Isn't this the cutest little sheep ever!
This is a Jacob Lamb and the photo is courtesy of the Bide a Wee Farm located in Newberg OR. Check out their website for more photos and additional info on this rare breed.
I only recently heard about Jacob Sheep while browsing for spinning fiber on Etsy. I became very intrigued by them when I read that they were believed to be the very line that was raised by Jacob in biblical times , hence the name Jacob Sheep.
I didn't give this much more thought until this morning when I was doing my bible study and got caught up reading in Genesis. Next thing I know I am reading in Genesis 30;30-48 where Jacob is telling Laban to give him his wives and children and let him go. He had served Laban 7 years for Rachel's hand but was married to Leah her older sister by trickery and then worked another 7 years to gain Rachel's hand as well. Both women bare him children and after Joseph was born he approached Laban and asked that he let him go with his family. Laban didn't want him to leave because the Lord had blessed him greatly because of Jacob, but said ,v28 "and he said, Appoint me thy wages, and I will give it"
v29 - And he said unto him, Thou knowest how I have served thee, and how thy cattle was with me.
v30 - For it was little which thou hadst before I came, and it is now increased unto a multitude; and the Lord hath blessed thee since my coming: and now, when shall I provide for mine own house also?
v31- and he said, What shall I give thee? and Jacob said, Thou shalt not give me any thing: if thou wilt do this thing for me , I will again feed and keep thy flock.
v32 - I will pass through all thy flock to day removing from thence all the speckled and spotted cattle, and all the brown cattle among the sheep, and the spotted and speckled among the goats: and of such shall be my hire.
(so this will be Jacob's flock in payment for his work, all the spotted and speckled and brown animals found among Laban's flock)
v33 - So shall my righteousness answer for me in time to come, when it shall come for my hire before thy face: every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats and brown among the sheep, that shall be counted stolen with me.
v34 - and Laban said, behold, I would it might be according to thy word
v35 - and he removed that day the he goats that were ringstreaked and spotted, and all the she goats that were speckled and spotted, and every one that had some white in it, and all the brown among the sheep, and gave them into the hands of his sons.
v36 - And he set 3 days journey betwixt himself and Jacob: and Jacob fed the rest of Laban's flocks.
v37 - and Jacob took him rods of green poplar and of the hazel and chestnut tree; and pilled white streaks in them, and made the white appear which was in the rods.
v38 - and he set the rods which he had pilled before the flocks in the gutters in the watering troughs when the flocks came to drink, that they should conceive when they came to drink.
v39 - and the flocks conceived before the rods and brought forth cattle ringstreaked, speckled and spotted.
v40 - and Jacob did separate the lambs, and set the faces of the flocks toward the ringstreaked and all the brown in the flock of Laban; and he put his own flocks by themselves, and put them not unto Laban's cattle.
Genesis 31:7-9 gives greater insight into how Jacob received his cattle of Laban.
Jacob is talking here to his wives Rachel and Leah
v7 - and your father hath deceived me and changed my wages ten times; but God suffered him not to hurt me.
v8 - If he said thus, The speckled shall be thy wages, then all the cattle bare speckled: and if he said thus, The ringstreaked shall be thy hire; then bare all the cattle ringstreaked
v9 - Thus God hath taken away the cattle of your father and given them to me.
Isn't this exciting! To know that God has sustained this breed through the generations and we have the proof of it in his word, telling us exactly how Jacob acquired his flock. The Bide a Wee Farm site states that" several breeds of sheep can produce spotted lambs, but Jacobs are the ONLY breed which remain spotted for life."
It is also said that the fleece of the Jacob sheep is highly sought after by handspinners and that you can yeild 3 colors from one fleece.
This is certainly one fleece I would love to add to my summer spinning.