Genesis 35:18- Benjamin or the son of my misery?

Sometimes people change their name. Perhaps they don’t like the choice of their parents. Maybe they need a new start or a new journey in their life. Sometimes they have two names that are given so one of them would give respect and honor to a member of the family. In Genesis 35:18 Jacob decided to change the name of Rachel’s son during a tragedy. His loved wife just gave birth and passed away, as written:

“וַיִּסְעוּ֙ מִבֵּ֣ית אֵ֔ל וַֽיְהִי־ע֥וֹד כִּבְרַת־הָאָ֖רֶץ לָב֣וֹא אֶפְרָ֑תָה וַתֵּ֥לֶד רָחֵ֖ל וַתְּקַ֥שׁ בְּלִדְתָּֽהּ׃ וַיְהִ֥י בְהַקְשֹׁתָ֖הּ בְּלִדְתָּ֑הּ וַתֹּ֨אמֶר לָ֤הּ הַמְיַלֶּ֙דֶת֙ אַל־תִּ֣ירְאִ֔י כִּֽי־גַם־זֶ֥ה לָ֖ךְ בֵּֽן׃וַיְהִ֞י בְּצֵ֤את נַפְשָׁהּ֙ כִּ֣י מֵ֔תָה וַתִּקְרָ֥א שְׁמ֖וֹ בֶּן־אוֹנִ֑י וְאָבִ֖יו קָֽרָא־ל֥וֹ בִנְיָמִֽין׃”

“And they journeyed from Bethel; and there was but a little way to come to Ephrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labour. And it came to pass, when she was in hard labour that the midwife said unto her Fear not; thou shalt have this son also.And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin.”(Genesis 35:16-18)

In her last moments of her life, Rachel tried to cause us to remember how she suffered in her life, and the name that she gave to her son was the son of my misery or the son of my affliction. But this Benjamin won’t suffer if it depends on the hands of Jacob. He immediately changed his name to Benjamin!

However, in the Bible we can see a king from Benjamin that suffered (Saul) and a descendent that rescued the Jewish people (Mordechai).

Have a blessed weekend, Eli

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