Jacob is all too often underappreciated in works on biblical theology. He nevertheless stands squarely in the line of promise and is the man who becomes Israel. His blessings come not because he is virtuous but because God remains faithful. In this, his story contributes to the themes of Genesis and of the Pentateuch as a whole, and extends into the life of the church.
Jacob's Story as Christian Scripture begins with a reading of Genesis 25 to 35, and then moves beyond the boundaries of Genesis to track the words he pronounces over his twelve sons. Jacob's blessings give shape to Balaam's oracles and ultimately to subsequent prophecies concerning the lion of the tribe of Judah. Prophetic appropriation of Jacob's story, presented here via a fresh investigation of OT passages from Jeremiah, Obadiah, Micah, and others, includes troubling elements of Jacob's character to indict the nation--in the hope that God's people, like the patriarch, will stop being Jacob and become Israel.