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In the Book of Genesis, Rachel is the second and favourite wife of Jacob and mother of Joseph and Benjamin. She is the younger sister of Leah, Joseph's first wife, and both are daughters of Laban,

Rachel means lamb.

Rachel had a sorrowful life. Jacob intended to marry her, not Leah, but was tricked by Laban. Jacob accepted this and perservered, working another seven years for Laban to procure his chosen bride as well (see Genesis 29). Then, unable to conceive for many years while her elder sister bore Jacob four sons, she offered her handmaid Bilhah to her husband as was the custom, and named the two sons she bore, indicating they were to be her heirs. But finally, after Leah produced another two sons and a daughter, and Leah's handmaid Zilpah another two sons, Rachel herself bore two sons, dying as a result of the difficult birth of the second.

The traditional site of Rachel's tomb is about one mile from Bethlehem and four from Jerusalem, and is a significant site for many Jews.

In Jeremiah 31:15 the prophet speaks of 'Rachel weeping for her children' (KJV). This is interpretted in Matthew 2:16-18 as predicting the Massacre of the Innocents, the slaughter of male Hebrew babies following the birth of Jesus Christ.