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Rachel Bat Laban
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Birth: unknown, Syria
Death: unknown, Israel

Rachel bat Laban means "Rachel, the daughter of Laban." She is sometimes referred to as Rachel Imeinu, or "Rachel our mother." Rachel was the younger sister of Leah, Jacob Ben Isaac's first wife. Jacob was her first cousin, and she was the youngest niece of Rebekah. Rachel is first mentioned in the Bible in Genesis 29 when Jacob happens upon her as she is watering her lamb. He had traveled a great distance to find his mother's brother, Laban. Rebekah had sent him there to be safe from his furious twin brother, Esau. During Jacob's stay, he fell in love with Rachel and agreed to work seven years for Laban in return for her hand in marriage. On the night of the wedding, the bride was veiled and Jacob did not notice that Leah, Rachel's older sister, had been substituted for Rachel. Later Jacob confronted Laban, who excused his own deception by insisting that the older sister should marry first. He assured Jacob that after his wedding week was finished, he could take Rachel as a wife as well, and work another seven years as payment for her. After Leah had given birth to four sons, Rachel remained unable to conceive. She became jealous of Leah and gave Jacob her maidservant, Bilhah, to be a surrogate mother for her. Bilhah gave birth to two sons that Rachel named and raised (Dan and Naphtali). Leah responds by offering her handmaid Zilpah to Jacob, and names and raises the two sons (Gad and Asher) that Zilpah bears. After Leah conceived again, Rachel was finally blessed with a son, Joseph, who would become Jacob's favorite child. She also had a second son named Benjamin; she died during labor with him on the way to Hevron returning to Jacob's family's home. They set out from Bayt-El, but when they were still some distance from Efrat, Rachel went into childbirth, and she had hard labour. When her labour was at it's hardest, the midwife said to her, "Have no fear, for it's a living child you bear, another boy for you." But as she breathed her last, as she was dying, she named him Ben-Oni, but his father called him Benjamin. So Rachel died. She was buried on the road to Efrat. Although Rachel was buried within the boundaries of the Holy Land, she was not buried in the Tomb of the Prophets due to her sudden and unexpected death. Jacob, looking after his children and hoards of cattle, simply did not have the opportunity to embalm her body to allow for the slow journey to Hebron. Jacob buried Rachel at this spot, rather than a the family burial plot at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, because he foresaw that his descendants would pass this site during the the forced exile to Babylon in the year 423 B.C.E. And then Rachel would pray for their safety and ultimate return, as it's written ~ "Rachel, weeping for her children, she refuses to be comforted for her children who are gone. Thus said HaShem, 'Restrain your voice from weeping, your eyes from shedding tears for there is reward for your labour' declares HaShem. 'They shall return from the enemy's land and there is hope for the future' declares HaShem 'Your children shall return to their own country'" - Jeremiah 3:15-17. So Jacob set up a monument over her lonely grave site so that exiled Jews would recognize it and pray and be comforted as they were being led into captivity. "And Rachel died, and was buried on the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem. And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave: that is the pillar of Rachel's grave unto this day." Genesis 35:19-20. Jacob was intent on not burying Rachel at Hebron, as he wished to prevent himself feeling ashamed before his forefathers, lest it appear he still regarded both sisters as his wives - a biblically forbidden union. Jacob is buried at the Tomb of the Prophet's with his first wife Leah, Rachel's sister. Ancient writings describe Rachel's grave marker as 12 stones that represented the 12 tribes of Israel with one large stone that symbolized Jacob. 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Laban Ben Bethuel
 
 Spouse:
  Jacob Ben Issac*
 
 Children:
  Joseph Ben Jacob*
  Benjamin Ben Jacob*
 
 Sibling:
  Leah Bat Laban*
  Rachel Bat Laban
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Tomb of Rachel
Bethlehem
Bethlehem, West Bank
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Debra Polly
Record added: Nov 12, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 100556136
Rachel Bat Laban
Added by: Ronnie_B
 
Rachel Bat Laban
Added by: Debra Polly
 
Rachel Bat Laban
Added by: Debra Polly
 
 
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My 75th Great-Grandmother may you rest in the loving arms of God. Your Loving Great Grand -Daughter, Angelina
- Lady Angelina Marie Robertson Zanni Chambers
 Added: Dec. 27, 2016

- Debra Polly
 Added: May. 15, 2014

- Mad
 Added: Nov. 12, 2012
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