JUST look at this big family. These are Jacob’s 12 sons. And he had daughters too. Do you know the names of any of the children? Let’s learn some of them.
Leʹah gave birth to Reuʹben, Simʹe·on, Leʹvi and Judah. When Rachel saw that she was not having any children, she was very sad. So she gave her maidservant Bilʹhah to Jacob, and Bilʹhah had two sons named Dan and Naphʹta·li. Then Leʹah also gave her maidservant Zilʹpah to Jacob, and Zilʹpah gave birth to Gad and Ashʹer. Leʹah finally had two more sons, Isʹsa·char and Zebʹu·lun.
At last Rachel was able to have a child. She named him Joseph. Later we will learn a lot more about Joseph, because he became a very important person. These were the 11 sons that were born to Jacob when he lived with Rachel’s father Laʹban.
Jacob also had some daughters, but the Bible gives the name of only one of them. Her name was Diʹnah.
The time came when Jacob decided to leave Laʹban and go back to Caʹnaan. So he gathered together his big family and his great flocks of sheep and herds of cattle, and began the long trip.
After Jacob and his family had been back in Caʹnaan for a while, Rachel gave birth to another son. It happened when they were on a trip. Rachel had a hard time, and she finally died while giving birth. But the little baby boy was all right. Jacob named him Benjamin.
We want to remember the names of the 12 sons of Jacob because the whole nation of Israel came from them. In fact, the 12 tribes of Israel are named after 10 sons of Jacob and two sons of Joseph. Isaac lived for many years after all these boys were born, and it must have made him happy to have so many grandsons. But let’s see what happened to his granddaughter Diʹnah.
Genesis 29:32-35; 30:1-26; 35:16-19; 37:35.