These are the names of the twelve sons of Jacob:
The sons of Leah were Reuben (Jacob’s oldest son), Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun.
The sons of Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin.
The sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s servant, were Dan and Naphtali.
The sons of Zilpah, Leah’s servant, were Gad and Asher.
These are the names of the sons who were born to Jacob at Paddan-aram.
Genesis 35:23-26 (NLT)
Leah produced six of Jacob’s twelve sons.
Reuben committed incest (Genesis 35:22). Simeon and Levi were the two who killed all the men of Shechem (Genesis 34:25). Judah committed incest with his daughter-in-law (Genesis 38:18). Issachar and Zebulun were consenting to the treatment of Joseph (Genesis 37:18-20).
Of course, Joseph prevailed above all his brethren (Genesis 49:26).
The Death of Jacob’s Father, Isaac!
So Jacob returned to his father, Isaac, in Mamre, which is near Kiriath-arba (now called Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had both lived as foreigners. Isaac lived for 180 years. Then he breathed his last and died at a ripe old age, joining his ancestors in death. And his sons, Esau and Jacob, buried him.
Genesis 35:27-29 (NLT)
More than twenty years before, Isaac thought he was going to die (24:1-4), but death didn’t come until he was one hundred and eighty years old. He lived the longest of all the patriarchs and yet less is recorded about his life than about his father, his sons, and his grandson Joseph.
We trust that Isaac and Jacob experienced a complete reconciliation and that the old patriarch died “at a ripe old age” as did his father (25:8). Esau came from Mount Seir to pay his respects to his father and to assist Isaac in burying him in the cave of Machpelah (49:29-32).
Esau was a man of the world and not a child of the covenant, but he was still Isaac’s son and Jacob’s brother, and he had every right to be there. Death is a human experience that brings human pain to our hearts, and caring for the dead is a responsibility for all the family—believers and unbelievers.
But Isaac’s death changed Jacob’s status: He was now the head of the family and the heir of the covenant blessings. He not only acquired Isaac’s great wealth, but he also inherited all that was involved in the Abrahamic covenant. His God would be known as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Since the family was complete, the sons and mothers were listed. Esau’s family tree is much more imposing than Jacob’s, but this is the last we hear of it. Despite their failures, the sons of Israel are the chosen instruments to accomplish God’s will on earth.