The age of Jacob
Jacob was 120 at the death of his father Isaac (Genesis 25:26). Ten years later, at the age of 130 years, he 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 was therefore 121 years old when Joseph was raised to his glorious position at the age of 30 (Genesis 41:46), and 108 when Joseph was sold into slavery when he was but a young man of 17 years of age (Genesis 37:2).
Thus, Isaac was 168 years of age when Joseph was sold into Egyptian slavery. 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.
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, Isaac, and Jacob, died at the ages of 175, 180, and 147 years.
Who was Jacob?
Jacob was the second-born of Isaac’s children, the elder being Jacob’s fraternal twin brother, Esau (Genesis 25:19-26). Jacob is said to have 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 to his uncle Laban. There fell in love with his 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) Then 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).
According to Genesis, 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 slavery (Genesis 37).
Later after a severe drought in his homeland of Canaan, Jacob and his descendants, with the help of his son Joseph (pharaoh’s governor), moved to Egypt where Jacob died at the age of 147. And he 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,
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