Meaning: ewe, “the daughter”
This is “the somewhat petulant, peevish, and self-willed, though beautiful younger daughter” of Laban, and one of Jacob’s wives (Genesis 29:6; 29:28). Our first introduction to her is as a shepherdess of her father’s sheep (Gen. 29:9).
She became the mother of Joseph (Genesis 30:22-24) and his younger brother Benjamin. Ultimately, the Israelite tribes of Manasseh, Ephraim and Benjamin resulted from her union with Jacob (aka Israel).
Upon Jacob’s long delayed departure from Mesopotamia, Rachel took with her father’s teraphim (Genesis 31:34-35). She stole them and hid them in her tent in a camel saddle. When he came searching for them in her tent, she sat on the saddle and lied to him about why she could not rise, claiming female problems.
As Jacob and Rachel journeyed on from Bethel, Rachel died at age 36 in giving birth to Benjamin (35:18-19). She was buried “in the way to Ephratah (Ephrath), which is Bethlehem where David later lived and where our Savior was born.
A free interactive 3D tour of the refurbished tomb, as it now appears, is available at this site: IVisitIsrael.com.
Thus says the Lord,
“A voice is heard in Ramah,
Lamentation and bitter weeping.
Rachel is weeping for her children;
She refuses to be comforted for her children,
Because they are no more.” —Jeremiah 31:15-17 NASB
- Father: Laban, brother of Sarah
- Sister: Leah
- Husband: Jacob
- Father-in-law: Isaac, son of Abraham
- Sons: Joseph and Benjamin
- Daughters: none mentioned in Scripture