Benjamin, son of Jacob/Israel

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Benjamin, was the twelfth and youngest son of Jacob. His mother was Rachel, Jacob's wife. Benjamin was born during the journey that Jacob and his family took from Padan Aram to Canaan. His mother Rachel named him "Ben-oni," meaning "Son of my sorrow," before she died during the childbirth, but Jacob called him Benjamin. Joseph, Benjamin's brother was sold into slavery by his other brothers.

Joseph later became prime minister of Egypt, and when Joseph's brothers refused to abandon Benjamin, after Joseph put them to a test, Joseph realized his brothers had a change of heart and were willing to risk their lives for their youngest brother. Through this test, the whole family of Jacob was joyously reunited.

When Jacob blesses his 12 sons, in Genesis 49, he describes Benjamin as a wolf that prowls, devouring his enemies in the morning and dividing up the spoils in the evening. (Genesis 49:27). King Saul, and Judge Ehud, were descendants of Benjamin, as was Paul and the prophet Jeremiah.

After the division of the Kingdom, the land of Benjamin served as a buffer zone between Israel and Judah. The name Benjamin means "Son of my right hand."

Next person in the Bible: Ben-Ammi

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