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bible dictionary online
Biographies of Bible Characters, People and characters in the Bible
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A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | S | T | U | V | Z | Introduction

Ra | Re | Rec | Reh | Reu | Rez | Rh | Ri | Ro | Ru

Names beginning with R

This guide is intended for visitors who want to learn more about the Bible. Please use the hyperlinks in the table above to navigate this page. If you have any comments or suggestions to make about this guide, please e-mail me by clicking on this link.


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Raamah was the fourth son of Cush, a great-grandson of Noah. Genesis 10.7

Rabmag - the Rabmag was the title given to Nergal-sharezer, a Babylonian official in Nebuchadrezzar's army. Jeremiah 39.3, 13

Rabsaris - the Rabsaris was a title given to Assyrian and Babylonian officials. These include an unnamed Assyrian sent by Sennacherib, during his siege of Jerusalem, to confer with Hezekiah, and two officers in Nebuchadrezzar's army - Sarsechim and Nebushazban. 2 Kings 18.17; Jeremiah 39.3, 13

Rabshakeh - the Rabshakeh was the title of the chief spokesman of the Assyrian army during Sennacherib's siege of Jerusalem. He attempted to dissuade Hezekiah from resisting the Assyrian forces. 2 Kings 18.17-37; 19.8-13; Isaiah 36.2-22; 37.4, 8

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Rachel was the daughter of Laban, the wife of Jacob and mother of Joseph and Benjamin. Jacob served Laban for seven years for the hand of Rachel, but Laban tricked him into first marrying her elder sister, Leah. Leah soon bore children, but it was a long time before Rachel became mother of first, Joseph, and later of Benjamin, dying after giving birth to him. Rachel was buried near Zelzah, in what was to become the territory of Benjamin. Genesis 20.6-30; 30.1-8,14-25; 31.14-19, 32-35; 33.1, 2; 35.16-20, 24, 25; 46.19, 22, 25; 48.7; Ruth 4.11; 1 Samuel 10.2; Jeremiah 31.15; Matthew 2.18

Raddai was the fifth son of Jesse, and a brother of David, according to the Chronicler. 1 Chronicles 2.14

Rahab was a prostitute of Jericho who harboured the Israelite spies whom Joshua sent there. In return for this service Joshua's men spared Rahab and her family when they slaughtered the rest of the townspeople. Joshua 2.1-21; 6.17, 22, 23, 25; Hebrews 11.31; James 2.25

Ram was the son of Hezron, father of Amminadab and an ancestor of Joseph. Ruth 4.19; 1 Chronicles 2.9, 10; Matthew 1.3, 4

Rapha was the fifth son of Benjamin, according to the Chronicler (but not Genesis 46 or Numbers 26). 1 Chronicles 8.2

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Reba was one of five Midianite kings killed by Moses' soldiers. Numbers 31.8

Rebecca is an alternative spelling of the name of Rebekah. Romans 9.10

Rebekah was the daughter of Bethuel, granddaughter of Nahor and sister of Laban. She married her kinsman Isaac and became mother of Esau and Jacob. Unlike Isaac, she favoured her younger son, and helped him to cheat Esau of his father's blessing. Genesis 22.23; 24.15-67; 25.20, 21; 26.7-11, 35; 27.5-17, 46; 28.5; 29.12; 49.31; Romans 9.10

Rechab (1) was the son of Rimmon and the brother of Baanah, with whom he murdered Ish-bosheth. Rechab and Baanah hoped David would reward them for eliminating his rival. Instead the king had them executed for their crime. 2 Samuel 4.2, 5-12

Rechab (2) was a Kenite, a descendant of Hammath, ancestor of the Rechabite clan, and father of Jehonadab, who became the clan's leader. 2 Kings 10.15, 23; 1 Chronicles 2.55; Jeremiah 35.1-19

Regemmelech was the spokesman of the people of Bethel, who sent him, with Sharezer, to Zechariah to ask whether certain fasts were to be maintained. Zechariah 7.2

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Rehoboam was the son of Solomon and Naamah the Ammonitess, father of Abijam and king of Judah (reigned ca. 922-915 B.C.). He inherited the whole territory of Solomon but in the first year of his reign his intolerance and lack of diplomacy caused the other tribes of to secede and follow Jeroboam. Rehoboam, who began to reign at the age of forty-one, tolerated idolatry and apostasy in Judah, and suffered from the incursions of Shishak of Egypt. 1 Kings 11.43-14.31; 1 Chronicles 3.10; 2 Chronicles 9.31-12.16; Matthew 1.7

Rehum (1) was the servant of Artaxerxes I and commander in Jerusalem. He wrote a letter, dictated to the scribe Shimshai, and supported by Bishlam, Mithredath and Tabeel, protesting against the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem. He sent the letter to Artaxerxes, who had the building stopped. Ezra 4.8-22

Rehum (2) was the son of Bani, an assistant of Nehemiah and Eliashib in the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah 3.17

Rei was an ally of Zadok, Nathan and Benaiah in supporting Solomon's bid to succeed David as ruler in Israel. 1 Kings 1.8

Rekem was a Midianite chieftain killed by Moses' soldiers. Numbers 31.8; Joshua 13.21

Remaliah was the father of Pekah, who became king of Israel. 2 Kings 15.25, 27, 32, 37; 16.1, 5; Isaiah 7.1, 4, 5

Rephaiah was the son of Hur, ruler of half the district of Jerusalem and an assistant of Nehemiah and Eliashib in the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah 3.9

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Reu was a descendant of Noah, son of Peleg and father of Serug. Genesis 11.18-21; 1 Chronicles 1.25; Luke 3.35

Reuben was the eldest son of Jacob and Leah, the father of Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron and Carmi. Jacob condemned Reuben for having intercourse with Bilhah (his father's concubine and Rachel's maid). Later Reuben opposed his brothers' plan to sell Joseph as a slave, while during the famine he offered two of his sons as surety against Benjamin's safe return from Egypt. Reuben's name means “see, a son”. Genesis 29.32; 30.14; 35.22, 23; 37.21, 22, 29, 30; 42.22, 37; 46.8, 9; 48.5; 49-3, 4; Exodus 1.2; 6.14; Numbers 26.5; 32.1-42; 1 Chronicles 2.1; 5.1-3

Reuel (1) was the son of Esau and Basemath, and father of Nahath, Zerah, Shammah and Mizzah. Genesis 36.4, 13; 1 Chronicles 1.35, 37

Reuel (2) was the father of Jethro, according to Numbers; in Exodus the names of father and son appear to be confused. Exodus 2.16-21; Numbers 10.29

Reumah was the concubine of Nahor, the mother of Tebah, Gaham, Tahash and Maacah. Genesis 22.24

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Rezin was a king of Syria, and an ally of Pekah of Israel against Judah. Tiglath-pileser of Assyria, whom Ahaz paid to defeat the alliance, captured Damascus, enslaved its people and killed Rezin, whose fall Isaiah had foretold. 2 Kings 15.37; 16.5-9; Isaiah 7.1-9; 8.6

Rezon was the son of Eliada, a servant of Hadadezer, from whom he fled to Damascus. Here he gained the kingship, and became an active enemy of Solomon. 1 Kings 11.23-25

Rhesa was the son of Zerubabbel, father of Joanan and an ancestor of Joseph, in Luke's genealogy. Luke 3.27

Rhoda was a maid in the house of Mary, mother of John Mark. When Peter miraculously escaped from prison, Rhoda answered the door to Peter. On recognizing his voice, she failed, in her joy at his release, to open the door to him. Acts 12.13-15

Rizpah was the daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul, and, after his death, of Abner. By Saul she became mother of Armoni and Mephibosheth. Abner's taking her as concubine provoked a quarrel with Ish-bosheth, which caused Abner to transfer his loyalty to David. When, at the request of the Gibeonites, David executed Saul's sons and grandsons, Rizpah stood guard over the bodies of her sons, to which David had at first refused burial. Learning of this, the king gave orders for the remains of the bodies to be interred. 2 Samuel 3.7; 21.8-14

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Rosh was the seventh son of Benjamin. Genesis 46.21

Rufus (1) was the son of Simon of Cyrene, the brother of Alexander. Mark 15.21

Rufus (2) was the Christian whom Paul greets (along with his mother) in the closing paragraphs of his letter to the church at Rome. He may be the same Rufus as the son of Simon of Cyrene, above. Romans 16.13

Ruth, a Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon and later of Boaz, to whom she bore Obed, was the great-grandmother of David. After the death of her husband and her father-in-law, Elimelech, Ruth insisted on returning from Moab to Bethlehem with Naomi, her mother-in-law. Here she eked out a poor living by gleaning in the fields of Boaz, a wealthy relative of Elimelech. Boaz gave his workers instructions to leave plenty of wheat to be gleaned. Later, advised by Naomi, Ruth encouraged Boaz to woo her. Exercising his right to redeem the inheritance of his kinsman, Mahlon, he made Ruth his wife. Ruth 1.4-4.22; Matthew 1.5

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