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The youngest of Jacob's twelve sons. Of these only Joseph and Benjamin were born of Rachel, Jacob's last and best-loved wife. When the brothers journeyed to Egypt for food during a famine, Joseph's great desire to see Benjamin impelled him to send the brothers back and return with Benjamin (Genesis 42-44). A happy reunion ensued. As time passed, the tribal organization developed and Benjamin's descendants formed the tribe of Benjamin, whose homeland lay west of the Jordan River. They became well known as fierce mountain warriors in defense of freedom (II Samuel 2:9, 15). St. Paul was a descendant of Benjamin's tribe (Romans 11:1-2).
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.