Behold, a son! The eldest son of Jacob and Leah, so-called in reference to the sentiment of his mother, "The Lord hath looked on my affliction," Genesis 29:32. Reuben, having defiled his father’s concubine Bilhah, lost his birthright and all the privileges of primogeniture, the preeminence in the family being given to Judah, and the double portion to the two sons of Joseph, Genesis 35:22 48:5 49:3,4,8,10 1 Chronicles 5:1,2. He shared in his brother’s jealousy of Joseph, and yet interposed to save his life at Dothan with the design of restoring him privately to his father, Genesis 37:18-30. See also his well-meant proposal in Genesis 42:27. His tribe was never numerous or powerful in Israel. Dathan, Abiram, and On were members of it. It was the ninth of the tribes in the order of population when they entered Canaan, Numbers 1:21 26:7. Their inheritance was the fine pastureland east of the Jordan, between the Arnon on the south and Gilead on the north; it is now called Belka, Numbers 32:1-42 Joshua 22:1-34. We afterwards find them reproved by Deborah for remissness, Judges 5:15,16. Their position on the frontier exposed them to many assaults from the east, 2 Kings 10:33; and they were among the first captives to Assyria, 1 Chronicles 5:26, B. C. 740.