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Ra’chel (ewe, or sheep), the younger of the daughters of Laban, the wife of Jacob (b.c. 1753) and mother of Joseph and Benjamin. The incidents of her life may be found in 29–33, 35. The story of Jacob and Rachel has always had a peculiar interest. The beauty of Rachel, Jacob’s deep love and long servitude for her, their marriage, and Rachel’s death on giving birth to Benjamin, with Jacob’s grief at her loss, Gen. 48:7, makes a touching tale. Yet from what is related to us concerning her character there does not seem much to claim any high degree of admiration and esteem. She appears to have shared all the duplicity and falsehood of her family. See, for instance, Rachel’s stealing her father’s images, and the ready dexterity and presence of mind with which she concealed her theft. Gen. 31. “Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem. (b.c. 1729.) And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave; that is the pillar of Rachel’s grave unto this day.” Gen. 35:19, 20. The site of Rachel’s tomb, “on the way to Bethlehem,” “a little way to come to Ephrath,” “in the border of Benjamin,” has never been questioned. It is about two miles south of Jerusalem and one mile north of Bethlehem.


Tomb of Rachel, near Bethlehem.