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  • Name Rachel  
    Gender Female 
    Died Yes, date unknown 
    • «b»

      «/b»According to the «u»Hebrew Bible «/u», «b»Rachel«/b» («u»Hebrew «/u»: , «u»Modern «/u» «i»Ra«/i» «u»Tiberian «/u» «i»R R«/i» ; meaning "ewe {idiomatically: one with purity}"«u»[1]«/u») is a prophet and the favorite «u»wife «/u» of «u»Jacob «/u», one of the three «u»Biblical Patriarchs «/u», and mother of «u»Joseph «/u» and «u»Benjamin «/u». She was the daughter of «u»Laban «/u» and the younger sister of «u»Leah «/u», Jacob's first wife. Jacob was her first cousin, as Jacob's mother «u»Rebecca «/u» was Laban's sister.
      «b»[Death and burial
      «/b»After Joseph's birth, Jacob decided to return to the land of «u»Canaan «/u» with his family. Fearing that Laban would deter him, he fled with his four wives and eleven children without informing his father-in-law. Laban chased him and accused him of stealing his idols. Indeed, Rachel had taken her father's idols, hidden them inside her camel's seat cushion, and sat upon them. Not knowing that the idols were in his wife's possession, Jacob pronounced a curse on whoever had them: "With whoever you will find your gods, he will not live" (Genesis 31:32). Laban proceeded to search the tents of Jacob and his wives, but when he came to Rachel's tent, she told her father, "Let not my lord be angered that I cannot rise up before you, for the way of women is upon me" (Genesis 31:35). Laban left her alone, but the curse Jacob had pronounced came true shortly thereafter.
      At the outskirts of the land of «u»Canaan «/u», approaching Efrat, Rachel went into a difficult «u»labor «/u» with her second son, «u»Benjamin «/u». The midwife tells her in the middle of the birth that her child is a boy. Before she died, Rachel named her son Ben Oni ("son of my mourning"), but Jacob called him Ben Yamin (Benjamin). «u»Rashi «/u» explains that Ben Yamin either means "son of the right" (i.e., "south"), since Benjamin was the only one of Jacob's sons born in Canaan, which is to the south of Paddan Aram; or it could mean "son of my days," as Benjamin was born in Jacob's old age.

      Rachel died on the eleventh day of the Hebrew month of «u»Heshvan «/u», and was buried by Jacob on the road to «u»Efrat «/u», just outside «u»Bethlehem «/u». Today «u»Rachel's Tomb «/u», located between «u»Bethlehem «/u» and the «u»Jerusalem «/u» neighborhood of «u»Gilo «/u», is visited by tens of thousands of visitors each year.
      «b» Rachel's Children
      «/b»Rachel's son, «u»Joseph «/u», is destined to be the leader of Israel's tribes between exile and nationhood. This role is exemplified in the Biblical story of Joseph, who prepared the way in Egypt for his family's exile there, and in the future figure of «i»Mashiach ben Yosef«/i» (Messiah, son of Joseph), who will fight the apocalyptic Wars of «u»Gog and Magog «/u», preparing the way for the kingship of «i»Mashiach ben David«/i» (Messiah, son of David) and the messianic age.
      «b»Midrash Rachel
      Additional references in the Bible

      «tab»«/b»In «u»Jeremiah «/u» 31:15, the prophet speaks of 'Rachel weeping for her children' («u»KJV «/u»). This is interpreted in «u»Judaism «/u» as Rachel crying for an end to her descendants' sufferings and exiles following the destruction of the «u»First Temple «/u» in ancient «u»Jerusalem «/u». According to the «u»Midrash «/u», Rachel spoke before God: "If I, a mere mortal, was prepared not to humiliate my sister and was willing to take a rival into my home, how could You, the eternal, compassionate God, be jealous of «u»idols «/u», which have no true existence, that were brought into Your home (the «u»Temple in Jerusalem «/u»)? Will You cause my children to be exiled on this account?" God accepted her plea and promised that, eventually, the exile would end and the Jews would return to their land.
      «tab»In the second chapter of the «u»Gospel of Matthew «/u» (part of the «u»New Testament «/u»), this reference from Jeremiah is interpreted as a prediction of the «u»Massacre of the Innocents «/u» by «u»Herod the Great «/u» in his attempt to kill the young «u»Jesus «/u».
      «u»«tab»Mordechai «/u», the hero of the «u»Book of Esther «/u», and Queen «u»Esther «/u»herself, were descendants of Rachel through her son Benjamin. The Book of Esther details Mordechai's lineage as "Mordechai the son of Yair, the son of Shimi, the son of Kish, a man of the right («i»ish yemini«/i»)" (Esther 2:5). The designation of «i»ish yemini«/i» refers to his membership in the «u»Tribe «/u» of Benjamin («i»ben yamin«/i», son of the right). The rabbis comment that Esther's ability to remain silent in the palace of «u»Ahasuerus «/u», resisting the king's pressure to reveal her ancestry, was inherited from her ancestor Rachel, who remained silent even when Laban brought out Leah to marry Jacob
    Person ID I61474  Glenn Cook Family
    Last Modified 8 Dec 2009 

    Father Laban,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Mother Adinah,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Family ID F551616597  Group Sheet

    Family Jacob (Isreal) Ben Abraham, King of Goshen,   b. Abt 1892 B.C., Haran Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1745 B.C., Egypt Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. Joseph,   d. Yes, date unknown
     2. Benjamin,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Last Modified 2 Dec 2009 
    Family ID F551617658  Group Sheet

  • Photos
    Rachel and Jacob by William Dyce