Jacob the Prophet

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Jacob, as described in the bible, was the third patriarch of the Jewish people, and ancestor of the twelve tribes of Israel, named after ten of his twelve sons, as well as the two sons of his son Joseph. In the Hebrew Bible he is the son of Isaac and Rebecca, the grandson of Abraham and Sarah, and the twin brother of Esau. He had twelve sons and several daughters. As a result of a severe drought in Canaan, Jacob moved to Egypt at the time when his son Joseph was viceroy. Joseph was Jacob's favorite son, and Jacob gave him a coat of many colors. Jacob's other ####sons were jealous of Joseph, and when he was 17 years old, they sold him to traders heading to Egypt. They dipped Joseph's coat in blood and brought it to Jacob. Jacob says (Genesis 37:33), "It is my son’s tunic. A wild beast has devoured him. Without doubt Joseph is torn to pieces." Yet, even as Jacob was mourning for his son, Joseph was being sold as a slave to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh's officials. In Arabic, Jacob is known as Ya`qūb. He is revered as a prophet who received inspiration from God. The Qur'an does not give the details of Jacob’s life. God perfected his favor on Jacob and his posterity as he perfected his favor on Abraham and Isaac (12:6). Jacob was a man of might and vision (38:45) and was chosen by God to preach the Message. Salvation, according to the Qur'an, hinges upon this legacy rather than being a Jew or Christian (See Qur'an 2:130-141). According to the Qur'an, Jacob was of the company of the Elect and the Good (38:47, 21:75). Ya`qūb is a name that is accepted in Muslim community showing the value attributed to Jacob. After being settled for 17 years in Egypt, when Jacob felt his end was approaching he called Joseph to him, to bury him not in Egypt, but with his fathers. When Jacob died, at the age of 147, Joseph had Jacob's body embalmed and, taken back to Canaan, with the twelve sons carrying their father's coffin and many Egyptian officials accompanying them. Jacob was buried in the cave of Machpelah in which Abraham and Sarah, and Isaac and Rachel (Joseph’s mother), and Jacob's first wife Leah were buried.

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