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This article is about the patriarch. You may be looking for the tribe.

Benjamin was the twelfth and youngest son of Jacob. His mother was Rachel, Jacob's wife. Benjamin was born during the journey that Jacob and his family took from Padan-Aram to Canaan. His mother Rachel named him Ben-oni, meaning "Son of my sorrow," before she died during the childbirth, but Jacob called him Benjamin, meaning instead "Son of my right hand." Joseph, Benjamin's brother, was sold into slavery by his other brothers.

Joseph later became prime minister of Egypt, and when Joseph's brothers refused to abandon Benjamin, after Joseph put them to a test, Joseph realized his brothers had a change of heart and were willing to risk their lives for their youngest brother. Through this test, the whole family of Jacob was joyously reunited.

When Jacob blessed his 12 sons he describes Benjamin as a wolf that prowls, devouring his enemies in the morning and dividing up the spoils in the evening.[1] King Saul, and Judge Ehud, were descendants of Benjamin, as were Paul and the prophet Jeremiah.

After the division of the Kingdom, the land of Benjamin served as a buffer zone between Israel and Judah.

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  1. Genesis 49:27 (Link)