Jacob Had Twelve Sons

35: 22b-26

With the addition of Benjamin, the family was complete and Jacob had twelve sons (35:22b). The names do not appear in order of birth, but according to their respective mothers. The children of Leah and Rachel come first, and then the children of Bilhah and Zilpah. His twelve sons were another assurance that God is faithful and His promises are true. These sons are the firstfruits of the twelve tribes of Isra’el that would become a great nation, and Moses, the compiler of eleven family documents, thought it was appropriate to provide an accurate summary here.

Leah’s six sons were listed first. Reuben was the firstborn of Jacob, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun (35:23). The two sons of Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin (35:24). Then afterwards, the maidservants are mentioned. The two sons of Rachel’s maidservant Bilhah were Dan and Naphtali (35:25). The two sons of Leah’s maidservant Zilpah were Gad and Asher. These were the sons of Ya’akov, who were born to him in Paddan Aram except Benjamin (35:26).

Jacob had left his father’s house with no other possession than a staff, and now he returned, and once Benjamin was born, he would have twelve sons that would become the twelve tribes of Isra’el. God had been faithful and blessed him greatly.


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