"Ewe." The younger daughter of Laban, and one of Jacob's two wives.1 He served Laban fourteen years for her, so deep was Jacob's affection for her. She was unable to conceive and, jealous of her sister Leah, she gave Jacob her maidservant Bilhah, who bore Jacob two son, whom Rachel named Dan and Naphtali.2 Eventually Rachel conceived and gave birth to Joseph,3 who would become Jacob's favorite child.

On Jacob's departure from Mesopotamia, she took her father's teraphim with her.4 As they journeyed on from Bethel, Rachel died in giving birth to Benjamin,5 and was buried "in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem. And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave."

Her name is used poetically by Jeremiah6 to denote God's people mourning under their calamities:

Thus said the Lord;
A voice was heard in Ramah,
lamentation, and bitter weeping;
Rachel weeping for her children
refused to be comforted for her children,
because they were not.

This passage is also quoted by Matthew as fulfilled in the lamentation at Bethlehem on account of the slaughter of the infants there at the command of Herod.7



  1. Gen. 29:6, 28.
  2. Gen. 30:1-8.
  3. Gen. 30:22-24.
  4. Gen. 31:34, 35.2. 5:18, 19.
  5. Gen. 35:18, 19.
  6. Jer. 31:15-17.
  7. Matt. 2:17, 18.


  • Easton, M.G. (1897). Easton's Bible Dictionary. New York: Harper & Brothers.

This article incorporates text from Easton’s Bible Dictionary (1897) by M.G. Easton, which is in the public domain.