Israel Antiquities Authority

Jacob scarab. The connections between the Hyksos period and the Israelite tradition of descent into Egypt has a solid historical basis, Halpern notes. Shown here is a scarab, or beetle-shaped, seal bearing the name Y‘qb-HR, the Egyptian transliteration of the Canaanite name “Yaqub” (Jacob). Discovered near Haifa in 1969, the seal has been dated to the 18th century B.C.E. and is thought to have belonged to a Canaanite king named Jacob. This Jacob may have been an ancestor of another Jacob, a Hyksos king who ruled Egypt about a century later. The Bible describes all Israelites as having descended from a Jacob who traveled from Canaan to Egypt during a period of famine.