The eldest son of Jacob and Leah.1 He is the founder of the Tribe of Reuben. He lay with Bilhah, his father's concubine,2 which brought down upon him his dying father's malediction.3 He showed kindness to Joseph, and was the means of saving his life when his other brothers would have put him to death.4 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 Egypt5 no further mention is made of Reuben beyond what is recorded in ch. 49:3, 4.



  1. Gen. 29:32.
  2. Gen. 35:22.
  3. 48:4.
  4. 37:21, 22.
  5. 46:8.


  • Easton, M.G. (1897). Easton's Bible Dictionary. New York: Harper & Brothers.

This article incorporates text from Easton’s Bible Dictionary (1897) by M.G. Easton, which is in the public domain.