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The patriarch Jacob, venerated by the three Abrahamic faiths, was the younger of the twin sons of the Old Testament patriarch Isaac and his wife Sarah - the name of the older twin was Esau.

For an account of Jacob's life see Isaac, Jacob and Laban, Jacob and Esau Reconciled, and Jacob's Later Years.

The name Jacob is cognate with the name James. They are two Latin forms of the name given in Greek as Ἰάκωβος‚ (Iakōbos), from a Hebrew original יַעֲקֹב, ya'akov: the Latin was Iacobus or Iacomus (later written as Jacobus and Jacomus). While James lost the original '-b-' from a hypothetical *Iacombus, Jacob never acquired it.
Jacob is a name of great antiquity: the younger son of the Patriarch Isaac in the Old Testament bore it: he is known in the Authorized Version as Jacob. (By convention, the two of his namesakes in the New Testament are written as James (see Saint James). This has resulted in the facts that in English-speaking cultures, the two names James and Jacob are seen as completely distinct; and that both are represented as independent names in some other European languages.)