Like Sarah, Rebekah is also barren (as they are closely related, I strongly suspect some hereditary defect here. Incest rocks). Undaunted, Isaac entreats the lord (it worked for him, after all), and lo and behold: Rebekah has twins, Esau and Jacob. Sadly, affairs between the siblings are a bit complicated, for whatever reason. At some point Esau is almost dying from hunger; Jacob buys his birthright in exchange for food (now that's what I call brotherly love). And when Isaac is old & blind, he asks Esau (the oldest twin) to go hunt & bring him some venison. Rebekah overhears this and instructs Jacob (ostensibly her favored offspring) to impersonate Esau & bring dad some venison. Wearing Esau's clothes, he complies; Isaac is fooled and blesses him (morality, anyone?). Esau, evidently pissed off, vows to kill his twin brother, so Rebekah, to obviate fratricide, sends Jacob away to her brother Laban, who lives abroad.
On his journey, Jacob has his famous dream: a ladder from earth to heaven, with angels ascending & descending (Why? Don't they have wings?). At the top is god, who promises to always be with him & bless his (countless) progeny. What can we learn from this? That god in his righteousness rewards cheating on your brother and deceiving your father.
The soap opera continues. When arriving at his uncle Laban's, Jacob quickly falls in love with Laban's youngest daughter Rachel (being Jacob's cousin, she'll probably turn out barren as well). Laban, with a fine nose for business, promises her to Jacob if he is willing to work for free for 7 years. But after 7 years, he tricks J into wedding the oldest sister, Leah (another cousin…). J however, having set his sights on Rachel, stays to work for another 7 years, and then also marries Rachel, adding polygamy to incest, quite impressive. And guess what? Rachel is barren (told you), and although J really hates Leah, she at least is fertile and has 4 sons (by him?). Rachel, to make up for her defect, gives her handmaid to J (like Sarah did with Hagar), who quickly produces 2 sons. Seeing this, and probably to prove she is just as nice as Rachel, Leah also offers her handmaid to J, resulting in 2 more sons (with 4 women in the bedroom, I take it they set up some sort of rotating schedule). As a payment for some mandrakes (a local aphrodisiac), J "has to" sleep with Leah again, producing 2 more sons and a daughter. Then god "remembers" Rachel, "opened her womb", and she gives birth to son #11, Joseph. Feel free to exclaim "WTF!" at this point. I did.
Like his father Isaac, Jacob gets appallingly rich, provoking Laban's jealousy, at which point god discreetly advises Jacob to be like an amoeba and split, so Jacob & co return to Canaan. Laban travels after them because his daughters stole his "gods" ("images" - statues? Again, what gods?) as their rightful inheritance. The stolen go(o)ds can't be found, however (Rachel was sitting on them…), so he makes a covenant with J, along the lines of "you stay here, I stay there". Near Canaan, Jacob, rightfully afraid of his brother Esau, splits up his company (so that even if Esau kills one half, the other half can escape) and prepares gifts for "lord Esau" to appease him. What a slimebag. In the night, he wrestles with a man (an angel?) who calls him Israel (why if not for political justification, providing official "historic" claims?). Some cryptic dietary advice follows, about not eating of "the sinew upon the hollow of the thigh", because this wrestler guy touched Jacob there (don't you just love it when the bible goes all loony on you?).
Esau arrives with a cortege of 400 men, but apparently he forgave Jacob as he is quite pleased to see him (that sounds a lot more "biblical" to me! But alas, Jacob is god's champion, Esau just the douchebag brother). Dinah, Jacob's daughter, is raped. Jacob's family pretends it's OK, as long as all males from the rapist's city are circumcised (I can see how that would greatly mitigate rape). After which they slaughter them all… that is so funny. Jacob returns to Beth-el, where he sets up a pillar (the spitting image of Lot's wife) in honour of god when he fled Esau (Why? Esau already forgave him). God, echoing the enigmatic wrestler, also now "officially" renames Jacob Israel. Rachel gives him one more son, the proverbial Benjamin, but dies in childbirth. She is buried in Beth-lehem (now I wonder where I heard that name before). Jacob/Israel now has 12 sons; setup complete for the "12 tribes of Israel" (the number 12 will also return in the new testament, rather significantly… we will get there eventually). Isaac dies aged 180, probably of neglect.