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Benjamin

BENJAMIN (bĕn'ja-mĭn, Heb. binyāmîn, son of my right hand, Gen 35:17ff.). The youngest son of the patriarch Jacob whom his wife Rachel bore in her dying agony; named Ben-oni (“son of my sorrow”) by Rachel, his mother, but renamed Benjamin (“son of my right hand”) by his father Jacob. Of all the children of Jacob, he alone was born in Palestine, between Ephrathah and Bethel. Together with his elder brother Joseph, he appears as a special object of parental love and devotion, no doubt, in part at least, because of the sad circumstances surrounding his birth. He seems to have played no part in the sale of Joseph into Egypt. The intercession on the part of Judah in behalf of Benjamin (Gen.44.18-Gen.44.34) is one of the most moving speeches in all of literature. No doubt the brothers had been softened in their attitude as they had observed the continued suffering of their father over the fate of Joseph, whom he believed irrevocably lost.