I’ve been reading through Genesis the past few days and am currently on the story of Jacob in 29-30. Wow. What a hustler! The guy was a real player. Not only did he lie and cheat his way through most of the deals he was involved with, he also “got around”.
Just finished reading the story of Leah and Rachel. What a sordid affair! First he loves Rachel because she’s beautiful and “has a sparkle in her eye”, so he works for Label for 7 years so that he can pay for her as his wife. Then, on the wedding night in the dark, Laben brings Leah to him to sleep with instead, so he does. Wakes up the next morning to a surprise, gets mad at Laben, but then agrees to work for him another 7 years, if he can have Rachel also, once the honeymoon is over. So they spend a week together and then Laben brings him Rachel as well and he sleeps with her.
Now he gets Leah pregnant and 3 kids later Rachel is getting pretty bitter. As a “solution” she gives her servant girl to him instead saying that if they have kids, then she’ll be even with Leah. So, they do. A few. It goes on, and in the end he’s sleeping with 4 different women and having babies all over the place.
That’s what it means when it says this guy was the father of the 12 tribes of Israel.