Lesson 16: Jacob, Part 1

  • Jacob Supplants Esau
  • The Transfer of the Abrahamic Covenant
  • Jacob's Ladder
  • Jacob's Wives and Children
  • The Science Behind Jacob's Rods


God had promised Abraham that He would bless his seed and that through him all the nations of the world would be blessed. Upon Abraham's death, Isaac inherited this promise and now prepared to pass the blessing on to the next generation. Esau, as Isaac's eldest son, was the natural recipient of the blessing, but as foretold before the twins' birth, God had chosen Jacob instead.

At first glance, Jacob seemed the least likely choice to become the next heir to God's promises. From birth he was known for his cunning, and in fact, the very name Jacob means supplanter. Already he had lived up to this reputation by exploiting Esau's weakness and securing the birthright for himself. Esau later lamented, "Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times…!" (Genesis 27:36)

Why would God choose a man such as Jacob? God looked into Jacob's future, and saw the man he would become. He saw Jacob's repentance and humility, his obedience, and his willingness to walk by faith, and God made choices based on that knowledge. Our conclusions of another's worth are based only on the knowledge of their present character, but God has the advantage of divine foreknowledge. Jacob the deceiver was predestined from before his birth to become Israel, the father of God's people.