Reuben meaning | Reuben etymology

Discover the meanings of thousands of Biblical names in Abarim Publications' Biblical Name Vault

ראובן
Reuben in Biblical Hebrew
Reuben
Biblical male character
Biblical location (town, country, etc)
Browse Biblical names alphabetically

Search this site

This project depends on the support of readers like you.
Please help...

The name Reuben in the Bible

Reuben is the first son of Jacob (Genesis 29:32). His mother is Leah. Reuben forfeits his position as first born when he sleeps with Bilhah, the mother of Jacob's sons number five and six (Genesis 35:22). Reuben's progeny, the ראובני (Reubenites; Numbers 26:7) becomes one of the twelve tribes of Israel.

'...and [Leah] named him Reuben, for she said, "Because the Lord has seen my affliction..."' (Genesis 29:32).

After the conquest of Canaan, the leaders of the tribe of Reuben chose their territory east of the Jordan, together with the tribes of Gad and Manasseh (Numbers 32:33). That forced them to invade the lands of the Ammonites and Moabites and later exposed them to the forces of Assyria (1 Chronicles 5:6, 5:26).

The name Reuben appears only once in the New Testament, in the paragraph in Revelation that deals with the 144,000 sealed Israelites (spelled Ρουβην, Rhouben; Revelation 7:5).

Etymology of the name Reuben

The name Reuben is a combination of two words:

The first part comes from the verb ראה (ra'a) meaning see, look:

Abarim Publications Theological Dictionary

The second part of the name Reuben is the word בן (ben) meaning son, offspring:

Abarim Publications Theological Dictionary

Reuben meaning

NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names agree: The name Reuben means Behold A Son. Still, the name Reuben also means Son Of Vision, or Son Who's Seen.

עABARIMPublicationsFor the Love of the Word