8 And these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt, Jacob and his sons: Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn.
9 And the sons of Reuben; Hanoch, and Phallu, and Hezron, and Carmi.
We now get some more genealogy, with Jacob’s descendants at this point listed out. I won’t copy into here all the verses, but here are some statistics from them all.
- Reuben: 4 sons
- Simeon: 6 sons
- Levi: 3 sons
- Judah: 5 sons (2 died before the trip to Egypt), 2 grandsons
- Issachar: 4 sons
- Zebulun: 3 sons
- Dinah: no children
- Gad: 7 sons
- Asher 4 sons, 1 daughter, 2 grandsons
- Joseph: 2 sons
- Benjamin: 10 sons
- Dan: 1 son
- Naphtali: 4 sons
This gives us 13 children of Jacob, 54 grandchildren (2 deceased), and 4 great-grandchildren. This means that Jacob, the only son of an only son, now had 69 descendants to his name.
Two of Jacob’s sons had already become grandfathers, Judah and Asher. Benjamin, though born last of all, has outstripped all of his brothers with ten children to his name. Gad had seven, and Asher and Judah only get up to seven by including their grandchildren.
The verses make also take special care to divide these generations by the mother at the head of the branch. So from that view:
- Leah: 33 descendants (2 deceased)
- Zilpah: 16 descendants
- Rachel: 14 descendants
- Bilhah: 7 descendants
Clearly Leah is far greater than any of the other wives, with 47% of the entire household to her name! Of course, she had 54% of the second generation, and so clearly her edge is starting to slip with the third and the fourth. In fact, with all of Benjamin’s children, the number of third-generation children under Rachel is twelve, which is equal to Zilpah and far exceeds Bilhah.
Of course, one thing to note is that this genealogy seems to be omitting nearly all of the daughters, grand-daughters, and great-granddaughters. Either that, or there were only two women born in the same timeframe that sixty-nine men were, not a very likely prospect!
Dinah is the only named daughter, who of course we know from her story back in chapter 34. Sadly, after her rape, it is entirely possible that she never married, meaning that she would have remained a part of Jacob’s household. It could be that something of this nature is also the case with the only other named woman, Serah, the daughter of Asher. Perhaps she never married, and so remained a part of Asher’s household, and was thus included in this genealogy. There is, however, no way to prove this theory from the little information that we have.