1 Chronicles 5:1–10

Read the passage.

Reuben was an interesting character. He was the eldest of Israel’s sons, and the main thing I remember about him was that he convinced his brothers not to kill Joseph and planned to rescue him from the pit, but the others sold Joseph to the slavers before he could. What doesn’t get mentioned much, because exactly two verses (widely separated) in Genesis talk about it, is that Reuben had relations with his father’s concubine at some point after Rachel died. For this dishonor, the double-portion of the inheritance that is the birthright of the firstborn was removed from Reuben and given to Joseph, Rachel’s firstborn, instead. This is why there is not a single “tribe of Joseph”, but tribes named after his two sons Ephraim and Manasseh.

As short genealogy of the tribe of Reuben is given, probably mentioning only the more famous members or leaders from the tribe. Beerah was captured and taken into exile, but this was before the time the whole northen kingdom was conquered. Tiglath-pileser III of Assyria invaded Syria and Israel and captured a large chunk of their land (including Syria’s capital Damascus), but the kingdom of Israel didn’t fall completely for another couple of generations.

The tribe of Reuben was one of the two-and-a-half tribes that settled east of the Jordan River, along with Gad and half of the tribe of Manasseh. The Chronicles list a few of the places that the Reubenites dwelled as they expanded their territory, and lists a significant victory they had during the time of King Saul.

We are none of us righteous; only You are holy.

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