The following version of the story of Jacob is taken from the 1769 King James Version of the Holy Bible (also known as the Authorized Version).
In this story, Jacob demonstrates his role as trickster as he tricks his brother out of his birthright and his father's blessing, tricks his father into blessing him instead of Esau, tricks his uncle out of his best cattle , and attempts to trick his brother again when they meet years later. He is also, in turn, tricked by his uncle Laban into serving fourteen years for Rachel when Laban secretly presents Jacob first with Leah.
Jacob appears as a shaman figure in his dream of a ladder reaching into heaven, in his use of the fertility rite of sympathetic magic (he attempts to influence the birth of the cattle by exposing them to traits he wants them to have), and in his wrestling match with an angel.
Gen 25:21 And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.
Gen 25:22 And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD.
Gen 25:23 And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.
Gen 25:24 And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb.
Gen 25:25 And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau.
Gen 25:26 And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them.
Gen 25:27 And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.
Gen 25:28 And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob.
Gen 25:29 And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint:
Gen 25:30 And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom.
Gen 25:31 And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.
Gen 25:32 And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?
Gen 25:33 And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.
Gen 25:34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.
Gen 27:1 And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, My son: and he said unto him, Behold, here am I.
Gen 27:2 And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death:
Gen 27:3 Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison;
Gen 27:4 And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die.
Gen 27:5 And Rebekah heard when Isaac spake to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it.
Gen 27:6 And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying, Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying,
Gen 27:7 Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat, that I may eat, and bless thee before the LORD before my death.
Gen 27:8 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command thee.
Gen 27:9 Go now to the flock, and fetch me from thence two good kids of the goats; and I will make them savoury meat for thy father, such as he loveth:
Gen 27:10 And thou shalt bring it to thy father, that he may eat, and that he may bless thee before his death.
Gen 27:11 And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man:
Gen 27:12 My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver; and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing.
Gen 27:13 And his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse, my son: only obey my voice, and go fetch me them.
Gen 27:14 And he went, and fetched, and brought them to his mother: and his mother made savoury meat, such as his father loved.
Gen 27:15 And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her eldest son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son:
Gen 27:16 And she put the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck:
Gen 27:17 And she gave the savoury meat and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.
Gen 27:18 And he came unto his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I; who art thou, my son?
Gen 27:19 And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy firstborn; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me.
Gen 27:20 And Isaac said unto his son, How is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son? And he said, Because the LORD thy God brought it to me.
Gen 27:21 And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not.
Gen 27:22 And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.
Gen 27:23 And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau's hands: so he blessed him.
Gen 27:24 And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am.
Gen 27:25 And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son's venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought him wine, and he drank.
Gen 27:26 And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son.
Gen 27:27 And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the LORD hath blessed:
Gen 27:28 Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine:
Gen 27:29 Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee.
Gen 27:30 And it came to pass, as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting.
Gen 27:31 And he also had made savoury meat, and brought it unto his father, and said unto his father, Let my father arise, and eat of his son's venison, that thy soul may bless me.
Gen 27:32 And Isaac his father said unto him, Who art thou? And he said, I am thy son, thy firstborn Esau.
Gen 27:33 And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who? where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed.
Gen 27:34 And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father.
Gen 27:35 And he said, Thy brother came with subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing.
Gen 27:36 And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me?
Gen 27:37 And Isaac answered and said unto Esau, Behold, I have made him thy lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with corn and wine have I sustained him: and what shall I do now unto thee, my son?
Gen 27:38 And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept.
Gen 27:39 And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above;
Gen 27:40 And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck.
Gen 27:41 And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.
Gen 27:42 And these words of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah: and she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said unto him, Behold, thy brother Esau, as touching thee, doth comfort himself, purposing to kill thee.
Gen 27:43 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; and arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran;
Gen 27:44 And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother's fury turn away;
Gen 27:45 Until thy brother's anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him: then I will send, and fetch thee from thence: why should I be deprived also of you both in one day?
Gen 27:46 And Rebekah said to Isaac, I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth: if Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these which are of the daughters of the land, what good shall my life do me?
Gen 28:1 And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan.
Gen 28:2 Arise, go to Padanaram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother's father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban thy mother's brother.
Gen 28:3 And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people;
Gen 28:4 And give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham.
Gen 28:5 And Isaac sent away Jacob: and he went to Padanaram unto Laban, son of Bethuel the Syrian, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob's and Esau's mother.
Gen 28:10 And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.
Gen 28:11 And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.
Gen 28:12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.
Gen 28:13 And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;
Gen 28:14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
Gen 28:15 And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.
Gen 28:16 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.
Gen 28:17 And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.
Gen 28:18 And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it.
Gen 28:19 And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first.
Gen 28:20 And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, Gen 28:21 So that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God:
Gen 28:22 And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.
Gen 29:15 And Laban said unto Jacob, Because thou art my brother, shouldest thou therefore serve me for nought? tell me, what shall thy wages be?
Gen 29:16 And Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.
Gen 29:17 Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured.
Gen 29:18 And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter.
Gen 29:19 And Laban said, It is better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her to another man: abide with me.
Gen 29:20 And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her.
Gen 29:21 And Jacob said unto Laban, Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in unto her.
Gen 29:22 And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast.
Gen 29:23 And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her.
Gen 29:24 And Laban gave unto his daughter Leah Zilpah his maid for an handmaid.
Gen 29:25 And it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it was Leah: and he said to Laban, What is this thou hast done unto me? did not I serve with thee for Rachel? wherefore then hast thou beguiled me?
Gen 29:26 And Laban said, It must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn.
Gen 29:27 Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.
Gen 29:28 And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also.
Gen 29:29 And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid.
Gen 29:30 And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years.
Gen 30:25 And it came to pass, when Rachel had born Joseph, that Jacob said unto Laban, Send me away, that I may go unto mine own place, and to my country.
Gen 30:26 Give me my wives and my children, for whom I have served thee, and let me go: for thou knowest my service which I have done thee.
Gen 30:27 And Laban said unto him, I pray thee, if I have found favour in thine eyes, tarry: for I have learned by experience that the LORD hath blessed me for thy sake.
Gen 30:28 And he said, Appoint me thy wages, and I will give it.
Gen 30:29 And he said unto him, Thou knowest how I have served thee, and how thy cattle was with me.
Gen 30:30 For it was little which thou hadst before I came, and it is now increased unto a multitude; and the LORD hath blessed thee since my coming: and now when shall I provide for mine own house also?
Gen 30:31 And he said, What shall I give thee? And Jacob said, Thou shalt not give me any thing: if thou wilt do this thing for me, I will again feed and keep thy flock:
Gen 30:32 I will pass through all thy flock to day, removing from thence all the speckled and spotted cattle, and all the brown cattle among the sheep, and the spotted and speckled among the goats: and of such shall be my hire.
Gen 30:33 So shall my righteousness answer for me in time to come, when it shall come for my hire before thy face: every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats, and brown among the sheep, that shall be counted stolen with me.
Gen 30:34 And Laban said, Behold, I would it might be according to thy word.
Gen 30:35 And he removed that day the he goats that were ringstraked and spotted, and all the she goats that were speckled and spotted, and every one that had some white in it, and all the brown among the sheep, and gave them into the hand of his sons.
Gen 30:36 And he set three days' journey betwixt himself and Jacob: and Jacob fed the rest of Laban's flocks.
Gen 30:37 And Jacob took him rods of green poplar, and of the hazel and chesnut tree; and pilled white strakes in them, and made the white appear which was in the rods.
Gen 30:38 And he set the rods which he had pilled before the flocks in the gutters in the watering troughs when the flocks came to drink, that they should conceive when they came to drink.
Gen 30:39 And the flocks conceived before the rods, and brought forth cattle ringstraked, speckled, and spotted.
Gen 30:40 And Jacob did separate the lambs, and set the faces of the flocks toward the ringstraked, and all the brown in the flock of Laban; and he put his own flocks by themselves, and put them not unto Laban's cattle.
Gen 30:41 And it came to pass, whensoever the stronger cattle did conceive, that Jacob laid the rods before the eyes of the cattle in the gutters, that they might conceive among the rods.
Gen 30:42 But when the cattle were feeble, he put them not in: so the feebler were Laban's, and the stronger Jacob's.
Gen 30:43 And the man increased exceedingly, and had much cattle, and maidservants, and menservants, and camels, and asses.
Gen 31:1 And he heard the words of Laban's sons, saying, Jacob hath taken away all that was our father's; and of that which was our father's hath he gotten all this glory.
Gen 31:2 And Jacob beheld the countenance of Laban, and, behold, it was not toward him as before.
Gen 31:3 And the LORD said unto Jacob, Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee.
Gen 31:4 And Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field unto his flock,
Gen 31:5 And said unto them, I see your father's countenance, that it is not toward me as before; but the God of my father hath been with me.
Gen 31:6 And ye know that with all my power I have served your father.
Gen 31:7 And your father hath deceived me, and changed my wages ten times; but God suffered him not to hurt me.
Gen 31:8 If he said thus, The speckled shall be thy wages; then all the cattle bare speckled: and if he said thus, The ringstraked shall be thy hire; then bare all the cattle ringstraked.
Gen 31:9 Thus God hath taken away the cattle of your father, and given them to me.
Gen 31:10 And it came to pass at the time that the cattle conceived, that I lifted up mine eyes, and saw in a dream, and, behold, the rams which leaped upon the cattle were ringstraked, speckled, and grisled.
Gen 31:11 And the angel of God spake unto me in a dream, saying, Jacob: And I said, Here am I.
Gen 31:12 And he said, Lift up now thine eyes, and see, all the rams which leap upon the cattle are ringstraked, speckled, and grisled: for I have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee.
Gen 31:13 I am the God of Bethel, where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred.
Gen 31:14 And Rachel and Leah answered and said unto him, Is there yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father's house?
Gen 31:15 Are we not counted of him strangers? for he hath sold us, and hath quite devoured also our money.
Gen 31:16 For all the riches which God hath taken from our father, that is ours, and our children's: now then, whatsoever God hath said unto thee, do.
Gen 31:17 Then Jacob rose up, and set his sons and his wives upon camels;
Gen 31:18 And he carried away all his cattle, and all his goods which he had gotten, the cattle of his getting, which he had gotten in Padanaram, for to go to Isaac his father in the land of Canaan.
Gen 32:1 And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him.
Gen 32:2 And when Jacob saw them, he said, This is God's host: and he called the name of that place Mahanaim.
Gen 32:3 And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother unto the land of Seir, the country of Edom.
Gen 32:4 And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall ye speak unto my lord Esau; Thy servant Jacob saith thus, I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed there until now:
Gen 32:5 And I have oxen, and asses, flocks, and menservants, and womenservants: and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find grace in thy sight.
Gen 32:6 And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, We came to thy brother Esau, and also he cometh to meet thee, and four hundred men with him.
Gen 32:7 Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed: and he divided the people that was with him, and the flocks, and herds, and the camels, into two bands;
Gen 32:8 And said, If Esau come to the one company, and smite it, then the other company which is left shall escape.
Gen 32:9 And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the LORD which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee:
Gen 32:10 I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands.
Gen 32:11 Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children.
Gen 32:12 And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.
Gen 32:13 And he lodged there that same night; and took of that which came to his hand a present for Esau his brother;
Gen 32:14 Two hundred she goats, and twenty he goats, two hundred ewes, and twenty rams,
Gen 32:15 Thirty milch camels with their colts, forty kine, and ten bulls, twenty she asses, and ten foals.
Gen 32:16 And he delivered them into the hand of his servants, every drove by themselves; and said unto his servants, Pass over before me, and put a space betwixt drove and drove.
Gen 32:17 And he commanded the foremost, saying, When Esau my brother meeteth thee, and asketh thee, saying, Whose art thou? and whither goest thou? and whose are these before thee?
Gen 32:18 Then thou shalt say, They be thy servant Jacob's; it is a present sent unto my lord Esau: and, behold, also he is behind us.
Gen 32:19 And so commanded he the second, and the third, and all that followed the droves, saying, On this manner shall ye speak unto Esau, when ye find him.
Gen 32:20 And say ye moreover, Behold, thy servant Jacob is behind us. For he said, I will appease him with the present that goeth before me, and afterward I will see his face; peradventure he will accept of me.
Gen 32:21 So went the present over before him: and himself lodged that night in the company.
Gen 32:22 And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two womenservants, and his eleven sons, and passed over the ford Jabbok.
Gen 32:23 And he took them, and sent them over the brook, and sent over that he had.
Gen 32:24 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.
Gen 32:25 And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.
Gen 32:26 And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.
Gen 32:27 And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.
Gen 32:28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.
Gen 32:29 And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.
Gen 32:30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.
Gen 32:31 And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh.
Gen 32:32 Therefore the children of Israel eat not of the sinew which shrank, which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day: because he touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh in the sinew that shrank.
Gen 33:1 And Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, Esau came, and with him four hundred men. And he divided the children unto Leah, and unto Rachel, and unto the two handmaids.
Gen 33:2 And he put the handmaids and their children foremost, and Leah and her children after, and Rachel and Joseph hindermost.
Gen 33:3 And he passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.
Gen 33:4 And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.
Gen 33:5 And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, Who are those with thee? And he said, The children which God hath graciously given thy servant.
Gen 33:6 Then the handmaidens came near, they and their children, and they bowed themselves.
Gen 33:7 And Leah also with her children came near, and bowed themselves: and after came Joseph near and Rachel, and they bowed themselves.
Gen 33:8 And he said, What meanest thou by all this drove which I met? And he said, These are to find grace in the sight of my lord.
Gen 33:9 And Esau said, I have enough, my brother; keep that thou hast unto thyself.
Gen 33:10 And Jacob said, Nay, I pray thee, if now I have found grace in thy sight, then receive my present at my hand: for therefore I have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me.
Gen 33:11 Take, I pray thee, my blessing that is brought to thee; because God hath dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough. And he urged him, and he took it.
Gen 33:12 And he said, Let us take our journey, and let us go, and I will go before thee.
Gen 33:13 And he said unto him, My lord knoweth that the children are tender, and the flocks and herds with young are with me: and if men should overdrive them one day, all the flock will die.
Gen 33:14 Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant: and I will lead on softly, according as the cattle that goeth before me and the children be able to endure, until I come unto my lord unto Seir.
Gen 33:15 And Esau said, Let me now leave with thee some of the folk that are with me. And he said, What needeth it? let me find grace in the sight of my lord.
HUM 2130 World Mythology