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What Does Jacob Mean In The Bible

What Does The Bible Say About Jacob

Bantu meaning of names Jacob and Esau

Hosea 12:2: The LORD has a charge to bring against Judah he will punish Jacob according to his ways and repay him according to his deeds.

Genesis 27:36: Esau said, Isnt he rightly named Jacob? This is the second time he has taken advantage of me: He took my birthright, and now hes taken my blessing! Then he asked, Havent you reserved any blessing for me?

Isaiah 41:14: Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob, little Israel, do not fear, for I myself will help you, declares the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.

Meaning And Significance Of Israel Jacob’s New Name

God blessed Jacob and gave him a new name Israel and with it a new identity. Jacob was no longer to be associated as the swindler and trickster of his past: He was a new creation, filled with Gods blessings with a divine purpose to establish the Israelite nation.

Names in the Bible have a bigger significance than they do now. Now, when we give someone a nickname, we do it for fun or because we enjoy a certain aspect about someone. But when someone changed a name in the Bible, it was a massive deal. It determined their whole identity moving forward.

As a continuous reminder of their encounter and His blessing, God gave Jacob a permanent limp .

The Wrestling Match With God

In Genesis 32: we have the account of the wrestling match with God. Jacob is coming back to meet Esau and is wondering how his brother is going to react. When he left the land Esau was trying to kill him. He has sent his servants ahead , bearing gifts to bribe Esau. He had resources he could use to save himself.

In verse 6 the messengers come back and say that Esau is coming to meet them with 400 men. It looks like Esau is bringing warriors to destroy them.

In verses 7-8 we see that Jacob devises another plan to save himself. He decides to divide his family putting Leah and her children and servants in one group and Rachel and her children and servants in another group. That way he can cut his losses if one group is destroyed.

Verses 9-12 show Jacob praying to God for deliverance. It looks like Jacob is going to finally give up and depend on God, but verses 13-23 show that he was really still trying to control the situation and save himself.

So I went back and re-studied his prayer in verses 9-12. It may be my imagination, but I think Jacob is trying to manipulate God in his prayer. In verse 9 he is claiming Gods promise that He would bless Jacob. In verse 10 he gives God the credit for his prosperity and then he again claims Gods promise to bless him in verses 11-12. It seems to me that Jacob was almost saying to God, Come through for me God. You promised me. You owe me!

What did God do to Jacob when He wanted to get hold of Jacobs life? He revealed Himself to him.

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Why Did Jacob Wrestle With God

When Jacob was returning home to Canaan with his family after his many years of service under Laban, Jacob received the news that his brother, who had threatened to kill him for his past trickery, was on his way to meet him .

Despite sending gifts of appeasement, Jacob was afraid for his life and family. He prayed to God for help and sent his family and possessions on ahead of him to protect them. Left alone in his camp, God came and wrestled with Jacob until daybreak .

Jacobs struggle with God is symbolic of his struggle with his inner self. God wanted to enter into a relationship with Jacob, however, he couldnt do so until Jacob admitted his weakness of self-reliance, deceit, and trickery. When Jacob refused to surrender to God, a mere divine touch on Jacobs hip forced the young man to surrender and admit his utter need for God .

Names Similar To Jacob

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How Is Jacobs Character Depicted In The Bible

From the time of his birth until his wrestling encounter with God (Genesis 32:24-29, Jacob was associated with trickery and deception.

Jacobs most notorious acts of trickery were committed against his twin brother Esau. Jacob offered his famished brother bowl of soup in exchange for his birthright as the firstborn son, which was a double portion of his father Isaacs inheritance . Moreover, Jacob robbed Esau of their fathers blessing , which had been the Esaus right to receive.

Jacob also deceived his uncle Laban. In return for 20 years of service, Jacob tricked Laban into giving him his desired choice of wages – speckled and spotted sheep and goats – by stripping back the branches of poplar, almond, and plane trees and placing them at the watering troughs where the strongest animals came to drink and mate .

The Importance Of The Birthright

In chapter 26 we do see something significant. It is not what Isaac did, though. It is what God did for Isaac. Chapter 26 gives us examples of how God blessed Isaac. When the famine hit, God said He would be with Isaac and bless himbecause of His promise to Abraham. Consequently, Isaac prospered in everything. Even though he lied to Abimelech about his wife being his sister, God looked out for him . His crops produced a hundredfold . He became rich . When the Philistines filled in his wells, he had no trouble digging and finding water . The significance of this chapter is that it demonstrates that the blessing which Isaac was to pass on in chapter 27 was something worth having. It wasnt just a double portion of a sizable inheritance. It was the very blessing of God.

Chapter 26 sets the stage for what happens in chapter 27.

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The Name Jacob In The Bible

The one and only Old Testament Jacob is a son of Isaac and Rebekah, and twin brother of Esau . After a battle with the Angel of YHWH he becomes arch-father Israel .

In the New Testament the Greek transliteration of the name Jacob, namely Iakob , is assigned to, besides arch-father Jacob , only one man, namely Jacob the father of Joseph, the father-by-law of Jesus, according to Matthew’s genealogy . The name Jacob occurs 27 times in the New Testament see full New Testament concordance.

The Hellenized version of the Hebrew name Jacob, namely , Iakobos, is slightly more common. It belongs to the following men:

  • A disciple of Jesus and one of two sons of Zebedee .
  • Another disciple of Jesus, namely a son of Alphaeus .
  • A full brother of Jesus, who came to be known as James the Just . The English name James is a transliteration of the Greek name Jacobos, which in turn in a transliteration of the Hebrew name Jacob. See our article on the name James for more details.

These variations of the name Jacob occur a total of 42 times in the New Testament see full concordance.

What Does The Name Jacob In The Bible Mean

114 What does the Bible mean by binding and loosing (Matthew 16:19)? | Patrick Jacob

The name Jacob comes from the Biblical story of Jacobs birth where he came out holding the heel of his twin brother, Esau. The name comes either from the Hebrew root qb meaning to follow, to be behind but also to supplant, circumvent, assail, overreach, or from the word for heel, aqeb.

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What Does Jacob Mean

Jacob is a classic and popular boy name. It comes from the Old Testament and means supplanter, which is often interpreted as someone who seizes, circumvents, or usurps.

In the book of Genesis, the twins Jacob and Esau were born to Isaac and Rebecca Esau came first, making him the first-born son. When Jacob was born he was holding onto Esaus heel. This foreshadows two future Biblical events where Jacob usurps or seizes Esaus birthright as the first-born son.

  • Origin: The name Jacob comes from the Hebrew name Yaaqov, later translated into Latin as Iacobus. It is first introduced in the book of Genesis in the Old Testament.
  • Gender: Jacob is traditionally used as a boy name. Sometimes feminine suffixes, like -ina or -ine, are added to create Jacobina or Jacobine, though this is not common in the United States.
  • Pronunciation: JEY-kub

Although many baby names are separated by gender, Verywell Family believes that sex does not need to play a role in your name selection process. Its important to select a name that you feel suits your new baby the best.

How Is Jacobs Story Relevant Today

Like Jacob, we can enter into a relationship with Christ today by asking forgiveness for our sins and declaring God to be our Savior and Redeemer.

Through admitting our brokenness to Him, God can give us a new life as His children, and we can enter into an eternal relationship with Him, full of His blessings and good promises over our lives.

Jacob was able to experience a new identity through his new name, Israel. In the same way, when we come to know Christ, we experience a transformation. It changes everything: our lives, our thoughts, our actions, etc.

We can also learn from Jacob’s story that people throughout the Bible wrestled with God in not only a physical sense. There’s nothing wrong with doubt and needing to explore the Bible more. Christian faith isn’t blind, but rather, based on how God has come through for us in the past. We can wrestle with him and still emerge with a new identity.

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Fictional Characters Named Jake

  • Jake, the pirate and main character in
  • Jake, a mountain ranger in
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  • , from the Animorphs book series by K. A. Applegate
  • , lead vocalist of The Blues Brothers band and one of the main characters in The Blues Brothers film
  • Jake Bullet, in the 1989 action movie
  • , one of the main characters in Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series
  • Jake Collins, in the television series
  • , one of the main characters in the animated series
  • , one of the human characters in Andrew Hussie’s webcomic Homestuck
  • Jake Fenton, a minor protagonist of
  • , one of the main antagonists in the film The Goonies
  • , the protagonist of the television series Jericho
  • Jake Harper, one of the main characters on the sitcom
  • , the only survivor of The Grudge 2 and the first victim in The Grudge 3
  • Jake Long, the title character from the TV series
  • , in the Canadian television drama series Degrassi
  • , a Disney character who is Scrooge McDuck’s uncle
  • , in the BBC soap opera EastEnders
  • , in the animated sitcom Daria
  • , on Fear the Walking Dead, Season 3
  • “”, a three-legged man and subject of a comedic song performed by Rolf Harris
  • Jake Peralta, one of the main characters on the TV series
  • Jake Rockwell, one of the main characters on the animated series
  • , recurring character in the television series
  • Jake Sisko, the son of Benjamin Sisko on the TV series
  • , a main character in My Gym Partner’s a Monkey
  • Jake Sully, the main protagonist of the film and its
  • , in the animated series Family Guy

Journey Back To Canaan


As Jacob neared the land of Canaan as he passed Mahanaim, 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 , 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 , and, as a result, Jacob developed a limp . Because of this, “to this day the people of Israel do not eat the sinew of the thigh that is on the hip socket” This incident is the source of the mitzvah of porging.

Jacob then demanded a blessing, and the being declared in Genesis 32:28 that, from then on, Jacob would be called , Israel , “one who has prevailed with God” , “a man seeing God” , “he will rule as God” , or “a prince with God” , from Hebrew: , “prevail,” “have power as a prince”). While he is still called Jacob in later texts, his name Israel makes some consider him the eponymous ancestor of the Israelites.

Esau and Jacob reconcileThe death of Rachel after the birth of Benjamin

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Family Name Origins & Meanings

  • Jewish, English, German, Portuguese, French, Dutch, and southern Indian : derivative, via Latin Jacobus, from the Hebrew personal name yaaqobh . In the Bible, this is the name of the younger twin brother of Esau , who took advantage of the latters hunger and impetuousness to persuade him to part with his birthright for a mess of potage. The name is traditionally interpreted as coming from Hebrew akev heel, and Jacob is said to have been born holding on to Esaus heel. In English Jacob and James are now regarded as quite distinct names, but they are of identical origin , and in most European languages the two names are not distinguished. It is used as a given name among Christians in India, and in the U.S. has come to be used as a surname among families from southern India.

Historicity Of The Egyptian Episode

According to researches on the historicity of the Old Testament, the descent of Abraham into Egypt as recorded in Genesis 12:1020 should correspond to the early years of the 2nd millennium BCE, which is before the time the Hyksos ruled in Egypt, but would coincide with the Semitic parties known to have visited the Egyptians circa 1900 BCE, as documented in the painting of a West-Asiatic procession of the tomb of Khnumhotep II at Beni Hasan. It might be possible to associate Abraham to such known Semitic visitors to Egypt, as they would have been ethnically connected. The period of Joseph and Jacob/Israel in Egypt , where they were in favour at the Egyptian court and Joseph held high administrative positions next to the ruler of the land, would correspond to the time the Hyksos ruled in Egypt, during the Fifteenth Dynasty. The time of Moses and the expulsion to Palestine related in The Exodus could also correspond to the explusion of the Hyksos from Egypt.

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Other Uses In English

The name Jack is unusual in the English language for its frequent use as a noun or verb for many common objects and actions, and in many compound words and phrases.

Examples include implements, such as , , or the jack in .

The word is also used in other words and phrases such as: apple jack, hijack, jack of clubs , jack straw , jack tar , jack-in-the-box, jack-of-all-trades, jack o’lantern, jackdaw, jackhammer, jackknife, jackpot, lumberjack, union jack, etc.

The history of the word is linked to the name being used as a by-name for a man.

Etymology Of The Name Jacob

The authentic Hebrew meaning of the word Israel – Biblical Hebrew insight by Professor Lipnick

The name Jacob comes from the verb , meaning to follow at the heel or supplant:

The noun means heel or rear, but may describe anything lowest, last or sequentially coming. Verb means to follow at the heel or supplant. Adjective means overreacher adjective , insidious or deceitful adjective , tricky or treacherous . Noun means deceitfulness and noun , consequence.

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Jacob The Stolen Birthright

In verse 28 we see that Isaac favored Esau because he had a taste for game. Esau was the strong hunter. He was everything that Isaac was not, and perhaps Isaac, a weak man, was trying to re-live his life through his sons life. Whatever the reason, it was an illegitimate one because it is never good to play favorites. Im sure this had its ill effects on Jacob. He probably had to manipulate his father to get attention.

Im not so sure this is as great an indictment against Jacob as it is against Esau. The author of Genesis only has comments about Esau and says, Thus Esau despised his birthright .

I do think we can assume that Jacob knew that he was supposed to end up with the birthright eventually. Im sure his mother told him what the Lord had told her. What this event shows us is that Jacob was not willing to wait on the Lord.


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