Though Benjamin wasn’t as prominent a bible character as his father was, his story is quite significant. For those of you who didn’t know, Benjamin was the last-born son of Rachel and the twelfth of his siblings. Rachel died shortly after his birth. Benjamin’s children were all male and they were as follows: Ard, Huppim, Muppim, Rosh, Ehi, Naaman, Gera, Ashbel, Beker, And Bela.
Benjamin had a sibling called Joseph. His step-brothers (Leah’s sons) included the following: Reuben, Asher, Gad, Naphtali, Dan, Zebulun, Issachar, Judah, Levi, and Simeon. Dinah was his half-sister.
What’s the story of Benjamin in the bible?
Benjamin was the son of Jacob and Rachel. He was the last son of Rachel before her death which occurred shortly after giving birth to Benjamin. Benjamin’s initial name was Benoni, or son of my pain, which was reminiscent of Rachel’s death. But, Jacob later changes the name to Benjamin.
Jacob preferred Rachel over Leah, and that kind of love was transferred to Benjamin who was loved more than Leah’s children were loved. The latter sparked jealousy that later affected the family. Also, of all the sons of Jacob who were born in Aram, Benjamin was born in Canaan.
Benjamin grew up and had two wives. Though these two wives weren’t prominent and weren’t talked about much in the bible stories, it’s believed that their names were Mechalia and Aribath. While Mechalia hailed from Aram, Aribath is believed to come from a place called Shomron.
Benjamin’s sons grew up and got wives, who later bore them sons. One of Benjamin’s most notable relatives was his brother Joseph, who later rose ranks and became one of the most powerful figures in the old testament. Just like his father, Benjamin also played favorites; something that came to bite him on the backside (for lack of a better word).
And just like God had prophesied through his father Jacob, Benjamin’s family tree grew, later becoming the tribe of Benjamin, which was one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Several important historical figured hailed from the tribe of Benjamin, which is why it’s so significant.
What lessons can Christians learn from the story of Benjamin?
The first lesson Christians can learn from the story of Benjamin is the importance of living well with others. Though not much has been mentioned about Benjamin, unlike his brother joseph, the way people he was closest to react to him shows he was a gentle, loving soul. Just like his nature attracted love from Jacob, Christians can emulate this and earn a lot of favor both from God and men.
Christians can also learn to not associate their past with their future. For instance, Benjamin, who was born Benoni because his birth resulted in the death of Rachel, managed to change his fate by living a full life that was everything but painful. The latter is why his father, Jacob, decided to change his name because one whose birth had brought so much pain had somehow turned things around, and for the better.
Finally, Christians can learn how to accept God’s will without any questions just like Benjamin did. When Jacob was on his death bed, he told Benjamin that he was a ravenous wolf that seeks to prey and plunder. The latter was a prophecy from God through his father.
Even though the prophecy wasn’t a blessing as it was the case with Leah’s sons and daughter, Benjamin didn’t argue or felt bitter with his father. Instead, he accepted his fate and continued living a life that pleased God. And because of that, many prominent people hailed from his bloodline.
The prominent individuals that arose from the tribe of Benjamin include the following: Queen Esther and King Ehud, and Apostle Paul.
How did Benjamin earn the name ravenous wolf?
When Jacob was nearing the end of his life, he gathered his sons besides his bed and gave each of them a unique blessing. But when it came to Benjamin, his favorite son, Jacob had an interesting blessing, which most scholars have a course to believe was more or less a prophecy. Jacob mentioned Benjamin is a ravenous wolf who devours prey in the morning and the evening divides and plunders. You can read the verse in Genesis 49:27.
The latter was contrary to Benjamin’s character which was gentle and God-loving. Nothing much can be said about how Benjamin was since we can only tell from how people reacted to him.
The tribe of Benjamin
Just like Jacob prophesized, his twelve sons formed the twelve tribes of Israel, the tribe of Benjamin being one of them. They were known for their military prowess and cunningness thus living up to the ‘ravenous wolf’ prophecy. Unfortunately, their cunningness came at a price because they felt invincible.
There was a time when the tribe of Benjamin armies took turns gang-raping a concubine. The other tribes got wind of it and united against them. As expected, the Tribe of Benjamin fought hard, but they were overwhelmed. The latter left them compromised for a long time.