🔼The name Benjamin in the Bible
There are three men named Benjamin in the Bible, but the most famous one is the thirteenth and youngest child of Israel's patriarch Jacob (Genesis 35:18), who now has twelve sons and a daughter named Dinah. Benjamin is the second son of Rachel — the first being Joseph — and she dies giving birth to him. With her dying breath she names the boy Ben-oni, but father Jacob swiftly renames him Benjamin.
Our name comes in two Hebrew variants (בנימין and בנימן) and in Greek this name is spelled Βενιαμιν (see full New Testament concordance). Curiously, the ethnonym Benjaminite (either version of our name post-fixed with י, yod) occurs only once in the Hebrew Bible, in 1 Chronicles 27:12, where בנימיני is applied to Abiezer the Anathothite of the Benjaminite.
An often neglected curiosity is the disproportionally important role of the tribe of Benjamin in the development of Israel, or even the very pattern of redemption displayed by the Bible:
The city of Jerusalem was originally assigned to Benjamin (Judges 1:21). The tribe of Benjamin was decimated after the atrocities committed in Gibeah (Judges 19-21) but still, a generation later Israel's first king was from the surviving remnant of Benjamin (1 Samuel 9:1). Mordecai, whose adopted daughter Esther helped to avoid Israel's annihilation, was a Benjaminite (Esther 2:5). And the apostle Paul, who authored half the New Testament, was from the tribe of Benjamin as well (Philippians 3:5).
The other men named Benjamin are:
🔼Etymology of the name Benjamin
The name Benjamin consists of two elements, the first one being the common Hebrew noun בן (ben), meaning son:
The second part of the name Benjamin comes from the noun ימין (yamin), meaning right hand or right side, from the root ימן:
The name Benjamin means Son Of The Right Hand (meaning, Son Of Strength; Son Of The South).