Rachel, also Rachel ( Hebrew רָחֵל, Rachel ), is a figure of the Tanakh, and the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. In the book of Bereshit, the "Genesis", we are told how they the favorite wife of Jacob, is the daughter of Laban and the younger sister of Leah. Rachel and Leah were therefore Aramäerinnen and inhabited the land Paddan -aram (Gen 25,20 EU). Rachel is the mother of Joseph and Benjamin, two progenitors of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, and is therefore counted in Judaism to the Erzmüttern Israel.


The Hebrew name רָחֵל means " ewe ".

Biblical narrative

The biblical narrative of the patriarch Jacob is found in the Book of Genesis ( 29,16 EU -49, 31 EU). When Jacob is on the way to look for a wife, he meets by chance Rachel, who looks after the sheep of her father, and falls in love with the beautiful woman. In order to marry Rachel, Jacob serves seven years with her ​​father Laban of Haran. As against this the end of the service as agreed Rachel, but their older sister Leah feeds on the wedding night, he receives after the bridal week with Leah and Rachel to wife, but has to hire another seven years for Laban. While Lea gives birth to several sons, Rachel remains barren, which is considered bad luck in the world of the Bible. According to contemporary morals are Rachel Jacob her handmaid, Bilhah and younger half-sister (also Bilhah ) to give birth in their place children for Jacob. This is depicted in Figure 30.3 EU by Bilhah gives birth on her knees Rachel and this is known as the actual mother called. Also maid Zilpah Leah, also a daughter of Laban, Jacob gives birth to sons. All four women are considered matriarchs of the tribes of Israel. After many years, Rachel is still pregnant and gives birth to Jacob 's sons Joseph and Benjamin, which are favorite children because of the position her mother of Jacob. At the birth of Benjamin Rachel dies.

Rachel's grave

According to Jewish tradition is Rachel's grave (Hebrew קבר רחל translit. Kever Rachel ), (Arabic قبة راحيل translit. Qubbat Rahil ) in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, north of Bethlehem. According to biblical tradition, Rachel (Gen 35,19 EU) was " on the road to Efrat, which is Beit Lehem - " buried.

Since 1996, the site of the Palestinian side as Bilal Mosque is bin Rabah ( مسجد بلال translit. Masjid Bilal ) called. The Israeli authorities allow Muslims since 1967 no longer pray.

Some ( Jewish and Christian ) archaeologists and historians believe that Joseph was buried on the road in his mother's grave Rachel in Bethlehem. Rachel is in Judaism as a symbol for Israel and his grief for the lost people of Ephraim, which did not return from the Assyrian captivity: " Rachel weeping for her children refused to be comforted " ( Jer 31,15 EU).

Feminist interpretation

Jewish feminists like the British Midrash teaches Freema Gottlieb interpret Rachel as female, tolerant and - suffering look at the world and man's place in it.