After Jacob had fathered six sons by Leah, two by Rachel’s servant Bilhah, and two by Leah’s servant Zilpah (10 sons total, up to this point), Jacob’s most beloved wife Rachel also conceived and bore two more children to Jacob. The Bible says, “God remembered Rachel. He listened to her and opened her womb. She conceived and bore a son, and said ‘God has taken away my shame.’ She named him Joseph: ‘May the LORD add another son to me’” (Gen. 30:22-24). Joseph and Benjamin were Jacob’s Sons Born to Rachel.
Joseph and Benjamin
Joseph means “may God add.” Thus, Joseph was Jacob’s 11th son. He also was Jacob’s favorite. After Joseph’s jealous brothers sold him into slavery, Joseph experienced many challenging situations. God blessed him, however, and he eventually became Pharaoh’s second-in-command in Egypt. Through Joseph’s leadership, Egypt became a nation to which multitudes of people looked for survival. Joseph forgave his brothers and provided for them and their families (see 45:4-7; 50:19-21). He also looked forward to the fulfillment of God’s promise, the day when God would deliver His people from Egypt and return them to Canaan (see vv. 24-25). In the tribes of Israel, Joseph is honored through two half tribes named after his sons, Ephraim and Manasseh.
Jacob’s 12th son was Benjamin. He was born to Rachel, so he was Joseph’s full brother. Rachel died giving birth to him (see 35:16-20). Benjamin means “son of my right hand.”
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