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Men and Women of the Bible: Reuben

Lesson Twenty-four: Reuben, Unstable /As Water
Lesson Aim: Learn important lessons for life from the experiences of Reuben.
Lesson Text: Genesis 37:18-35
Memory Verse: Genesis 49:3-4 NKJV
“Reuben, you are my firstborn, My might and the beginning of my strength, The excellency of dignity and the excellency of power. 4 Unstable as water, you shall not excel, Because you went up to your father’s bed; Then you defiled it – He went up to my couch.”

Lesson Readings:

  • Genesis 29:32
    Genesis 30:14-21
    Genesis 35:21-23
    Genesis 37:18-35
    Genesis 42:1-38
    Genesis 48:1-5
    Genesis 49:3,4
  • 1 Chronicles 5:1

Fact Questions:

  1. Who was Reuben? What does his name mean? Genesis 29:32
  2. How was his birth viewed by his mother? Genesis 29:32 What does this indicate about the marital relation-ship of Jacob and Leah?
  3. What did Reubendo after Jacob came back to Canaan? Genesis 35:22
  4. As a result of this act of Reuben’s what did Jacob do? 1 Chronicles 5:1
  5. When Joseph’s brother’s want to kill him, what did Reuben suggest? Genesis 37:22
  6. What is Reuben’s plan? Genesis 37:22
  7. Years later in Egypt how does Reuben describe his actions in the matter of Joseph?
  8. Does Reuben accurately represent the matter? Genesis 42:21,22; cf. 37:26-28
  9. After Simeon is captured, what does Reuben offer as security for Benjamin’s safety?
  10. How does Jacob describe Reuben’s character in Genesis 49:3-5?

Thought Questions:

  1. Do you see any transformation of character in Reuben during his lifetime?
  2. What expectations did Jacob have of Reuben as his firstborn?
  3. What circumstances in his home life may have contributed to his instability?
  4. What were the fortunes and successes of the descendants of Reuben in Israel?
  5. What is the one great lesson from Reuben’s life for you?