<i>Benjamin is also the name of an [[Benjamin I|Ecumenical Patriarch]] </i>
[[Hebrew language|Hebrew ]]: '''בִּנְיָמִין '''; standard transliteration '''''Binyamin ''''', Tiberian vocalization '''''Bínyāmîn''''') is a [[ Hebrew Bible]] figure. The name literally translates to "son of right," generally taken to mean "son of my right hand," but in some [[Rabbinical Judaism|rabbinical traditions]] " son of the right side [of the body]" or "son of the south," the youngest son of [[Jacob]] and [[Rachel]] (Genesis 35:18). The "right" direction had the connotation of strength or desirability. In the [[ Samaritan Pentateuch]] , this name is consistently spelled '''בנימים''' ('''''Binyamim'''''), which may indicate a neutralization of nasal-final endings, or may imply a different analysis, as '''בן ימים''', "son of days", implying the son of Jacob's old age (as he is described in Genesis 44:20).
His birth took place on the road between [[ Bethel]] and [[Ephrath]], which is identified with Bethlehem ( Genesis 35: 19). His mother Rachel died in childbirth, and with her last breath named him ''Ben- oni'' ("son of my pain") , an ill-omened name which was changed by his father into ''Binyamin''. His posterity were the [[ tribe of Benjamin]], sometimes translated "Benjamites" (Genesis 49:27 ; Deuteronomy 33: 12; Joshua 18:21).
The tribe of Benjamin at [[the Exodus]] was the smallest aside from [[Tribe of Manasseh|Manasseh]], which was split off from [[Tribe of Joseph|Joseph]] (Numbers 1: 34-1 :37; Psalms 68:27). During the march its place was along with [[Manasseh]] and [[ Ephraim]] on the west of the tabernacle. At the entrance into [[Canaan]] it counted 45,600 warriors. It has been inferred by some from the words of Jacob (Genesis 49:27) that the figure of a wolf was on the tribal standard: "Benjamin is a wolf that raveneth; in the morning he shall devour the prey, at evening he shall divide the spoil. "
This tribe is mentioned in [[Epistle to the Romans]] 11:1 and [[Philippians]] 3:5. The inheritance of this tribe lay immediately to the south of that of [[Ephraim ]], and was about 26 miles in length and 12 in breadth. Its eastern boundary was the [[Jordan ]]. [[Tribe of Dan |Dan]] intervened between it and the [[Philistines ]]. Its chief towns are named in [[Book of Joshua|Josh.]] 18:21-28.
The history of the tribe contains a sad record of a desolating civil war in which they were engaged with the other eleven tribes; they were almost exterminated (Judg. 20:20, 21; 21:10).
The first king of the Jews was [[
Saul the King|Saul]], a Benjamite. A close alliance was formed between this tribe and that of [[Tribe of Judah |Judah]] in the time of [[David]] ([[Books of Samuel|2 Sam.]] 19:16, 17), which continued after his death ([[Books of Kings|1 Kings]] 11:13; 12:20). After the [[Babylonian captivity |Exile ]] these two tribes formed the great body of the Jewish nation (Ezra 1:5; 10:9), and to this day the other ten are referred to as the [[lost tribes of Israel]]. The tribe of Benjamin was famous for its archers ([[Books of Samuel|1 Sam.]] 20:20, 36; [[Books of Samuel|2 Sam.]] 1:22; 1 [[Books of Chronicles|Chr.]] 8:40; 12:2) and slingers ([[Book of Judges|Judges]] 20:6).
The gate of Benjamin, on the north side of [[Jerusalem]] (Jer. 37:13; 38:7; Zech. 14:10), was so called because it led in the direction of the territory of the tribe of Benjamin. It is called by [[Jeremiah (prophet)|Jeremiah]] (20:2) "the high gate of Benjamin"; also "the gate of the children of the people" (17:19). (Comp. 2 Kings 14:13.)
== Son of Jacob ==
Benjamin was the son of Jacob and Rachel, the youngest of Jacob's twelve sons and full blood brother to [[Joseph]]. Benjamin's early years are not divulged too deeply, but what is known is that he did not feel jealousy towards Joseph as their older brothers did and he had no involvement in Joseph being sold into slavery.
Later Joseph had his silver cup planted in Benjamin's sack and then had him arrested for theft. This was still part of his plan in testing their older brothers. When the brothers pleaded his case and even [[Judah]] offers to stay in his place, Joseph reveals himself to his brothers and hugs Benjamin first.
== Jacob's blessing ==
On his deathbed, Jacob blesses each one of his sons, usually based upon the actions they took in life. Though Benjamin had no involvement in Joseph's enslavement and there doesn't seem to be much evidence that he was troublesome, Jacob bestows upon him a rather somber blessing:
== See also ==
*[[Tribe of Benjamin]]
*''Easton's Bible Dictionary'', 1897.
*[http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/ ''The Jewish Encyclopedia,'' 1908:] Benjamin. Material on the tribe, its territory, Rabbinical tradition and Islam, where Benjamin is not specifically mentioned in the ''Qur'an.''