The Story of Benjamin.
The story of Benjamin
Biblical Hebrew gives you a new perspective
A Tragic Beginning
The matriarch Rachel was beloved by her husband Jacob, but remained barren for many years. Finally, after years of faithfully waiting, she became pregnant and gave birth to Joseph. But years later, her second pregnancy ended in disaster. In the final tragic moments of her life, Rachel named her baby son Ben Oni (בן אוני). In Hebrew this means “son (ben) of my sorrow” (oni) – that is to say, this boy’s birth caused my death.
The Son of the Right
Son of Sorrow: quite a heavy burden to carry on one’s shoulders. So, Jacob changed his name to Benjamin (בנימין). In Hebrew this means “son (ben) of the right (yamin)”. In ancient times, people faced east to the rising sun to orient themselves, which makes south on the right. So, Benjamin is the “son of the south” – the only one of Jacob’s twelve sons born in the southern land of Canaan, not north in Aram.
Understand the bond between the Old and New Testament
Knowing what Benjamin’s two names mean, we can see an amazing parallel. Jesus Christ, who is a descendant of Jacob, was described as a “man of sorrows” (Isaiah 53:3). On Easter Sunday, Jesus rose from the dead and “sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). To really understand the depth of the Bible and the profound bonds linking the Old and New Testament, enroll now in our live online Biblical Hebrew course!
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