Notes for Reuben:
His name in Hebrew is: ראובן Re’ûwbên (reh-oo-bane’) Strongs #: 7205; see ye a son.
His name in Greek is: ΄Ρουβήν Rhŏubēn (hroo-bane’) Strongs #: 4502.
Jacob, Reuben’s father was 84 when Reuben was born and Reuben was about 25 yours
old when his first born son, Hanoch was born.
Jacob had already been living in Haran for seven years when Reuben was born.
While still living in Haran, Reuben found some mandrakes in which his Aunt Rachel
used in order to have children. (1) At the age of 13, Reuben left with his family
to return to where Jacob came from and met with a few hardships along the way. (2)
The place of abode upon arriving in Canaan from Haran was outside the town of Shechem
where they stayed 18 months. (3)
Upon the kidnapping of Reuben’s sister, Dinah, Rueben’s younger brothers, Simeon
and Levi laid waste to the city of Shechem.
Reuben was not part of this act, but he was in full support. (4)
It looked like Reuben would be going to his first battle at the age of 14, but it
turned out that the Canaanites decided that it wouldn’t be a very good idea. If
two can take a city, then an army of 112 would be devastating. (5)
At 15, Reuben and his family moved to Bethel for a six month stay.
At 16, his Aunt Rachel died at childbirth while bringing Benjamin into the world.
It was after Rachel’s death that Jacob moved his tent and pitched it in with Rachel’s
handmaid, Bilhah. This made Reuben furious (according to Jasher.)
In anger and jealousy for his mother, he went into Bilhah’s tent and removed his
father’s bed. (6)
Genesis tells us a different story that after the death of Rachel “that Reuben went
and lay with Bilhah, his father’s concubine.” (7)
Although the stories are different, the results are the same, since Reuben lost his
portion of the birthright as it went to Joseph. (8)
At 21, Reuben and his family came again to Shechem, but their arrival made headline
news amongst the Canaanites since they didn’t want to lose their city again. This
time war was inevitable! The armies of seven Canaanite kings came against them,
but to make a long story short, Reuben and his brothers destroyed the kings as well
as seven cities, although it took several days to do it. (9)
Reuben’s mother Leah died when Reuben was 22, and it was after that time that his
half-brother Joseph started making a nuisance of himself.
Although Joseph ranked himself better than his brothers, Father Jacob still loved
the brat so much that Jacob made a colorful coat for him with long sleeves. (10)
What was the most annoying were Joseph’s dreams, and since Reuben had the gift of
interpreting dreams, it made him dislike his brother all the more! (11)
The only relief from Joseph was to look after the cattle with his brothers in Shechem
(they had been dwelling in Hebron with Grandfather Isaac), but Joseph still found
his brothers even when Reuben moved with his brothers 15 miles north to Dothan.
Even before Joseph arrived at the camp, Reuben’s brothers resolved that the best
thing to do was to kill Joseph, but Reuben wanted nothing to do with the plan, so
Joseph was placed in a pit so Reuben could secretly let Joseph return home.
Reuben resolved to attend to something away from his brothers but when he returned,
he found the pit empty! (12) With Joseph being sold to the Ishamelites and taken
to Egypt, Reuben and his brothers took Joseph’s coat, tore it and dipped it in the
blood of a goat and delivered it to Jacob. (13)
In the same year that Joseph was sold, Reuben married Eliuram and had four sons by
her. (14) Reuben was 24, when he married her.
Twenty years later at the age of 44, Reuben was sent to Egypt with his brothers (except
Benjamin) to buy corn since there was a severe famine in Canaan.
Upon arriving in Egypt, the brothers met with Zaphnathpaaneah, the stern governor
of Egypt who accused the brothers as being spies. Then Simeon was bound in prison
and the brothers were instructed to bring their youngest brother with them on their
next trip to prove that they weren’t spies. (15)
Therefore, the brothers returned home with their grain, but were forced to return
to Egypt 14 months later with Benjamin, much to the sorrow of Jacob. (16)
Again, troubles began after Reuben and his brothers had dined with the governor when
Benjamin was accused of stealing the governor’s cup. However, the excitement didn’t
really begin until the governor said that he would use Benjamin as a slave in his
house. (17) This grieved Reuben and his brothers, but it wasn’t until the governor
saw that the brothers were willing to fight for their younger brother that he revealed
himself to them that Zaphnathpaaneah was actually Joseph.
This act both gladdened and frightened Reuben. (18)
Reuben was able to return home with all his brethren telling Jacob the glad tidings
in which they made the trip back to Egypt with the whole family, and was able to
witness the joyous reunion of father and son in Egypt. (19)
Seventeen years later, when Reuben was 63, his father died and was requested to be
buried in the Cave of Machpelah, but the funeral procession was halted for a short
while by Reuben’s Uncle Esau. (20)
Because of the battle at the Cave of Machpelah, another one ensured with the Edomites
in which some Edomites were taken captive and taken to Egypt. Having captive Edomites
in Egypt for slaves to the Israelites was considered a shame to the Edomites, so
war was waged against the Children of Jacob as well as the Egyptians, but the Edomites
ended up losing the battle the third time. (21)
After Reuben had lived in Egypt for 79 years, he died at the age of 125. (22)
More About Reuben:
Burial: 1387BC in Romia, Canaan