Rachel is one of four arch-mothers of Israel (Genesis 29:6). She is one of two wives of Jacob, sister of Jacob's first wife Leah (note that in the later Levitical code the marrying two sisters became prohibited - Leviticus 18:18); daughter of Laban, who is the son of Bethuel, who is the son of Nahor, the brother of Abraham. The two sons of Rachel are Joseph and Benjamin.
The name Rachel is identical to the word (rahel) meaning ewe. This word occurs a mere four times: Genesis 31:8; 32:15; Song 6:6; and most famously Isaiah 53:7, "Like a sheep () that is silent before its shearers, so did He not open His mouth".
NOBS Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names agree: The name Rachel means Ewe.
See for another name that might be formed from the word rahel our article on Aharhel.
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