Son of Isaac and Rebekah, and twin-brother to Esau. As at his birth he held his brother's heel, he was called Jacob, that is, the heel-holder, one who comes behind and catches the heel of his adversary, a supplanter, Ge 25:26. This was a king of predictive intimation of his future conduct in life. Jacob was meek and peaceable, living a shepherd life at home. Esau was more turbulent and fierce, and passionately fond of hunting. Isaac was partial to Esau, Rebekah to Jacob. Jacob having taken advantage of his brother's absence and his father's infirmity to obtain the blessing of the birthright, or primogeniture, was compelled to fly into Mesopotamia to avoid the consequences of his brother's wrath, Ge 27-28. On his journey the Lord appeared to him in a dream, (see LADDER,) promised him His protection, and declared His purpose relative to his descendants' possessing the land of Canaan, and the descent of the Messiah through him, Ge 28:10, etc. His subsequent days, which he calls "few and evil," were clouded with many sorrows, yet amid them all he was sustained by the care and favor of God. On his solitary journey of six hundred miles into Mesopotamia, and during the toils and injuries of this twenty years' service with Laban, God still prospered him, and on his return to the land of promise inclined the hostile spirits of Laban and of Esau to peace. On the border of Canaan the angels of God met him, and the God of angels wrestled with him, yielded him the blessing, and gave him the honored name of Israel. But sore trials awaited him: his mother was no more; his sister-wives imbittered his life with their jealousies; his children Dinah, Simeon, Levi and Reuben filled him with grief and shame; his beloved Rachel and his father were removed by death; Joseph his favorite son he had given up as slain by wild beasts; and the loss of Benjamin threatened to bring his gray hairs with sorrow to the grave. But the sunset of his life was majestically calm and bright. For seventeen years, he enjoyed in the land of Goshen a serene happiness: he gave a dying blessing in Jehovah's name to his assembled sons; visions of their future prosperity rose before his eyes, especially the long line of the royal race of Judah, culminating in the glorious kingdom of SHILOH. "He saw it, and was glad." Soon after, he was gathered to his fathers, and his body was embalmed, and buried with all possible honors in the burial-place of Abraham near Hebron, B. C. 1836-1689. In the history of Jacob we observe that in repeated instances he used unjustifiable means to secure promised advantages, instead of waiting, in faith and obedience, for the unfailing providence of God. We observe also the divine chastisement of his sins, and his steadfast growth in grace to the last, Ge 25-50. His name is found in the New Testament, illustrating the sovereignty of God and the power of faith, Ro 9:13; Heb 11:9,21.
one who follows on another's heels; supplanter, (Ge 25:26; 27:36; Ho 12:2-4), the second born of the twin sons of Isaac by Rebekah. He was born probably at Lahai-roi, when his father was fifty-nine and Abraham one hundred and fifty-nine years old. Like his father, he was of a quiet and gentle disposition, and when he grew up followed the life of a shepherd, while his brother Esau became an enterprising hunter. His dealing with Esau, however, showed much mean selfishness and cunning (Ge 25:29-34).
When Isaac was about 160 years of age, Jacob and his mother conspired to deceive the aged patriarch (Ge 27), with the view of procuring the transfer of the birthright to himself. The birthright secured to him who possessed it (1) superior rank in his family (Ge 49:3); (2) a double portion of the paternal inheritance (De 21:17); (3) the priestly office in the family (Nu 8:17-19); and (4) the promise of the Seed in which all nations of the earth were to be blessed (Ge 22:18).
Soon after his acquisition of his father's blessing (Ge 27), Jacob became conscious of his guilt; and afraid of the anger of Esau, at the suggestion of Rebekah Isaac sent him away to Haran, 400 miles or more, to find a wife among his cousins, the family of Laban, the Syrian (28). There he met with Rachel (29). Laban would not consent to give him his daughter in marriage till he had served seven years; but to Jacob these years "seemed but a few days, for the love he had to her." But when the seven years were expired, Laban craftily deceived Jacob, and gave him his daughter Leah. Other seven years of service had to be completed probably before he obtained the beloved Rachel. But "life-long sorrow, disgrace, and trials, in the retributive providence of God, followed as a consequence of this double union."
At the close of the fourteen years of service, Jacob desired to return to his parents, but at the entreaty of Laban he tarried yet six years with him, tending his flocks (Ge 31:41). He then set out with his family and property "to go to Isaac his father in the land of Canaan" (Ge 31). Laban was angry when he heard that Jacob had set out on his journey, and pursued after him, overtaking him in seven days. The meeting was of a painful kind. After much recrimination and reproach directed against Jacob, Laban is at length pacified, and taking an affectionate farewell of his daughters, returns to his home in Padanaram. And now all connection of the Israelites with Mesopotamia is at an end.
Soon after parting with Laban he is met by a company of angels, as if to greet him on his return and welcome him back to the Land of Promise (Ge 32:1-2). He called the name of the place Mahanaim, i.e., "the double camp," probably his own camp and that of the angels. The vision of angels was the counterpart of that he had formerly seen at Bethel, when, twenty years before, the weary, solitary traveller, on his way to Padan-aram, saw the angels of God ascending and descending on the ladder whose top reached to heaven (Ge 28:12).
He now hears with dismay of the approach of his brother Esau with a band of 400 men to meet him. In great agony of mind he prepares for the worst. He feels that he must now depend only on God, and he betakes himself to him in earnest prayer, and sends on before him a munificent present to Esau, "a present to my lord Esau from thy servant Jacob." Jacob's family were then transported across the Jabbok; but he himself remained behind, spending the night in communion with God. While thus engaged, there appeared one in the form of a man who wrestled with him. In this mysterious contest Jacob prevailed, and as a memorial of it his name was changed to Israel (wrestler with God); and the place where this occured he called Peniel, "for", said he, "I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved" (Ge 32:25-31).
After this anxious night, Jacob went on his way, halting, mysteriously weakened by the conflict, but strong in the assurance of the divine favour. Esau came forth and met him; but his spirit of revenge was appeased, and the brothers met as friends, and during the remainder of their lives they maintained friendly relations. After a brief sojourn at Succoth, Jacob moved forward and pitched his tent near Shechem (q.v.), Ge 33:18; but at length, under divine directions, he moved to Bethel, where he made an altar unto God (Ge 35:6-7), and where God appeared to him and renewed the Abrahamic covenant. While journeying from Bethel to Ephrath (the Canaanitish name of Bethlehem), Rachel died in giving birth to her second son Benjamin (), fifteen or sixteen years after the birth of Joseph. He then reached the old family residence at Mamre, to wait on the dying bed of his father Isaac. The complete reconciliation between Esau and Jacob was shown by their uniting in the burial of the patriarch (Ge 35:27-29).
Jacob was soon after this deeply grieved by the loss of his beloved son Joseph through the jealousy of his brothers (Ge 37:33). Then follows the story of the famine, and the successive goings down into Egypt to buy corn (42), which led to the discovery of the long-lost Joseph, and the patriarch's going down with all his household, numbering about seventy souls (Ex 1:5; De 10:22; Ac 7:14), to sojourn in the land of Goshen. Here Jacob, "after being strangely tossed about on a very rough ocean, found at last a tranquil harbour, where all the best affections of his nature were gently exercised and largely unfolded" (Ge 48). At length the end of his checkered course draws nigh, and he summons his sons to his bedside that he may bless them. Among his last words he repeats the story of Rachel's death, although forty years had passed away since that event took place, as tenderly as if it had happened only yesterday; and when "he had made an end of charging his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost" (Ge 49:33). His body was embalmed and carried with great pomp into the land of Canaan, and buried beside his wife Leah in the cave of Machpelah, according to his dying charge. There, probably, his embalmed body remains to this day (Ge 50:1-13). (See Hebron.)
The history of Jacob is referred to by the prophets Hosea (Ho 12:3-4,12) and Malachi (Mal 1:2). In Mic 1:5 the name is a poetic synonym for Israel, the kingdom of the ten tribes. There are, besides the mention of his name along with those of the other patriarchs, distinct references to events of his life in Paul's epistles (Ro 9:11-13; Heb 12:16; 11:21). See references to his vision at Bethel and his possession of land at Shechem in Joh 1:51; 4:5,12; also to the famine which was the occasion of his going down into Egypt in Ac 7:12 (See Luz; Bethel.)
(See ESAU; ISAAC.) ("supplanter", or "holding the heel".) Esau's twin brother, but second in point of priority. Son of Isaac, then 60 years old, and Rebekah. As Jacob "took his brother by the heel (the action of a wrestler) in the womb" (Ho 12:3), so the spiritual Israel, every believer, having no right in himself to the inheritance, by faith when being born again of the Spirit takes hold of the bruised heel, the humanity, of Christ crucified, "the Firstborn of many brethren." He by becoming a curse for us became a blessing to the true Israel; contrast Heb 12:16-17. Jacob was a "plain," i.e. an upright man, steady and domestic, affectionate, so his mother's favorite: Ge 25:24, etc., "dwelling in tents," i.e. staying at home, minding the flocks and household duties; not, like Esau, wandering abroad in keen quest of game, "a man of the field," wild, restless, self indulgent, and seldom at home in the tent.
Having bought the birthright from Esau, he afterward, at Rebekah's instigation, stole the blessing which his father intended for Esau, but which God had appointed to him even when the two sons were yet unborn; "the elder shall serve the younger" (Ge 25:23; 27:29; Mal 1:3; Ro 9:12). His seeking a right end by wrong means (Genesis 27) entailed a life-long retribution in kind. Instead of occupying the first place of honour in the family he had to flee for his life; instead of a double portion, he fled with only the staff in his hand. It was now, when his schemes utterly failed, God's grace began to work in him and for him, amidst his heavy outward crosses. If he had waited in faith God's time, and God's way, of giving the blessing promised by God, and not unlawfully with carnal policy foiled Isaac's intention, God would have defeated his father's foolish purpose and Jacob would have escaped his well deserved chastisement.
The fear of man, precautions cunning, habitual timidity as to danger, characterize him, as we might have expected in one quiet and shrewd to begin with, then schooled in a life exposed to danger from Esau, to grasping selfishness from Laban, and to undutifulness from most of his sons (Ge 31:15,42; 34:5,30; 43:6,11-12). Jacob's grand superiority lay in his abiding trust in the living God. Faith made him "covet earnestly the best gift," though his mode of getting it (first by purchase from the reckless, profane Esau, at the cost of red pottage, taking ungenerous advantage of his brother's hunger; next by deceit) was most unworthy.
When sent forth by his parents to escape Esau, and to get a wife in Padan Aram, he for the first time is presented before us as enjoying God's manifestations at Bethel in his vision of the ladder set up on earth, and the top reaching heaven, with "Jehovah standing above, and the angels of God ascending and descending (not descending and ascending, for the earth is presupposed as already the scene of their activity) on it," typifying God's providence and grace arranging all things for His people's good through the ministry of "angels" (Genesis 28; Heb 1:14). When his conscience made him feel his flight was the just penalty of his deceit God comforts him by promises of His grace.
Still more typifying Messiah, through whom heaven is opened and also joined to earth, and angels minister with ceaseless activity to Him first, then to His people (Joh 14:6; Re 4:1; Ac 7:56; Heb 9:8; 10:19-20). Jacob the man of guile saw Him at the top of the ladder; Nathanael, an Israelite without guile, saw Him at the bottom in His humiliation, which was the necessary first step upward to glory. Joh 1:51; "hereafter," Greek "from now," the process was then beginning which shall eventuate in the restoration of the union between heaven and earth, with greater glory than before (Re 5:8; Revelation 21:1 - 22:21). Then followed God's promise of (1) the land and (2) of universal blessing to all families of the earth "in his seed," i.e. Christ; meanwhile he should have
(1) God's presence,
(2) protection in all places,
(3) restoration to home,
Recognizing God's manifestation as sanctifying the spot, he made his stony pillow into a pillar, consecrated with oil (See BETHEL), and taking up God's word he vowed that as surely as God would fulfill His promises (he asked no more than "bread and raiment") Jehovah should be his God, and of all that God gave he would surely give a tenth to Him; not waiting until he should be rich to do so, but while still poor; a pattern to us (compare Ge 32:10). Next follows his seven years' service under greedy Laban, in lieu of presents to the parents (the usual mode of obtaining a wife in the East, Ge 24:53, which Jacob was unable to give), and the imposition of Leah upon him instead of Rachel; the first installment of his retributive chastisement in kind for his own deceit. Kennicott suggested that Jacob served 14 years for his wives, then during 20 years he took care of Laban's cattle as a friend, then during six years he served for wages (Ge 31:38,41).
One (zeh) 20 years I was with thee (tending thy flocks, but not in thy house); another (zeh) 20 years I was for myself in thy house, serving thee 14 years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy cattle. The ordinary view that he was only 20 years old in Padan Aram would make him 77 years old in going there; and as Joseph, the second youngest, was born at the end of the first 14 years, the 11 children born before Benjamin would be all born within six or seven years, Leah's six, Rachel's one, Bilhah's two, and Zilpah's two. It is not certain that Dinah was born at this time. Zebulun may have been borne by Leah later than Joseph, it not being certain that the births all followed in the order of their enumeration, which is that of the mothers, not that of the births. Rachel gave her maid to Jacob not necessarily after the birth of Leah's fourth son; so Bilhah may have borne Dan and Naphtali before Judah's birth.
Leah then, not being likely to have another son, probably gave Zilpah to Jacob, and Asher and Naphtali were born; in the beginning of the last of the seven years probably Leah bore Issachar, and at its end Zebulun. But in the view of Kennicott and Speaker's Commentary Jacob went to Laban at 57; in the first 14 years had sons, Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah by Leah; Dan and Naphtali by Bilhah; in the 20 years (Ge 35:29) next had Gad and Asher by Zilpah, Issachar and Zebulun by Leah, lastly Dinah by Leah and Joseph by Rachel; then six years' service for cattle, then flees from Padan Aram where he had been 40 years, at 97. In Jacob's 98th year Benjamin is born and Rachel dies. Joseph at 17 goes to Egypt, at 30 is governor. At 130 Jacob goes to Egypt (Ge 46:1); dies at 147 (Ge 47:28).
The assigning of 40, instead of 20, years to his sojourn with Laban allows time for Er and Onan to be grown up when married; their strong passions leading them to marry, even so, at an early age for that time. The common chronology needs some correction, since it makes Judah marry at 20, Er and Onan at 15. On Jacob desiring to leave, Laban attested God's presence with Jacob. "I have found by experience (Hebrew "by omens from serpents," the term showing Laban's paganness: Ge 30:19,32) that the Lord hath blessed me for thy sake." Jacob then required as wages all the speckled and spotted sheep and goats, which usually are few, sheep in the East being generally white, the goats black or brown, not speckled.
With characteristic sharpness Jacob adopted a double plan of increasing the wages agreed on. Peeling rods of (Gesenius) storax ("poplar"), almond ("hazel"), and plane tree ("chesnut") in strips, so that the dazzling white wood of these trees should appear under the dark outside, he put them in the drinking troughs; the cattle consequently brought forth spotted, speckled young, which by the agreement became Jacob's. Thus by trickery he foiled Laban's trickery in putting three days' journey between his flock tended by Jacob and Jacob's stipulated flock of spotted and speckled goats and brown put under the care of his sons. Secondly, Jacob separated the speckled young, which were his, so as to be constantly in view of Laban's
1. Son of Isaac and Rebekah. His name is probably an elliptical form of an original Jakob'el, 'God follows' (i.e. 'rewards'), which has been found both on Babylonian tablets and on the pylons of the temple of Karnak. By the time of Jacob this earlier history of the word was overlooked or forgotten, and the name was understood as meaning 'one who takes by the heel, and thus tries to trip up or supplant' (Ge 25:26; 27:36; Ho 12:3). His history is recounted in Ge 25:21 to Ge 50:13, the materials being unequally contributed from three sources. For the details of analysis see Dillmann, Com., and Driver, LOT [Note: OT Introd. to the Literature of the Old Testament.] , p. 16. Priestly Narrative supplies but a brief outline; Jahwist and Elohist are closely interwoven, though a degree of original independence is shown by an occasional divergence in tradition, which adds to the credibility of the joint narrative.
Jacob was born in answer to prayer (Ge 25:21), near Beersheba; and the later rivalry between Israel and Edom was thought of as prefigured in the strife of the twins in the womb (Ge 25:22 f., 2Es 3:16; 2Es 6:8-10, Ro 9:11-13). The differences between the two brothers, each contrasting with the other in character and habit, were marked from the beginning. Jacob grew up a 'quiet man' (Ge 25:27 Revised Version margin), a shepherd and herdsman. Whilst still at home, he succeeded in overreaching Esau in two ways. He took advantage of Esau's hunger and heedlessness to secure the birthright, which gave him precedence even during the father's lifetime (Ge 43:33), and afterwards a double portion of the patrimony (De 21:17), with probably the domestic priesthood. At a later time, after careful consideration (Ge 27:11 ff.), he adopted the device suggested by his mother, and, allaying with ingenious falsehoods (Ge 27:20) his father's suspicion, intercepted also his blessing. Isaac was dismayed, but instead of revoking the blessing confirmed it (Ge 27:33-37), and was not able to remove Esau's bitterness. In both blessings later political and geographical conditions are reflected. To Jacob is promised Canaan, a well-watered land of fields and vineyards (De 11:14; 33:28), with sovereignty over its peoples, even those who were 'brethren' or descended from the same ancestry as Israel (Ge 19:37 f., 2Sa 8:12,14). Esau is consigned to the dry and rocky districts of Idum
Son of Isaac and Rebekah. Though a twin, he is called 'the younger,' being born after Esau. Before the children were born it was said, "the elder shall serve the younger." The promises made by God to Abraham were thus confirmed to Jacob, as they had been to Isaac. When they grew up, Esau became a hunter, whereas Jacob was a peaceful man, dwelling in tents. Isaac loved Esau, and Rebekah loved Jacob. The typical character of these three patriarchs has been described thus: "In general, Abraham is the root of all promise, and the picture of the life of faith; Isaac is a type of the heavenly Man, who receives the church; and Jacob represents Israel as heir of the promises according to the flesh." The difference may be seen by comparing Ge 22:17 ('stars ' and 'sand'), with Ge 26:4 ('stars' only), and Ge 28:14 ('dust of the earth' only).
Though Jacob was heir of the promises, and valued God's blessing in a selfish manner, he sought it not by faith, but tried in an evil and mean way to obtain it: first in buying the birthright when his brother was at the point of death; and then, in obtaining the blessing from his father by lying and deceit: a blessing which would surely have been his in God's way if he had waited: cf. Ge 48:14-20.
Jacob had then to become a wanderer; but God was faithful to him, and spoke to him, not openly as to Abraham, but in a dream. The ladder reaching to heaven, and the angels ascending and descending on it, showed that he on earth was the object of heaven's care. The promises as to the land being possessed by his descendants, and all nations being blessed in his Seed, were confirmed to him, with this difference that in connection with the latter promise it says "in thee and in thy seed," because it includes the earthly blessings to his seed in the millennium. God also said He would keep Jacob wherever he went, and bring him back to the promised land. Jacob called the place Beth-el, saying that it was the house of God, and the gate of heaven. It is figurative of Israel's position, not in heaven, but the 'gate' is theirs. He made a vow that if God would bless him and bring him back in peace, Jehovah should be his God. This was not the language of faith.
Jacob, who had tricked his brother, was treated in a similar way by Laban, and Leah was given to him as wife instead of Rachel, though he had Rachel, the one he loved, afterwards. He had not learnt to trust God, but used subtle ways to increase his possessions; and he also was dealt with in a like manner, having his wages changed 'ten times.' But God was watching over him and bade him return to the land of his fathers; and when Laban pursued after him, God warned him in a dream not to speak to Jacob either good or bad. They made a covenant together, and each went his way.
Immediately afterwards the angels of God met Jacob, and he recognised them as 'God's host.' Then he had to meet Esau, and doubtless conscience smote him, for he was greatly alarmed. He prayed to God for help, yet was full of plans, sending presents to appease his brother, and
dividing his people into two bands, so that if one of them were smitten, the other might escape. When he was alone God took him in hand: a 'man' (called 'the angel' in Ho 12:4) wrestled with him. He was lamed, yet he clung, and in faith said, "I will not let thee go, except thou bless me." He was accounted a victor, and his name was changed from Jacob to ISRAEL: "for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed." God did not yet make known His name to him.
God protected him from Esau, as He had from Laban: they kissed each other and wept. He then feigned that he would follow Esau to Seir, but turned aside to Shechem, where he bought the portion of a field, thus settling down for his own ease in the midst of the Canaanites, instead of going to Beth-el, God's house, from whence he had started. His peace was soon disturbed by his daughter Dinah going to see the daughters of the land, and being dishonoured, which was avenged by the slaughter of the Shechemites by his sons Simeon and Levi, bringing Jacob into great fear.
God used this humiliating sorrow to discipline Jacob, and recover him to his true calling. He therefore bade Jacob go to Beth-el, and make an altar there. This disclosed a sad state of things: he had to meet God, and must purify himself, and his household must put away their strange gods. He built an altar and called it, 'El-beth-el;' 'the God of Bethel.' God renewed His promises and revealed Himself to Jacob as GOD ALMIGHTY.
Jacob loved Joseph more than all his other sons, which caused them to hate Joseph; they also hated him for the communications given to him through dreams, and eventually sold him to the Ishmeelites. Again Jacob was dealt with deceitfully; his sons pretended that they had found Joseph's coat stained with blood, and Jacob was greatly distressed. But God was watching and overruling all for good. When Jacob and his household arrived in Egypt, he as a prince of God blessed Pharaoh king of Egypt. He lived in Egypt seventeen years, and died at the good old age of 147.
Jacob at the close of his life rose up to the height of God's thoughts, and by faith blessed the two sons of Joseph, being led of God to cross his hands, and gave the richest blessing to Ephraim. Then, as a true prophet of God, he called all his sons before him, and blessed them, with an appropriate prophecy as to the historical future of each (considered under each of the sons' names). He fell asleep, and his body was embalmed and carried into Palestine to lie with those of Abraham and Isaac.
Jacob being named ISRAEL led to his descendants being called the CHILDREN OF ISRAEL. They are however frequently addressed as 'JACOB,' or 'house of Jacob,' as if they had not preserved the higher character involved in the name of 'Israel,' but must be addressed by the natural name of their forefather, Jacob. Gen. 25
(supplanter), the second son of Isaac and Rebekah. He was born with Esau, probably at the well of Lahai-roi, about B.C. 1837. His history is related in the latter half of the book of Genesis. He bought the birthright from his brother Esau, and afterward acquired the blessing intended for Esau, by practicing a well-known deceit on Isaac. (Jacob did not obtain the blessing because of his deceit, but in spite of it. That which was promised he would have received in some good way; but Jacob and his mother, distrusting God's promise, sought the promised blessing in a wrong way, and received with it trouble and sorrow. --ED.) Jacob, in his 78th year, was sent from the family home to avoid his brother, and to seek a wife among his kindred in Padan-aram. As he passed through Bethel, God appeared to him. After the lapse of twenty-one years he returned from Padan-aram with two wives, two concubines, eleven sons and a daughter, and large property. He escaped from the angry pursuit of Laban, from a meeting with Esau, and from the vengeance of the Canaanites provoked by the murder of Shechem; and in each of these three emergencies he was aided and strengthened by the interposition of God, and in sign of the grace won by a night of wrestling with God his name was changed at Jabbok into Israel. Deborah and Rachel died before he reached Hebron; Joseph, the favorite son of Jacob, was sold into Egypt eleven years before the death of Isaac; and Jacob had probably exceeded his 130th year when he went tither. He was presented to Pharaoh, and dwelt for seventeen years in Rameses and Goshen, and died in his 147th year. His body was embalmed, carried with great care and pomp into the land of Canaan, and deposited with his fathers, and his wife Leah, in the cave of Machpelah. The example of Jacob is quoted by the first and the last of the minor prophets. Besides the frequent mention of his name in conjunction with the names of the other two patriarchs, there are distinct references to the events in the life of Jacob in four books of the New Testament -
JACOB, the son of Isaac and Rebekah. He was the younger brother of Esau, and a twin. It was observed, that at his birth he held his brother Esau's heel, and for this reason was called Jacob, Ge 25:26, which signifies "he supplanted." Jacob was of a meek and peaceable temper, and loved a quiet pastoral life; whereas Esau was of a fierce and turbulent nature, and was fond of hunting. Isaac had a particular fondness for Esau; but Rebekah was more attached to Jacob. The manner in which Jacob purchased his brother's birthright for a mess of pottage, and supplanted him by obtaining Isaac's blessing, is already referred to in the article ESAU.
The events of the interesting and chequered life of Jacob are so plainly and consecutively narrated by Moses, that they are familiar to all; but upon some of them a few remarks may be useful. As to the purchase of the birthright, Jacob appears to have been innocent so far as any guile on his part, or real necessity from hunger on the part of Esau, is involved in the question; but his obtaining the ratification of this by the blessing of Isaac though agreeable, indeed, to the purpose of God, that the elder should serve the younger, was blamable as to the means employed. The remarks of Dr. Hales on this transaction implicate Isaac also: