In the last verses of Genesis 35, the generations and situations change. Rachel, as she is dying in childbirth, names her son Ben-Oni as her last act. This name tragically means son of my sorrow. Her husband Jacob chooses instead to honour them both by calling him Benjamin, meaning son of the right hand.
Reuben, Jacob’s first-born son, sleeps with Rachel’s handmaid Bilhah, who had been a concubine of Jacob to have children for Rachel. This error would cost Reuben dearly. After these changes in his family, Jacob, now called Israel, must also have found himself changed. It is clear as Benjamin grew that he was treated differently than all his brothers, as Rachel was favoured, so was Benjamin. In all this human darkness, God was still on the move, working human frailty for good.
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