In the Old Testament, Rachel (רָחֵל) is the name of Jacob's favorite wife. She is described as being "beautiful in form and countenance".
Rachel is the mother of Joseph and Benjamin. She is the daughter of Laban, the younger sister of Leah (Jacob's first wife), and the youngest niece of Rebecca. Jacob is her first cousin.
Rachel is considered one of the four matriarchs, along with Sarah (Abraham's wife), Rebekah (Isaac's wife) and Leah (Jacob's first wife).
Jacob falls in love with Rachel during a stay with his Uncle Laban. He agrees to work for Laban seven years in return for Rachel's hand in marriage. At the wedding, Jacob does not notice that Leah, Rachel's older sister has been substituted as the veiled bride. Laban later excuses his actions by insisting that the older sister should marry first. He tells Jacob that in a weeks time he could also marry Rachel and work another seven years as payment for her.
After Leah has given birth to four sons, the still barren Rachel becomes jealous and gives Jacob her maidservant, Bilhah to be a surrogate mother for her. Bilhah has two sons by Jacob, Dan and Naphtali.
Rachel eventually has two sons of her own, Joseph and Benjamin. Joseph becomes Jacob's favorite. While en route to Canaan Rachel goes into labor with her second son, Benjamin. The midwife tells her that the child is a boy. Before dying from difficulties of childbirth, Rachel names her son Ben Oni,"son of my mourning", but Jacob calls him Ben Yamin, "son of the right" meaning "son of the south", as Benjamin is the only child born in Canaan.
Rachel is buried by Jacob on the road to Efrat, just outside Bethlehem. Today a site claimed to be Rachel's Tomb, located between Bethlehem and Gilo, is visited by tens of thousands of visitors each year.
Although Rachel is not referred to in the Quran, she is referenced in the collection of stories known as Qisas Al-Anbiya (Tales of the Prophets), where her life as wife and mother is described in similar form to the bible.
Raquel falls into the animal name category.