Who and what is…

Hebrew: בִּנְיָמִין —transliteration: Binyamin —meaning: “son of my right hand” or “son of (the) right hand”

also known as: Benoni or Ben-oni “son of my sorrow” (Hebrew: בֶּן־אוֹנִי)

This is the name of a Biblical man and his tribe of descendants.

  1. Benjamin, the man

    This is the name of the younger son of Jacob by Rachel (Genesis 35:18), the full brother of Joseph.

    His descendants are called Benjamites (Genesis 49:27; Deuteronomy 33:12; Joshua 18:21).

    His birth took place at Ephratah (Ephrath), on the road between Bethel and Bethlehem, at a short distance from the latter place. Rachel his mother died in giving him birth, and with her last breath named him Ben-oni, son of my pain, a name which was changed by his father into Benjamin.


  2. Tribe of Benjamin

    These are descendants of the man Benjamin (mentioned above). They were called Benjamites.

    During the Exodus, this tribe was the smallest but one (Numbers 1:36-37; Psalm 68:27). During the march its place was along with Manasseh and Ephraim on the west of the tabernacle.

    At the entrance into Canaan it counted 45,600 warriors.

    It has been inferred by some from the words of Jacob (Genesis 49:27) that the figure of a wolf was on the tribal standard.

    This tribe is also mentioned in the New Testament (Romans 11:1; Philippians 3:5).

    Territory of the Tribe of Benjamin (the Benjamites)

    Map of the ancient Israelite tribal territories in the Promised Land. CC BY-SA 3.0
    Benjamin is small and shaded in light blue at the north border of Judah.

    This map shows the approximate location and boundaries of the 12 Israelite tribes, based on records in the Book of Joshua. This, and more, was The Promised Land given by God to the descendants of Israel, the grandson of Abraham. The full extent of the Canaanite land promised was never acquired, due to the repeated disobedience of the Israelites during the their commanded conquest of this very idolatrous, heathen land, after the Exodus from slavery in Egypt and the following 40 years of Divine punishment wandering in the wilderness, before Joshua and the living descendants were allowed to enter the land, following the death of Moses.

    The inheritance of this tribe lay immediately to the south of that of Ephraim, and was about 26 miles in length and 12 in breadth. Its eastern boundary was the Jordan. Dan intervened between it and the Philistines. Its chief towns are named in Joshua 18:21-28.

    History of the Tribe of Benjamin

    The history of the tribe contains a sad record of a desolating civil war in which they were engaged with the other eleven tribes. By it they were almost exterminated (Judges 20:20-21; 21:10). (See GIBEAH.)

    The first king of the Jews was Saul, a Benjamite. A close alliance was formed between this tribe and that of Judah in the time of David (2 Samuel 19:16-17), which continued after his death (1 Kings 11:13; 12:20). After the Exile these two tribes formed the great body of the Jewish nation (Ezra 1:5; 10:9).

    The tribe of Benjamin was famous for its archers (1 Samuel 20:20, 36; 2 Samuel 1:22; 1 Chronicles 8:40; 12:2) and slingers (Judge. 20:6).

    The gate of Benjamin, on the north side of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 37:13; 38:7; Zechariah 14:10), was so called because it led in the direction of the territory of the tribe of Benjamin. It is called by Jeremiah (20:2) “the high gate of Benjamin;” also “the gate of the children of the people” (17:19). (Compare 2 Kings 14:13.)

    Prophecy in the book of Revelation

    Revelation 7:4–8 mentions that people from the 12 tribes of Israel will be sealed by an angel of God. Benjaminites will be a part of the 144-thousand Israelite evangelists for Christ during The Great Tribulation.

    And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed:

    of the tribe of Judah twelve thousand were sealed;
    of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand were sealed;
    of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand were sealed;
    of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand were sealed;
    of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand were sealed;
    of the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand were sealed;
    of tribe of Simeon twelve thousand were sealed;
    of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand were sealed;
    of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand were sealed;
    of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand were sealed;
    of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand were sealed;
    of the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand were sealed.

    Brother Tribes

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Article Version: July 27, 2021