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Holman Bible Dictionary
(rew' behn itess) Eldest son of Jacob, born to Leah (Genesis 29:32
) while the couple was living with her father, Laban, in Paddan-aram, and the clan or tribe descended from him. Among his acts recorded in the Bible, Reuben found mandrakes (out of which a love potion probably was made for his mother to use with Jacob Genesis 30:14
), and had sexual relations with one of his father's concubines (Genesis 35:22
), for which he later was chastised (Genesis 49:4
). Reuben felt compassion for young Joseph when his brothers wanted to kill the brash dreamer (Genesis 37:21-22
), and was willing to be responsible to his father for Benjamin's welfare when the unknown Joseph commanded that the youngest brother be brought to Egypt (Genesis 42:37
The tribe which was named for Reuben held a place of honor among the other tribes. The territory the tribe inherited was just east of the Dead Sea and was the first parcel of land to be bestowed (Numbers 32:1 ).
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Reuben(Ites)'. Holman Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hbd/r/reubenites.html. 1991.