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RACHEL (Heb. rahel, ewe, Gr. Rhachel). The wife of Jacob, the mother of Joseph and Benjamin (Gen 29:6, 16, 18, 31; 30:1-9; cf. Jer 31:15; Matt 2:18). Rachel was the younger daughter of Laban, the Aramean (ASV "Syrian"), the brother of Rebekah, Jacob's mother (Gen 28:2); thus Jacob and Rachel were full cousins. Rebekah suggested that Jacob leave home for a time and go to the house of her brother Laban in Haran (Paddan Aram) (27:43-45). On his arrival, Jacob was struck by Rachel's beauty and immediately fell in love with her (29:17-18). He signed a contract with Laban for seven years of labor (the usual period of indentured servants); at the end of this time Rachel was to be his wife. Laban adopted Jacob as his son, giving him both Leah and her sister Rachel as his wives. After becoming prosperous, Jacob took his departure from the house of Laban (31:21). Rachel concealed Laban's household gods in the baggage as she and Jacob fled (31:30-31). These household deities, about the size of miniature dolls, were regarded as indisputable evidence of the rights and privileges of family ownership and inheritance (31:30). 
For some time, Rachel remained barren but finally she had Joseph (30:22), while still in the house of Laban. Later Benjamin was born but Rachel died in childbirth (35:16-19). Jacob favored the sons of his beloved Rachel above the sons of Leah. Rachel inherited her family's traits of scheming and duplicity (31:34). A believer in monotheism, she still clung to the forms of polytheism.

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Excerpted from Compton's Interactive Bible NIV
Copyright (c) 1994, 1995, 1996 SoftKey Multimedia Inc. All Rights Reserved
RACHEL (ewe).
  • Daughter of Laban and wife of Jacob. Meets Jacob at the well (Ge 29:9-12).
  • Jacob serves Laban fourteen years to secure her for his wife (Ge 29:15-30).
  • Sterility of (Ge 29:31).
  • Her grief in consequence of her sterility; gives her maid to Jacob in order to secure children in her own name (Ge 30:1-8, 15,22-34).
  • Later fertility of; becomes the mother of Joseph (Ge 30:22-25), of Benjamin (Ge 35:16-18,24).
  • Steals the household images of her father (Ge 31:4,14-19,33-35).
  • Her death and burial (Ge 35:18-20; 48:7; 1Sa 10:2).

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Excerpted from Compton's Interactive Bible NIV
Copyright (c) 1994, 1995, 1996 SoftKey Multimedia Inc. All Rights Reserved
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RACHEL
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