Jacob, the Scam Artist

Jacob, the father of the twelve tribes of Israel, started his life as a scam artist. One of Jacob’s biggest scams was where he was able to talk his brother out of his birthright for a dish of red pottage. Another one of Jacob’s scams consisted of Jacob taking advantage of Isaac’s poor eyesight to receive Esau’s blessing. Jacob did not stay a scam artist all of his life. When Jacob had a direct encounter with God, he changed from a scammer to a person that creates value in the world. Because of this encounter with God, Jacob became one of the great patriarch of the Bible. See below for more Biblical commentary and scriptures concerning Jacob, the scam artist.


Esau Sells His Birthright to Jacob

Esau Sells His Birthright to Jacob
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The Birth of Jacob, the First Scam Artist.

Jacob, the father of the twelve tribes of Israel, started his life as a scam artist. The name Jacob means “ heel-catcher, supplanter, cheater, defrauder, deceiver”. Jacob received his name at birth when his mother gave birth to both him and his brother Esau. Genesis 25:26 tells how Jacob even at birth attempted to supplant his brother as the first-born.

Genesis 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.”

Jacob, the Scam Artist, Cons His Brother Out of His Birthright.

One of Jacob’s biggest scams was where he was able to talk his brother out of his birthright for a dish of red pottage. A birthright today may not mean much, but in those days it meant everything. Genesis 25:31 tells us how Jacob scammed his brother out of his birthright.

Genesis 25:31, “And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.”

Jacob, the Scam Artist, Receives His Brother’s Blessings From Isaac.

This scam consisted of Jacob taking advantage of Isaac’s poor eyesight to receive Esau’s blessing. To fool his father into thinking he was his brother, Jacob put on Esau’s clothes and put goat skin around his arms to make his arms feel hairy like his brother’s arms. Genesis 27:19 tells us how Jacob scammed Esau of his blessings.

Genesis 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.”

Jacob’s Encounter With God Delivers Him From Being A Scam Artist.

Jacob’s encounter with God changed him from a scammer to a person that creates value in the world. With this one encounter, Jacob now had the faith to rely on God to provide all the resources for him to succeed. Jacob now had an awe and a love of God that made no room for the craftiness and selfishness that had predominated his life previously. Genesis 28:22 goes on to tell us of Jacob’s unselfish love for God.

Genesis 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.” (also see commentary on Tithing)