Benjamin (Bible)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Israel map from 1695

Twelve tribes of Israel

The 12 tribes of Israel

Benjamin ( Hebrew בִּנְיָמִין) is according to the Old Testament the youngest son of the patriarch Jacob and his favorite wife Rahel .

Tradition according to the Bible

Benjamin is born

Benjamin was born in a tent on the road to Efrata (today's Bethlehem). His mother Rachel dies in childbirth. Shortly before her death, she suggested the name of the child Ben-Oni, "son of lament" or "son of my life force". But Jacob calls his son Benjamin, literally “son of the south”, further “son of the right side”, which leads to the free translation “the particularly honored” or “the beloved son”.

Benjamin is 9 to 10 years younger than his next oldest brother, Josef , who is also the only one of his 11 siblings who has the same mother. His other brothers (half-brothers) are already grown men.

When Benjamin was about 8 years old, Josef was - according to false statements of his older half-brothers - "killed by a wild animal". When a severe famine breaks out about twenty years later , Jacob sends his sons to Egypt , because there is a man who sells grain here. When they return, however, Simeon is missing . The brothers tell that the stranger, a man by the name of Zafenat-Paneach , asked them to bring their youngest brother Benjamin with him to Egypt, otherwise he would see them as spies and they would have to fear death. Jacob initially refuses to let Benjamin go because he does not want to lose another son after Joseph. But the famine is getting worse and he knows that Egypt is the only salvation. So he lets Benjamin go. Here the brothers meet Simeon again, and Benjamin gets to know Zafenat-Paneach. The brothers are surprised to find that the ruler takes them into his house and gives them a royal meal. When the brothers travel back, the caretaker from Zafenat-Paneach appears shortly after the city limits and accuses them of stealing from his master. The brothers dismiss this as a misunderstanding and offer that the caretaker should have the thief killed and that the remaining brothers should be slaves if they are guilty. One by one, the caretaker searches the brothers' sacks and finally finds his master's silver cup in Benjamin's sack. The brothers are brought to Zafenat-Paneach, who gives everyone freedom, but wants to enslave Benjamin. But Judah , one of the brothers, is passionate about Benjamin and offers himself as a slave in Benjamin's place. Now Zafenat-Paneach is touched because he notices that his brothers have changed and he reveals himself to them. He was Joseph, whom they had sold into slavery years ago. They did not need to be afraid and should also bring their father to Egypt. He gives gifts to each of them, especially Benjamin, who receives 300 pieces of silver and five ceremonial dresses. So Benjamin moves to Egypt with his brothers and family.

Benjamin has a total of ten sons: Bela , Becher , Aschbel , Gera , Naaman , Ehi , Rosch , Muppim , Huppim and Ard . Shortly before his father dies, Jacob blesses his sons. He says of Benjamin:

“Benjamin is a raging wolf ; in the morning he will eat prey and in the evening he will distribute booty! "

- Genesis 49:27, standard translation

Benjamin dies in Egypt. He and his sons are considered to be the founder of the tribe of Benjamin. Just under 200 years later, the number of Benjaminites was 45,600 ( Num 26.41  EU ).

Historically, the question of whether the tribe of Benjamin was part of the division of the Kingdom of Israel after the death of King Solomon in 926 BC has not been clearly clarified . BC, whether or not the northern tribes separated from the Kingdom of Judah . According to 1 Kings 11:35  EU , only ten tribes went into secession; but this could have been based on only eleven tribes of Israel, since the tribe of Levi was landless. According to 1 Kings 12.21  EU , Benjamin and Judah opposed the division. In any case, the Benjaminite area remained controversial between the northern and southern empires ( 1 Kings 15.16ff  EU ). Benjamin is with Judah in Esr 1,5  EU a . ö. mentioned among the returnees from the Babylonian exile and should therefore have belonged to the Kingdom of Judah before.

Benjamin in the modern age

“To be Benjamin” means the youngest of a group. The quote refers to the biblical tradition that Benjamin was Jacob's youngest son.

In the 1995 film adaptation of The Bible - Joseph , Briton Jamie Glover played Benjamin. Young actor Brett Warren played eight-year-old Benjamin .

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Rabin, Ch .: Etymological Miscellanea . In: ScrHier . tape 8 , 1961, pp. 386 f .
  2. Schäfer-Bossert, S .: Power for men and mourning for women? A critical look at the interpretation of און - or: What does Rahel call her son? In: Feminist Hermeneutics and the First Testament. Analyzes and interpretations . Stuttgart 1994, p. 122 .
  3. Gen 35.18  EU
  4. Benjamin. Retrieved April 25, 2018 .
  5. ^ Antonius HJ Gunneweg: History of Israel up to Bar Kochba. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1972, p. 89.