(1) The younger of the twin sons of Isaac
(Gen. 25: 24 ff.). The two brothers were
rivals from their birth, and Esaus descendants, the Edomites,
were rivals of the Israelites (Gen. 25: 23).
The chief events of Jacobs life were the purchase of the
birthright (Gen. 25: 29 ff.); the dream and vow
(ch. 28); his long stay in the house of Laban (chs. 29-31); the return to
Canaan, the reception at Penuel of the new name of Israel, and the
reconciliation with Esau (chs. 32 - 33); his later life with his family at
Shechem, Ephrath, and Mamre (Hebron) (chs. 33 - 37); his journey into Egypt,
his death there, and his burial in the cave of Machpelah (chs. 45 - 50).
It was through Jacob that the covenant of
Abraham continued (Gen. 29: 1-4, 12-22);
it was then passed on to Joseph and Ephraim.
There has been much misunderstanding about Jacob, and even well-meaning students of the Bible criticize some of Jacobs dealings. The supposed deception of his father in obtaining the blessing (Gen. 27) cannot be taken at face value. The Lord is not obligated to bless an unworthy person simply because gracious words were pronounced upon him by mistake. The key to the matter is expressed in Gen. 27: 33 wherein Isaac, after learning Jacobs true identity, said, Yea, and he shall be blessed. Isaac could have revoked the blessing at that time, but he seemed to affirm that it had been rightly delivered. Jacobs subsequent life demonstrates that he deserved the blessing he received, while Esaus life shows disobedience and some displeasing choices of wives (Gen. 26: 34-35; Gen. 28: 8-9). The so-called purchase of the birthright from Esau may very well be equally justified by items of Esaus errant behavior that disqualified him, but which are not recorded in our Bible. We learn from latter-day revelation that Jacob did none other things than that which [he was] commanded and is today exalted upon a throne in heaven, in company with Abraham and Isaac (D&C 132: 37). There are references to Jacob in Hosea 12: 3-4, 12; Mal. 1 - 2; Matt. 8: 11; Matt. 22: 32; Rom. 9: 13; Heb. 11: 9, 20-21.
(2) Father of Joseph, husband of Mary (Matt. 1: 15-16).