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Bible Dictionaries

Morrish Bible Dictionary


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The youngest son of Jacob by his beloved wife Rachel. She died at his birth and named him BEN-ONI,signifying 'son of my sorrow,' but his father named him BENJAMIN,'son of the right hand.' Genesis 35:18,24 . Type of Christ both as exalted at God's right hand (Benjamin), and, as rejected, the occasion of Israel's tribulation in the last days (Ben-oni), Rachel being a type of Israel (Micah 5 .). Very little is recorded of Benjamin personally: he was the father of ten sons. Genesis 46:21 .

Benjamin was the smallest of the tribes except Manasseh in the numbering of Numbers 1:37; Numbers 2:22,23 . In Psalm 68:27 it is called 'little Benjamin;' but in the numbering before entering the land Benjamin exceeded in number four of the other tribes. Numbers 26:41 . In Genesis 49:27 Jacob prophesied of the tribe that it should "ravin as a wolf; in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil;" typical of Christ in judgement on the earth in a future day. In Deuteronomy 33:12 , where Moses prophesied of the tribes, he said of Benjamin, "The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him; and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders." So in the blessings of Psalm 68:27 Benjamin is the first named of the four tribes; and in Psalm 80:2 , where God is called upon to save them, Benjamin is mentioned with Ephraim and Manasseh, being the three tribes which followed the ark. Numbers 2:17-24; Numbers 10:22-24 .

The tribe did not drive out the Jebusites, but allowed them to dwell with them in Jerusalem, Judges 1:21; this may have led to their idolatry, for when, with Judah and Ephraim, they were attacked by the children of Ammon, they confessed they had forsaken God and served Baalim. Judges 10:9,10 . It may also have led to the dreadful deed which resulted in the destruction of nearly the whole tribe. Judges 19 - 21. From this they in a measure recovered their strength. At the division of the kingdom they remained with Judah, but a large portion of their lot was seized by Israel. At times they appear to be lost sight of, for Ahijah said that God had reserved to the house of David one tribe (as if Benjamin was reckoned as cut off in judgement), 1 Kings 11:36 . The two tribes were constantly spoken of as 'Judah,' whereas the ten tribes were called 'Israel.' On the return from the captivity, Benjamin had its share of blessing with Judah. Ezra 1:5; Ezra 10:9; Nehemiah 11:4-36 . Paul relates twice that he was of the tribe of Benjamin. Romans 11:1; Philippians 3:5 . In the future, twelve thousand of this tribe will be sealed. Revelation 7:8 .

The district occupied by the tribe is often simply called Benjamin. It was situated with Ephraim on its north, and Judah on its south, Dan on its west, and the Jordan on its east; it occupied about 28 miles east and west and 14 miles north and south at its widest parts. The district is mountainous with rocks and ravines, having an elevated table land. It contained the important cities of Jerusalem (in its south border), Bethel, Gibeon, Ramah, etc.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Morrish, George. Entry for 'Benjamin'. Morrish Bible Dictionary. 1897.

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