The Bible

Bible Usage:


  • Included in Eastons: Yes
  • Included in Hitchcocks: Yes
  • Included in Naves: Yes
  • Included in Smiths: Yes
  • Included in Websters: No
  • Included in Strongs: Yes
  • Included in Thayers: No
  • Included in BDB: Yes

Strongs Concordance:


Easton's Bible Dictionary

Behold a son!, the eldest son of Jacob and Leah (Genesis 29:32). His sinful conduct, referred to in Genesis 35:22, brought down upon him his dying father's malediction (48:4). He showed kindness to Joseph, and was the means of saving his life when his other brothers would have put him to death (37:21, 22). It was he also who pledged his life and the life of his sons when Jacob was unwilling to let Benjamin go down into Egypt. After Jacob and his family went down into Egypt (46:8) no further mention is made of Reuben beyond what is recorded in ch. 49:3, 4.

Hitchcock's Names Dictionary

who sees the son; the vision of the son

Naves Topical Index

Son of Jacob
Genesis 29:32; 1 Chronicles 2:1

Brings mandrakes to his mother
Genesis 30:14

Commits incest with one of his father's concubines, and, in consequence, forfeits the birthright
Genesis 35:22; Genesis 49:4; 1 Chronicles 5:1

Adroitly seeks to save Joseph from the conspiracy of his brethren
Genesis 37:21-30; Genesis 42:22

Offers to become surety for Benjamin
Genesis 42:37

Jacob's prophetic benediction upon
Genesis 49:3-4

His children
Genesis 46:9; Exodus 6:14; 1 Chronicles 5:3-6; Numbers 16:1

Smith's Bible Dictionary

(behold a son), Jacob's firstborn Child, (Genesis 29:32) the son of Leah. (B.C. 1753.) The notices of the patriarch Reuben give, on the whole a favorable view of his disposition. To him and him alone the preservation of Joseph's life appears to have been due and afterward he becomes responsible for his safety. (Genesis 37:18-30; 42:37) Of the repulsive crime which mars his history, and which turned the blessing of his dying father into a curse

his adulterous connection with Bilhah

we know from the Scriptures only the fact. (Genesis 35:22) He was of an ardent, impetuous, unbalanced but not ungenerous nature; not crafty and cruel, as were Simeon and Levi, but rather, to use the metaphor of the dying patriarch, boiling up like a vessel of water over a rapid wood fire, and as quickly subsiding when the fuel was withdrawn. At the time of the migration into Egypt, Reuben's sons were four. (Genesis 46:9; 1 Chronicles 5:3) The census at Mount Sinai, (Numbers 1:20,21; 2:11) shows that at the exodus the men of the tribe above twenty years of age and fit for active warlike service numbered 46,600. The Reubenites maintained the ancient calling of their forefathers. Their cattle accompanied them in their flight from Egypt. (Exodus 12:38) Territory of the tribe .

The portion of the promised land selected by Reuben had the special name of "the Mishor," with reference possibly to its evenness. Under its modern name of the Belka it is still esteemed beyond all others by the Arab sheep-masters. It was a fine pasture-land east of the Jordan, lying between the river Arnon on the south and Gilead on the north. Though the Isr'lites all aided the Reubenites in conquering the land, and they in return helped their brothers to secure their own possessions, still there was always afterward a bar, a difference in feeling and habits, between the eastern and western tribes. The pile of stones which they erected on the west bank of the Jordan to mark their boundary was erected in accordance with the unalterable habits of Bedouin tribes both before and since. This act was completely misunderstood and was construed into an attempt to set up a rival altar to that of the sacred tent. No Judge, no prophet, no hero of the tribe of Reuben is handed down to us. The Reubenites disliked war clinging to their fields and pastures even when their brethren were in great distress. Being remote from the seat of the national government and of the national religion, it is not to be wondered at that the Reubenites relinquished the faith of Jehovah. The last historical notice which we possess of them, while it records this fact, records also as its natural consequence that they and the Gadites and the half-tribe Manasseh were carried off by Pul and Tiglath-pileser. (1 Chronicles 5:26)

Easton's Bible Dictionary
Reuben, Tribe of

At the Exodus numbered 46,500 male adults, from twenty years old and upwards (Numbers 1:20, 21), and at the close of the wilderness wanderings they numbered only 43,730 (26:7). This tribe united with that of Gad in asking permission to settle in the "land of Gilead," "on the other side of Jordan" (32:1-5). The lot assigned to Reuben was the smallest of the lots given to the trans-Jordanic tribes. It extended from the Arnon, in the south along the coast of the Dead Sea to its northern end, where the Jordan flows into it (Joshua 13:15-21, 23). It thus embraced the original kingdom of Sihon. Reuben is "to the eastern tribes what Simeon is to the western. Unstable as water,' he vanishes away into a mere Arabian tribe. His men are few;' it is all he can do to live and not die.' We hear of nothing beyond the multiplication of their cattle in the land of Gilead, their spoils of camels fifty thousand, and of asses two thousand' (1 Chronicles 5:9, 10, 20, 21). In the great struggles of the nation he never took part. The complaint against him in the song of Deborah is the summary of his whole history. By the streams of Reuben,' i.e., by the fresh streams which descend from the eastern hills into the Jordan and the Dead Sea, on whose banks the Bedouin chiefs met then as now to debate, in the streams' of Reuben great were the desires'", i.e., resolutions which were never carried out, the people idly resting among their flocks as if it were a time of peace (Judges 5:15, 16). Stanley's Sinai and Palestine.

All the three tribes on the east of Jordan at length fell into complete apostasy, and the time of retribution came. God "stirred up the spirit of Pul, king of Assyria, and the spirit of Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria," to carry them away, the first of the tribes, into captivity (1 Chronicles 5:25, 26).

Naves Topical Index

The descendants of Reuben.

Military enrollment of:

At Sinai
Numbers 1:20-21

In Moab
Numbers 26:7

Place of, in camp and march
Numbers 2:10

Standard of
Numbers 10:18

Have their inheritance east of the Jordan
Numbers 4:32; Deuteronomy 3:1-20; Joshua 13:15-23; Joshua 18:7

Assist the other tribes in conquest of the region west of the Jordan
Joshua 1:12-18; Joshua 22:1-6

Unite with the other tribes in building a monument to signify the unity of the tribes on the east of the Jordan with the tribes on the west of the river; monument misunderstood; the explanation and reconciliation
Joshua 22:10-34

Reproached by Deborah
Judges 5:15-16

Taken captive into Assyria
2 Kings 15:29; 1 Chronicles 5:26