"I am" sayings of Jesus reflected in Rachel's Death

Jesus Christ's seven unique "I am" metaphorical statements about himself in the Gospel of John have corresponding details in the circumstances of Rachel's death as she gives birth to Benjamin near Bethlehem as recorded in Genesis.

Therefore, this story forms a menorah structure. See Menorah.

Rachel's Death as She Gives Birth to Benjamin in Genesis

ladder to heaven

God told Jacob to go to Bethel. Bethel was the place where God had appeared to Jacob when he had fled from his brother Esau. Jacob had named the place Bethel, which means " house of God," because it was there that he had seen a ladder extending to heaven, and angels ascending and descending upon the ladder. He had also called the place the " gate of heaven." At that time, God had promised him that he would eventually return safely to that place. So Jacob and his family went to Bethel.

At Bethel, God appeared to Jacob again, and spoke to him, changing his name to Israel.

After that, Israel and his family left Bethel, and set out for Ephrath, which is also called Bethlehem. When they were almost there, Rachel, whose name meant "lamb," went into labor. While she was in labor, the midwife said to her, "Fear not; thou shalt have this son also." As she died in childbirth, she named her new son Benoni, which means "son of my sorrow," but his father called him Benjamin, which means "son of the right-hand side." So Rachel died, and was buried on the way to Ephrath, that is, Bethlehem.

Israel continued on his journey, and spread his tent beyond the tower of Edar. The tower of Edar is apparently the place where Jesus was born.


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Seven "I am" metaphorical statements of Jesus Christ in the Gospel of John:

  1. two lambs"I am the bread of life." John 6:35, 41, 48-51
  2. "I am the light of the world." John 8:12, 9:5
  3. "I am the door of the sheep." John 10:7, 9
  4. "I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep." John 10:11, 14
  5. "I am the resurrection, and the life." John 11:25
  6. "I am the way, the truth, and the life." John 14:6
  7. "I am the true vine." John 15:1, 5

Eighth "I am" statement of Jesus if "I am" with no object is included:

It is I; be not afraid [In Greek, same as "I am; be not afraid"]. John 6:16-21


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Corresponding details in the circumstances of Rachel's death as she gives birth to Benjamin:

  1. setting sunJacob and his family were on their way from Bethel, the "house of God," to Bethlehem, the "house of bread," and were practically there, when Rachel gave birth." Genesis 35:16-20
  2. The first time Jacob had stopped at Bethel, the sun had set, yet despite the darkness, he saw a ladder extending into heaven with angels ascending and descending. Genesis 28:10-16
  3. Jacob believed Bethel to be the "gate of heaven." Genesis 28:16-19
  4. Rachel, a shepherdess, who had been taking care of her father's sheep when Jacob first met her, and whose name meant "lamb," died giving birth to Benjamin. Genesis 29:1-9, 35:16-20
  5. Although Rachel died in childbirth, Benjamin survived her death. Genesis 35:16-20, 24
  6. Jacob had fled from Canaan to Padanaram because he had been afraid that his brother Esau would kill him. When he had stopped at Bethel, God had promised him a safe return to Bethel. Therefore, while on his way from Padanaram back to Canaan, his safe arrival at Bethel confirmed the truth of God's earlier promise, to preserve his life until he returned to this spot. Genesis 28:10-16, 35:6,7
  7. Jacob and his family were on the way to Ephrath, which means "fruitful." Genesis 35:16-19

Eighth detail in the circumstances of Rachel's death giving birth to Benjamin if "I am" with no object is included:

The midwife said, "Fear not; thou shalt have this son also." Genesis 35:16-20


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Updated: July 22, 2015