(Benʹe-jaʹa·kan) [Sons of Jaakan].
A station of the Israelites on their journey through the wilderness. (Nu 33:31, 32) Jaakan appears to be the Akan of Genesis 36:27 and 1 Chronicles 1:42 (where the Masoretic text reads “Jaakan”). The account in the book of Numbers states that the Israelites “pulled away from Moseroth and went camping in Bene-jaakan. After that they pulled away from Bene-jaakan and went camping in Hor-haggidgad.”
At Deuteronomy 10:6 reference is made to Beeroth Bene-jaakan in connection with “Moserah” (singular of Moseroth), probably indicating that Beeroth Bene-jaakan (meaning “Wells of the Sons of Jaakan”) is the same location as Bene-jaakan. However, the account at Deuteronomy lists the direction of Israel’s travel in reverse order from the Numbers account, stating that “the sons of Israel pulled away from Beeroth Bene-jaakan for Moserah.” In view of the many years spent in the wilderness, it is quite possible that the Israelites passed twice through this region. As The Pentateuch and Haftorahs says on this text: “A probable explanation is that the Israelites, after journeying in a southern direction to the land of Edom, had to turn sharply to the north.” (Edited by J. Hertz, London, 1972) They may have had to retrace their steps for a short distance and revisit some of the places they had passed through, this time in the reverse order. It is to be noted that the record of Deuteronomy (10:6) refers to Aaron’s death immediately after referring to the station of Moserah, whereas the Numbers account (33:31-39) describes the Israelites’ travels to Ezion-geber and then NW to Kadesh before dealing with the matter of the death of Aaron. This, together with the long period of years involved, would certainly allow for a measure of backtracking, if such were the case.
Bene-jaakan (Beeroth Bene-jaakan) is usually identified with a site a few miles N of Kadesh-barnea.—See BEEROTH BENE-JAAKAN.