16 Then they journeyed from Bethel. And when there was but a little distance to go to Ephrath, Rachel labored in childbirth, and she had hard labor. 17 Now it came to pass, when she was in hard labor, that the midwife said to her, “Do not fear; you will have this son also.” 18 And so it was, as her soul was departing (for she died), that she called his name Ben-Oni;[c] but his father called him Benjamin.[d] 19 So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). 20 And Jacob set a pillar on her grave, whichis the pillar of Rachel’s grave to this day.
21 Then Israel journeyed and pitched his tent beyond the tower of Eder. 22 And it happened, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine; and Israel heard about it.
Jacob’s Twelve Sons
Now the sons of Jacob were twelve: 23 the sons of Leah were Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn, and Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun; 24 the sons of Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin; 25 the sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s maidservant, were Dan and Naphtali; 26 and the sons of Zilpah, Leah’s maidservant, were Gad and Asher. These were the sons of Jacob who were born to him in Padan Aram.
Death of Isaac
27 Then Jacob came to his father Isaac at Mamre, or Kirjath Arba[e] (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had dwelt. 28 Now the days of Isaac were one hundred and eighty years. 29 So Isaac breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his people,being old and full of days. And his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.
Israel decides to leave the place where God had told him to dwell. The Lord had appeared to him and said, “ Go back to Bethel, back to the House of God, back to where we met!”
Yet he moves on from where he was told to dwell and this action seemed to have some unfortunate disastrous consequences:
Rachel dies and his son Reuben lies with his father’s concubine. Now this was not a small matter, as it was Reuben’s attempt to usurp his father, something that will come back to haunt him later on.
It would appear that, according to verse 27, that Jacob left Bethel to go and see his father before he had died.
The chapter ends with the two estranged brothers of Isaac coming together to bury him.
Not all is lost during this time because Rachel gives birth to Israel’s final son, Benjamin
She names him “Ben-oni,” or “Son of my sorrow,” but Israel named him Benjamin, or “Son of my right hand.”
This would prove to be a very wonderful birth for Israel as well as every Christian who ever lived.
At least four great figures came from the tribe of Benjamin:
- Ehud, a great judge
- Saul, the first King
- Esther and Mordecai
- Paul the Apostle