How old was Jacob at pivotal points in his life?


By BibleAsk Team

The Age of Jacob

Jacob was 108 years old when Joseph was sold into slavery. Jospeh was but a young man of 17 years of age (Genesis 37:2). Isaac, Jacob’s father was 168 years of age when Joseph was sold into Egyptian bondage. Since this horrible account took place while Jacob was living at Hebron with Isaac his father (Genesis 37:14), Isaac was an eye witness to the sorrow of Jacob over the loss of Joseph and continued for a period of 12 years.

Jacob was 120 years old at the death of his father (Genesis 25:26). Isaac’s departure seemingly took place toward the close of Joseph’s three years in prison. At Isaac’s death, Esau and Jacob‘s tense relationship had been fully healed for about 23 years. Abraham and Isaac died at the ages of 175 and 180.

When Jacob was 121 years old, Joseph was raised to his glorious position at the age of 30 (Genesis 41:46). At the age of 130 years, Jacob appeared before Pharaoh in Egypt (Genesis 47:9). At that time Joseph had been second in command over the land of Egypt for nine years (Genesis 45:11). Jacob died at the age of 147.

Who Was Jacob?

Jacob, called by God Israel, is regarded as a patriarch of the Israelites. He was the son of Isaac and Rebecca, and the grandson of Abraham and Sarah (Luke 3:34).  He was the second-born of Isaac’s children, the elder was his fraternal twin brother, Esau (Genesis 25:19-26). Jacob bought Esau’s birthright and, with his mother’s help, deceived his aging father to bless him instead of Esau (Genesis 25-27).  

Then, Jacob fled from the anger of Esau to his uncle Laban. There, he fell in love with his uncle’s daughter Rachel and proposed to marry her for 7 years of service (Genesis 29). But Laban deceived him and gave him Leah at his wedding night. After a week, Jacob was given Rachel for 7 more years of service. And he was blessed with children (Genesis 29-30). Jacob left his uncle Laban, who was not fair with him (Genesis 31) and went back to the land of his father – Canaan. There, he reconciled with his brother Esau (Genesis 32-33).  

Jacob showed favoritism among his wives and children, preferring Rachel (his first love) and her sons, Joseph and Benjamin, causing jealousy within the family which led Leah’s sons to sell Joseph into Egyptian slavery (Genesis 37). Later after a severe drought in his homeland of Canaan, Jacob and his descendants, with the help of Joseph, who by God’s providence became pharaoh’s governor, moved to Egypt. There. Jacob died at the age of 147 and was buried in the Cave of Machpelah (Genesis 49-50).   

Jacob had twelve sons by four women, his wives, Leah and Rachel, and his concubines, Bilhah and Zilpah, who were, in order of their birth, Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin (Genesis 35:23-26). Jacob’s sons became the heads of their own family groups, later known as the Twelve Tribes of Israel (Genesis 49:28).   

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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