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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Rachel

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RACHEL ( Rahel in Jeremiah 31:15 AV [Note: Authorized Version.] , ‘ewe’). The younger daughter of Laban, and favourite wife of Jacob ( Genesis 29:28-30 ), who married her after her sister Leah. In the quarrel between Jacob and Laban, she, as well as Leah, took the part of Jacob ( Genesis 31:14-16 ). When leaving her father, she stole his household divinities, the teraphim ( Genesis 31:19 ) an incident which suggests the laxity in worship and in ideas of property characteristic of the times. Her sons were Joseph and Benjamin: she died in giving birth to Benjamin.

Rachel’s grave . The location of this is disputed. It was near Ephrath . Genesis 35:16; Genesis 35:19-20 , 1 Samuel 10:2 , Jeremiah 31:15 indicate that it was on the N. border of Benjamin towards Ephraim, about ten miles N. of Jerusalem. In other places, however ( Ruth 1:2; Ruth 4:11 , Micah 5:2 ), Ephrath is another name for Bethlehem , as it is also explained in Genesis 35:19; Genesis 48:7 . In accordance with this latter group of passages, tradition from at least the 4th cent. has fixed the spot 4 miles S. of Jerusalem and 1 mile N. of Bethlehem. Either the northern location is correct, or there are here two variant accounts. The former view is probably to be preferred, since Rachel has no connexion with Judah. In that case ‘that is Bethlehem’ is an incorrect gloss. Cf. also Ramah, 3 .

George R. Berry.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Rachel'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdb/r/rachel.html. 1909.

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