Some of our recent posts have dealt with Jacob’s twenty years stay in Haran, during which time eleven of his twelve sons were born. Benjamin, the twelfth son, was born after their return to Canaan.
At the museum at Caesarea Maritima there is an open air display which honors “the five outstanding Statesmen whose brave and timely decisions led to the creation of the state of Israel.” These are Hertzl, Balfour, Truman, Weizmann, and Ben-Gurion. The exhibit also commemorates the twelve sons of Israel, displayed at the top of the semi-circular structure.
After Jacob and his family left Laban at Mizpah, he made his way to Gilead. It was there that the Messenger of the Lord told him, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men and have prevailed” (Gen. 32:28). In our photo below, the plaque designating Israel is shown.
Though Jacob had four wives, it was Rachel whom he had chosen, the one with whom he was truly in love. Rachel had two sons. Joseph was born in Haran.
Benjamin was born “when there was but a little distance to go to Ephrath” (Gen. 35:16). Rachel died while giving birth to him. Benjamin’s plaque is featured below.
From the twelve sons of Jacob the twelve tribes of Israel would develop. As the biblical narrative unfolds, Jacob will adopt the two sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh, and Levi will become the priestly tribe.