As a preliminary question for "yaakov's-hurry-to-have-kids-at-84":

On the Posuk (Gen 29,21) "וַיֹּאמֶר יַעֲקֹב אֶל־לָבָן הָבָה אֶת־אִשְׁתִּי כִּי מָלְאוּ יָמָי וְאָבוֹאָה אֵלֶיהָ׃" Bereyshis Rabba 70,18 explains that Yaakov was 84 and knew that he's destined to have the 12 tribes:

"אֶלָּא כָּךְ אָמַר לוֹ, אָמַר לִי הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא שֶׁאֲנִי מַעֲמִיד שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר שְׁבָטִים, ..."

When did G-d tell Yaakov that he will have 12 sons?

1 Answer 1


Yefeh Einayim there says that Yaakov deduced it from the way the 12 stones joined together (68:11 according to R' Yehuda), or from having been shown the redivision of Eretz Yisroel described in Yechezkel ch. 48 (69:5).

Another relevant source is Koheles Rabbah 3:11:2, that Hashem was going to have the 12 shevatim come directly from Adam, but instead said, "I will give them to the righteous Yaakov." So Hashem may well have informed Yaakov of that.

  • Very interesting, thank you. Seems weird though because had he known it [at least] 21 years before demanding to have his wife, how urgent could it be?
    – Al Berko
    Aug 22, 2019 at 19:56

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