Saturday, April 2, 2016


Contemplating a name for a child is humbling task.  Naming a child is one of the greatest privileges a parent is given.  Unless we legally change our name, for most of us, our entire lives are marked by our parent's first decision in naming us.

When I was pregnant with our third child, our youngest daughter, my husband and I spent the entire pregnancy trying to come up with a name for the baby growing inside me.  We had a boys' name picked out but we were stumped for nine months on a girls' name.  (This was in the "olden" days, before technology could tell us the gender before birth).  When she was born and the nurse asked what her name was, I'm embarrassed to admit I said, "I don't know."  I told the nurse that my grandmother had said she liked a certain name, but we hadn't decided.  The nurse said she liked the  name too, so Grandma's name won.

(Sidebar:  Today, yes today - April 2 -  we will be finding out the name of the First baby of the child first named "I Don't Know" is now carrying!)

Back to Benjamin.

Benjamin was the 12th son of Jacob, the youngest of Jacob's 13 children.  He was the second son born to the one Jacob loved.  Rachel died shortly after Benjamin was born.  She was alive long enough to name him, Ben Oni,  which means Son of my Trouble, but it makes me wonder, after all she went through to have children, and this her second one, wouldn't you think his name would be different?

Maybe, God Heard My Prayer?  Or God's Mercy?  Or even Mandrake?  (I'm being silly here, I know and you'll have to read up on the cheat sheet to get the Mandrake joke).

So why Son of My Trouble?  Was the pregnancy difficult?  Was Rachel's labor the reason for the name?  Did she have a name picked out months before like modern day parents? Did the name get changed at the last minute because she knew she was dying so she named her boy Son of My Trouble?

I wonder about Rachel and how it came to be she picked out the name for her second biological son.  She had struggled for years to get pregnant while watching her sister have baby after baby after baby after baby.  Surely she dreamed of the names of her children long before she felt the first signs of pregnancy.  But then again, maybe not.  I like to think because she was a girl, she may have spent a good portion of her life dreaming of being a mother and the names she would give her children someday. 

So on my list of things to ask her when I meet her in heaven is, "Why on earth did you name your boy Son of my trouble?  Was it because the labor was hard?  Or was there more to the story?  Was that the first name you had picked out or did you change your mind at the last minute?  If anything, I would think Joseph would have been named Son of My Trouble because of all it took for Rachel to become pregnant with him.  

Maybe when I ask her in heaven, she'll wink and say, "That's none of your business, Ronda."  But I hope she grabs me by the hand and pulls me to a quiet corner and says, "Girl, you won't believe the story if I told you!" and then proceed to tell me the parts God didn't find necessary to tell me.

However the name came to be, apparently Jacob didn't like the name Rachel chose.  When Jacob saw the one he loved was not alive to argue with him, perhaps he mercifully changed the baby's name to Benjamin, which means, "Son of my Right Hand."

Benjamin's name is the only one the Bible tells us Jacob participated in giving.  All the boys born before Benjamin were named by their mothers, but the boy born to the woman their father truly loved got the name any son would long to sign.

Son of My Right Hand.

The woman Jacob loved was gone, leaving behind a son.  Perhaps Jacob gave his son the name he longed to give his son, from the womb of the woman he truly loved.    

The backstory is just pure speculation.  God has told us the necessary details he wants us to know.  But I confess, Lord, I'm still curious.

When Jacob was dying he said this to Benjamin:  "Benjamin is a ravenous wolf, in the morning he devours the prey, in the evening he divides the plunder."

The Son of His Right Hand was also a ravenous wolf.   Interesting.

Moses said this about Benjamin's descendants, stemming from his ten sons:  "Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders."

We don't know all of what lies between his birth and the generations that followed, but we do know Benjamin's descendants numbered 35,400 in the first census and 45,600 in the second.  The Apostle Paul, a descendant of the Son of Trouble, was first a murderer-of-Jesus-followers then converted-to-preacher-to-the-Gentiles preached of the God who loves His children and loves to carry them between His shoulders.

A piggy back ride on Jesus!  Don't you just love it?!

I do.  What a great place to rest.



Other references to Benjamin's line:

Judges 20; 1 Chronicles 8:40; 12:1-2; 1 Samuel 9:1-2; 14:49; Acts 8:3; Romans 11:1;
Philippians 3:6-9


  1. Great post! I love learning new things. I will see Benjamin and Jacob with new eyes :) Enjoy the A to Z Challenge.

  2. I've always felt the same when naming one of my fur babies. It had to be just right. I remember when the kitten we kept from a litter of the current cat back in '88, was at a point that I had to come up with a name, it took my quite a while. But I found a wonderful name and it was unique and can be. I'll be blogging about it in the A to Z Challenge.

    The other thought I had was that, it is equally difficult when it comes to naming characters in stories I write.

    Note: Enelinwen is my blogger name. However, I am writing in the A to Z Challenge as aka Quantum Hermit.

    1. It really is a privilege to name things we love, isn't it? Thanks for stopping by and blessings on the challenge!

  3. What a beautiful story. Now you've gotten me curious too. :D

    Good luck on the challenge! We're doing “I’ve Got The Music In Me” this year on The Road We’ve Shared. – looking at how important music is in the Down syndrome community. I hope you’ll stop by and see/hear!

    1. Thank you for stopping in. I love the theme of your challenge! Very inspiring!

  4. Hi there!

    I’m stopping by from the #AtoZChallenge. Oh, how I love the history behind people...including Bibical people. Lovely post!

    I have two blogs in this challenge…my author blog at THE STORY CATCHER ( and my KICKS Kids Club blog ( . If you get a chance, check them out and good luck with the challenge!

    Donna L Martin

    1. Thank you for visiting! I look forward to visiting you, too! Happy writing!