Late Latin, from Greek Iacōb, from Hebrew Yaʽăqōbh
First Known Use: before 12th century
Hebrew patriarch, son of Isaac and grandson of Abraham, and the traditional ancestor of the people of Israel. His story is told in the Book of Genesis. The younger twin brother of Esau, he used trickery to gain Isaac's blessing and Esau's birthright. On a journey to Canaan he wrestled all night with an angel, who blessed him and gave him the name Israel. Jacob had 13 children, 10 of whom founded tribes of Israel. His favorite son, Joseph, was sold into slavery in Egypt by his brothers, but the family was later reunited when a famine forced the brothers to go to Egypt to seek grain.