Appellations Given to the Sons of Benjamin and the destiny of Joseph
PART OF PROJECT BENJAMIN
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Benjamin was the brother of Joseph. They were both sons of Rachel and were the only sons she had. Benjamin was the youngest son. Their father was Jacob aka Israel. He was the forefather of the 12 Tribes of Israel. The brothers of Joseph were angry at him and afraid he meant them harm. They sold him as a slave into Egypt. Benjamin was not present at the time. He knew what had happened but did not reveal it to his father. Jacob had been led to believe that a wild beast had killed Joseph. Eventually Joseph became the ruler of Egypt and was reconciled to his brothers. The whole extended family went down from Canaan into Egypt. Benjamin had 10 sons.
The Talmud and Midrash tell us that Benjamin named his 10 sons after what happened or was destined to happen to Joseph. Descendants of Joseph primarily became leading elements among the English-speaking peoples. The Hebrew names given to the Sons of Benjamin indeed reflect something of what the Descendants of Joseph became.
Genesis (NASB) 46:
19 The sons of Jacob's wife Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin. 20 Now to Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, bore to him. 21 And the sons of Benjamin: Bela, Becher, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim, and Ard. 22 These are the sons of Rachel, who were born to Jacob; there were fourteen persons in all.
# All these names [of the sons of Benjamin] were called after Joseph [and what happened to him] -Talmud, Sota 36;b, and Midrash Breishit Rabah 94;8.
Belah (meaning swallow), in reference to Joseph disappearing (being swallowed up, assimilated).
Becher (meaning first born), in reference to Joseph being the first child of Rachel.
Ashbel (meaning capture), in reference to Joseph having suffered captivity.
Gera (meaning sojourn, dwell), in reference to Joseph living in temporary dwellings and/or in a foreign land.
Naaman (meaning grace), in reference to Joseph being extremely graceful.
Ehi (meaning my brother), in reference to Joseph being Benjamin's only full-brother (as opposed to half-brothers).
Rosh (meaning headman, leader), in reference to Joseph being senior to Benjamin and a leader, as it says:
16 And with the choice things of the earth and its fullness,
And the favor of Him who dwelt in the bush.
Let it come to the head of Joseph,
And to the top of the head of the one who was prince among his brothers.
Muppim (connoting beauty from the root "Yafeh," and also linked to "pi" meaning "mouth"), in reference to Joseph being extremely handsome, and also beautiful in every way, and also that Joseph knew all the Laws of the Sons of Noah that he received by word of mouth.
Huppim ("Chuppim," meaning marriage canopies), in reference to Joseph not being present at the wedding of Benjamin and Benjamin not being there at the marriage of Joseph.
Ard (perhaps related to vered, meaning the rose flower), in reference to Joseph having a countenance like a rose.
Relevance to the Identification to Joseph.
The above extract is not considered on the same level as Biblical Text. It is a saying of the Sages that was considered worth preserving. As far as Doctrine is concerned one may take it or leave it. Nevertheless these sayings often have significance and in some way appear to have been inspired. They said that the names Benjamin gave to his 10 sons reflected something about what happened (or would happen) to Joseph. In light of later history these would seem to have had a prescient significance.
We found relevant points between the present-day reality of JOSEPH (Ephraim being Britain and its offshoots, and the USA representing Manasseh) and the meanings behind the names being given to the sons of Benjamin.
The two Tribes of Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh) were to be found with the rest of the 10 Tribes in the West. The Tribes of Joseph were especially prominent in the British Isles. From there they colonized North America (Canada and the USA), Australia, New Zealand, and part of South Africa, as well as giving rise to the the British Empire followed by USA World Hegemony in general.
It was predicted that Ephraim would assimilate among the nations. This is foreshadowed in the name BELA connoting swallowed up.
The Ten Tribes indeed became like the Gentiles they settled among.
Hosea (ESV) 7:
8 Ephraim mixes himself ["yitbolel"] with the peoples;
Ephraim is a cake not turned.
9 Strangers devour his strength,
and he knows it not;
gray hairs are sprinkled upon him,
and he knows it not.
10 The pride of Israel testifies to his face;
yet they do not return to the LORD their God,
nor seek him, for all this.
In Hebrew the expression translated above as "mixes himself" is "yitbolal" from the root BELA. In Modern Hebrew this word means assimilation. The Ten Tribes led by Joseph were destined to intermix with the Gentiles and become like them.
BECHER (Firstborn, Leader)
The Tribes of Joseph today and frequently in the past had leadership roles among the other Ten Tribe nations.
ASHBEL (from the root "ShBH, meaning captive)
The Ten Tribes were taken captive. Britain and other areas were populated by Israelite captives brought across the Sea under the rule of Edomites, Philistines, and Phoenicians.
GERA (meaning sojourn, dwell).
After being exiled the mass of the Ten Tribes wandered overland from one place to another eventually reaching the west.
NAAMAN (meaning grace).
The British are known for their civilized behavior, good manners, and sensitivity. This applies on a relative scale since obviously numerous exceptions exist. In the USA various codes right behavior and chivalry are, or used to be , widely accepted.
EHI (pronounceable as "A-chi," meaning "My Brother").
Benjamin together with Judah and minority elements from the other Tribes comprise the Jewish People of today.
The English-speaking peoples historically have shown a concern for the well-being and rights of Jews. They did what they could to help the Jews who were being persecuted in Russia in the 1800s and early 1900s. They also showed sympathy with the Jews on numerous other occasion beginning from the time of Henry-viii if not earlier. This attitude led to the Balfour Declaration and support for the State of Israel by the USA which is still continuing. Britain and after her, the uSA, acted like big-brothers for the Jews in the State of Israel among whom many from benjamin are to be found.
ROSH (meaning headman, leader).
This is similar tot he significance of BECHER explained above. Joseph is the primary head, the leader.
MUPPIM (connoting beauty from the root "Yafeh," and/or linked to "peh" (pi) meaning "mouth").
Joseph was very good-looking. the wifeo f Potiphar tried to seduce him because of his beauty but he refused.
Genesis (NASB) 39:
6 So he left Joseph in charge of everything that he owned; and with him there he did not concern himself with anything except the food which he ate. Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance.
The other explanation connected the name MUPPIM to the root "peh" meaning mouth. This name was linked (by the Midrash) to the Laws of the Sons of Noah that he (Joseph) received by word of mouth, i.e. learnt by heart. British and American political philosophers have formulated the concepts of Inherent Rights and of Innate Human Dignity etc., for all mankind. This in effect is the same as the Universal Laws of Noah.
HUPPIM (meaning marriage canopies).
The Jews (including Benjamin) and Joseph have grown distant from one another. In the future this will change.
ARD ( associated with vered, meaning the rose flower), in reference to Joseph having a countenance like a rose.
The Israelite tribes were all of one father but different mothers. They did not all look alike. Joseph looked like Sarah his grandmother, the wife of Abraham (Midrash Agadah Breishit 49:23) . He also strongly resembled Jacob, his father (Midrash Breishit Rabah 84;6). Benjamin on the other hand was similar to his mother, Rachel wife of Jacob (Zohar 8; 202b).
Joseph evidently was light-colored but he married an Egyptian woman of Mediterranean type. His offspring could therefore come out either way.
In "The Tribes" we said:
... a Talmudic source (Mishna Negaim 2;1) says that Israelites (meaning in this case, the Jews of Judah) are mainly of an intermediate type coloring being neither black like a "Cushi" (Negro) nor light like a "Germani". "Germani" in Talmudic terminology (see "Aruch HaShalem") meant someone from the far north at that time or who looked like people from that area. The term could be applied (Maimonides) to a very light colored person like part of the people of Scandinavia. Joseph, the son of Israel, was described in a Midrash (Breishit Rabah 86;3) as looking like a "GERMANI" i.e. like someone from the North, "very white", fair, according to Maimonides. In another passage (Talmud Sota 36) Joseph is spoken of as having a face that was "pink like a rose". It follows that Joseph was considered as having been of Nordic appearance which was a known familial trait since Joseph is also said to have looked exactly like his father. [On the other hand it may be that Joseph was exceptional in this regard].
Joseph took an Egyptian wife. His offspring would thereofre be partly Nordic inappearance and partly Mediterranean. This is what we find among the British and their offshoots.