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Reuben (Hebrew: ראובן, Reʼūḇēn; Greek: Ῥουβήν, Rhoubēn; Latin: Ruben; "Name means::see a son"), (b.Born::Teveth 2246 AM), was the first son of Jacob and Leah, and the ancestor of the Tribe of Reuben. He was the firstborn of twelve brothers and a sister, but forfeited his birthright in an appalling act of selfishness and disrespect.


When he was quite young (about four years old), he went into a field and gathered mandrakes (Mandragora officinarum), a plant rumored to help a barren woman conceive. This occurred during wheat harvest (that is, during the month later known as Sivan)[1] in the year 2251 AM after Leah had left off bearing children. Rachel demanded a share of the mandrakes, and Leah insisted that Jacob lie with her instead of Rachel. Jacob did, and Leah bore Jacob two more sons and a daughter.


As a man, Reuben forfeited his birthright by lying with Bilhah, Rachel's handmaid.[2][3]


Reuben partially redeemed himself in the incident involving Joseph being thrown into the pit. He persuaded his brothers to sell Joseph as a slave, instead of killing him outright. Reuben had hoped to free Joseph, but he was too late. Nevertheless, the first of the Israelite cities of refuge were located in Reubenite territory, perhaps in honor of Reuben's preservation of Joseph's life.

Entry into Egypt

In Entry into Egypt::Teveth 2298 AM, Reuben followed his father Jacob into Egypt. He was 52 years old at this time. With him were at least one regular wife and the following named sons: Hanoch, father of::Phallu, Hezron, and Carmi.[4] How long he lived after that, the Bible does not say.

See Also

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  1. Bratcher, Dennis. "Hebrew Calendar of the Old Testament." CRI/Voice, Institute, 2006. Accessed December 27, 2007.
  2. Genesis 35:22
  3. Genesis 49:3-4
  4. Genesis 46:9