jacob was even born, a life story had already been made for him. So much for free will! Jacob was the younger of two sons, and God had decided that he would always be weaker than his brother, Esau, who apparently resembled a bigfoot.

Many years later Esau came back from hunting, and Jacob bought his birthright. You know, as you do. So Esau sold his birthright, however that works, in return for some soup. Still not done with his trickery, Jacob, with the help of his mother, stole Esau’s blessing. Jacob dressed up in some goat skin and pretended to be Esau, tricking Isaac into blessing him.

Jacob fled the land before Esau found out, and he went to live with his relative Laban. Crossing the land of Bethel he set up camp, and had a dream whilst using a rock as a pillow. In his dream God came down and gave his usual speech of ‘I’ll give you the Holy land and your descendants will be many, yada yada yada’.

Jacob finally arrived at Laban’s place, in the land of Paddan Aram. He worked seven years for a wife, and ended up with the wrong one, so he had to work ANOTHER seven years to get a second wife, and luckily for him God has no objections to polygamy!

Jacob’s two wives get into a war over who can have the most children, and for once it looks like God’s going to keep one of his promises. While all of this was going on Jacob was getting ready to leave Laban, and was being paid in goats. He used magical selective breeding with tree branches to increase the number of goats he got paid, before taking off with his family.

Laban got suspicious, and chased after him, inventing the cross country race. Laban finally catches up, and after a few long speeches all is forgiven. Laban blesses everybody and Jacob sets off again for his homeland, taking a quick detour to have a wrestling match with God.

God cheats and Jacob loses, and God decides to change Jacob’s name to Israel. He quickly forgets and keeps calling him Jacob though.

When Jacob returns to Isaac, Esau shows up with an army, and just when it looks like things are going to get interesting Esau admits the army was just for show. He must have forgotten the whole stealing birthrights and blessings saga, because all is peaceful again.

Jacob builds a new home as his children go out murdering entire villages because they messed with the wrong family, and Soon enough Isaac keels over dead, and is buried alongside Abraham in a cave somewhere.

A long time passes, and lots of new children are born, before one of Jacob’s children was sold into slavery, and a few years later a great famine hits the land. Jacob’s sons go down to Egypt to discover Joseph, the guy they had sold into slavery. He forgives them and everybody moves down to stay with him in Egypt.

After many years Jacob dies, and he is buried with Abraham and Isaac. If this trend continues that cave will be full of bodies in no time!

So, what have we learnt about Jacob? He is crossed between a thief and a mad scientist – Perfect Bible material!

Image Courtesy of Salvatore Vuono at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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