Benjamin @ son of my right hand. (1.) The younger son of Jacob by Rachel Genesis:35:18). His birth took place at Ephrath, on the road between Bethel and Bethlehem, at a short distance from the latter place. His mother died in giving him birth, and with her last breath named him Ben-oni, son of my pain, a name which was changed by his father into Benjamin. His posterity are called Benjamites Genesis:49:27; Deuteronomy:33:12; Joshua:18:21). The tribe of Benjamin at the Exodus was the smallest but one Numbers:1:36-37; Psalms:68:27). During the march its place was along with Manasseh and Ephraim on the west of the tabernacle. At the entrance into Canaan it counted 45-600 warriors. It has been inferred by some from the words of Jacob Genesis:49:27) that the figure of a wolf was on the tribal standard. This tribe is mentioned in Romans:11:1; Philippians:3:5. The inheritance of this tribe lay immediately to the south of that of Ephraim, and was about 26 miles in length and 12 in breadth. Its eastern boundary was the Jordan. Dan intervened between it and the Philistines. Its chief towns are named in Joshua:18:21-28. The history of the tribe contains a sad record of a desolating civil war in which they were engaged with the other eleven tribes. By it they were almost exterminated Judges:20:20-21Judges:21:10). (See GIBEAH.) The first king of the Jews was Saul, a Benjamite. A close alliance was formed between this tribe and that of Judah in the time of David ( 2Samuel:19:16-17), which continued after his death (kjvKings:11:13; 12:20). After the Exile these two tribes formed the great body of the Jewish nation Ezra:1:5Ezra:10:9). The tribe of Benjamin was famous for its archers ( 1Samuel:20:201Samuel:20:362Samuel:1:22; 1Chronicles:8:401Chronicles:12:2) and slingers (Judge. 20:6). The gate of Benjamin, on the north side of Jerusalem Jeremiah:37:13Jeremiah:38:7; Zechariah:14:10), was so called because it led in the direction of the territory of the tribe of Benjamin. It is called by Jeremiah (20:2) "the high gate of Benjamin;" also "the gate of the children of the people" (17:19). (Comp. 2Kings:14:13.)
BENJAMIN @ - (son of the right hand, fortunate). The youngest of the children of Jacob. His birth took place on the road between Bethel and Bethlehem, near the latter, B.C. 1729. His mother, Rachel, died in the act of giving him birth, naming him with her last breath Ben-oni (son of my sorrow). This was by Jacob changed into Benjamin. Genesis:35:16-18) Until the journeys of Jacob’s sons and Jacob himself into Egypt we hear nothing of Benjamin. Nothing personal is known of him. Henceforward the history of Benjamin is the history of the tribe. A man of the tribe of Benjamin, son of bilhan, and the head of a family of warriors. ( 1Chronicles:7:10) One of the "sons of Harim," an Israelite in the time of Ezra who had married a foreign wife. Ezra:10:32)
BENJAMIN, THE TRIBE OF @ - The contrast between the warlike character of the tribe and the peaceful image of its progenitor comes out in many scattered notices. Benjamin was the only tribe which seems to have pursued archery to any purpose, and their skill in the bow, ( 1Samuel:20:201Samuel:20:36 2 Samuel 1:232; 1Chronicles:8:401Chronicles:12:2; 2Chronicles:17:17) and the sling, Judges:20:16) is celebrated. The dreadful deed recorded in Judges:19 was defended by Benjamin. Later the tribe seems, however, to assume another position, as Ramah, ( 1Samuel:9:12) etc., Mizpeh, ( 1Samuel:7:5) Bethel and Gibeon, (Kings:3:4) were all in the land of Benjamin. After the struggles and contests which followed the death of Saul, the history of Benjamin becomes merged in that of the southern kingdom.
BENJAMIN, THE LAND OF @ - The proximity of Benjamin to Ephraim during the march to the promised land was maintained in the territory allotted to each. That given to Benjamin formed almost a parallelogram, of about 26 miles in length by 12 in breadth, lying between Ephraim, the Jordan, Judah and Dan. The general level of this part of Palestine is not less than 2000 feet above the Mediterranean or than 3000 feet above the valley of the Jordan, the surrounding country including a large number of eminences--almost every one of which has borne some part in the history of the tribe--and many torrent beds and deep ravines.