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The Tribe of Reuben.

Census. According to the genealogical list (chap. 46) at the time of the migration into Egypt while Joseph was still ruling in Egypt Reuben had four sons: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi (46:9), and from them sprang all the families of the tribe. The census of Mt. Sinai recorded in Num 1:20-21; 2:11 shows that the numbers of the tribe of Reuben at the Exodus was 46,500 men above twenty years of age and fit for military service. The tribe of Reuben ranked seventh in population. At the later census, taken thirty-eight years after and just before entering Canaan, its numbers had decreased to 43,730, which made it rank ninth in Num 26:7.

Position. The position of Reuben was on the south side of the tabernacle. The "camp" that went under his name was formed of the tribes of Reuben, Simeon, and Gad. The total number of fighting men in this division (3 tribes) were 151,450.

Standard. Targum Pseudo-Jonathan says that the standard was a deer, with the legend "Hear O Israel, the Lord thy God is one Lord."

Journeying. "All who were numbered according to their armies of the forces with Reuben (Simeon and Gad), one hundred and fifty-one thousand four hundred and fifty-- they shall be the second to break camp. (Num 2:16).

Representatives. The prince of the tribe was Elizur ben Shedeur (Num 7:30). The Reubenite among the spies was Shammua ben Zaccur (Num13:4).

Interesting Notes. It is possible that in the conspiracy against Moses, organized by Dathan and Abiram who were Reubenites and also Korah who was a Levite (Num 16), was an attempt on the part of the tribe of Reuben to claim their right to represent the firstborn. It is interesting that the children of Korah did not perish (Num 26:11). Later, members of the tribe of Reuben refused to assist Deborah and Barak in fighting the Canaanite Sisera (Judg. 5:16), although the tribe apparently assisted the other tribes in their war against Benjamin (Judg. 20:11). During Saul's reign, Reuben joined Gad and Manasseh in fighting the Hagrites (1 Chr. 5:18-22). When the kingdom divided under Rehoboam, Reuben joined the Northern Kingdom under Jeroboam. Ezekiel remembered Reuben in his description of Israel (Ezek. 48:6). The tribe is also represented in the 144,000 sealed - 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes of Israel (Rev. 7:5).

The Land Division.

The Reubenites requested an early inheritance east of the Jordan River where the land was suitable for cattle (Num. 32:1-33) extending on the south to the river Arnon, on the east to the desert of Arabia; on the west were the Dead Sea and the Jordan, and the northern border was probably marked by a line running eastward from the Jordan.They helped the other tribes claim their land, however, and Joshua commended them for their efforts (Josh. 22:9-10). The tribe also built an altar - along with the tribe of Gad and the halftribe of Manasseh - in the Jordan Valley as a witness to their unity with the tribes west of the Jordan (Josh. 22:11-34).

The Man Reuben

Heb. Ruben; "see a son"). Reuben was the firstborn son of Jacob and Leah (Gen. 29:32).

Gen 29:32 So Leah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben; for she said, "The LORD has surely looked on my affliction. Now therefore, my husband will love me."

Very little is mentioned about Reuben's life. One incident that happened when Jacob dwelt in Eder was such an offense that Jacob spoke about it with abhorrence even upon his dying bed.

Gen 35:22 And it happened, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father's concubine; and Israel heard about it.

Reuben is commonly remembered as the brother that stood up for Joseph when his jealous brothers wanted to murder him in Dothan. Reuben, as the eldest son, voiced his advice and Joseph's life was spared.

Gen 37:20-22 "Come therefore, let us now kill him and cast him into some pit; and we shall say, 'Some wild beast has devoured him.' We shall see what will become of his dreams!" But Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands, and said, "Let us not kill him." And Reuben said to them, "Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit which is in the wilderness, and do not lay a hand on him"-- that he might deliver him out of their hands, and bring him back to his father.

Instead of killing him they cast him into a pit. In Reuben's absence Joseph was sold to the Ishmaelites. When Reuben returned with the intention of rescuing his brother, he found that Joseph was gone.

Later after Joseph had become grown and was ruling in Egypt by God's providence a terrible famine came and Reuben accompanied his brothers into Egypt in search of food. When they met up with Joseph Reuben accepted the ruler of Egypt's harsh treatment of himself and his brothers as a judgment upon them because of their sin:

Gen 42:21-22 Then they said to one another, "We are truly guilty concerning our brother, for we saw the anguish of his soul when he pleaded with us, and we would not hear; therefore this distress has come upon us." And Reuben answered them, saying, "Did I not speak to you, saying, 'Do not sin against the boy'; and you would not listen? Therefore behold, his blood is now required of us."

Reuben also delivered to Jacob Joseph's message demanding that Benjamin come to Egypt and offered his own two sons as pledges for his brother's safe return. Upon the removal of Jacob into Egypt, c. 1876 B.C., Reuben had four sons-- Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi (46:9).


Copyright 1998 The Bible Knowledge Accelerator

The Tabernacle of Moses in Ancient Israel


The Bronze Altar The Bronze Laver The Golden Lampstand

The Cherubim The Tabernacle of Moses in the Wilderness The Cherubim

The Golden Table of Shewbread The Golden Altar of Incense The Ark of the Covenant

"And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among (in) them" - Exodus 25:8

The Purpose and Heart of the Law - A Devotional Message

Blood Atonement - A Bible Study

The Tabernacle of Ancient Israel was a sanctuary which was given in a vision to Moses as a pattern and constructed by the children of Israel. God's promise was that He would dwell within the Holy of Holies above the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant.

Why Study the Tabernacle?

A) 50 Chapters Mention The Tabernacle

Because at least 50 chapters (13-Ex, 18-Lev, 13-Num, 2-Deut, 4-Heb) in the Bible tell of the construction, the ritual, the priesthood, the carrying of the tabernacle, and the meaning of it all. Also many other places in Scripture speak in figurative language concerning the tabernacle. In many Bible studies this subject is overlooked and considered insignificant.


B) The Tearing of the Veil

God Himself thought so much of the importance of the type, as shown by the tearing of the veil:

Matt 27:50-51 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split,

If we don't understand the meaning in Scripture of the holy of holies and the veil we miss out on extremely significant information concerning exactly what Christ's death meant to sinful mankind.


C) The Tabernacle is a Type of Christ:

Remember what the Word says, "all Scripture is given by inspiration (God-breathed) of God..." When we look at the Bible we must remember that it is completely God-breathed. When we look at each Word we must remember that every Word is specifically God-breathed. That was the view of Christ when it came to the Scriptures, that was the view of the apostles, and that must be our view. This is the very Word of God. It doesn't just contain the Word of God, or just point to religious experience, this is the Word of God.

Is it any wonder then that each and every detail and Word about the tabernacle has spiritual significance? As we look to the tabernacle structure itself and its unique pieces of redemptive furniture there is great symbolism and typology found in them. Remember, everything was a finger pointing to the Messiah. The tabernacle, as a type, designed specifically and in detail by God, would point to the character and aspects of the ministry of Christ. The more we become familiar with the tabernacle the more we become familiar with Christ and all that He means to us. What a great reason to become familiar with the Scriptures concerning the tabernacle.

Heb 10:20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh,

Col 2:17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.

Jn 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

D) It is a Representation of the True Tabernacle in Heaven:

The Lord wants us to be aware of His nature and character. Even the angels don't fully understand the nature and character of God but they learn from watching His dealings with His church (Eph 3). Things are really happening in the heavenly dimension and the Lord wants to reveal to us what took place in heaven after the resurrection of Christ. There is a real tabernacle in the heavenlies and Christ really appeared before the throne of heaven as the Lamb of God (Rev 5). There is no doubt that some of these things are a mystery but the more we draw close to God and His Word the more He draws close to us.

Heb 9:11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation.


E) The Presence Within the Holy of Holies Dwells Within the Believer in Jesus:

Jesus said I am the temple (Mishkan) of God. When the glory (Heb. Sh'chinah) would come down like a tornado or funnel right through the roof of the holy of holies and the Presence would manifest on the mercy seat between the cherubim after the blood was sprinkled, that was the mishkan. That Presence was what Jesus said dwelt within Him. And in fact Paul said about the church, "Know ye not that you are the temple (Mishkan) of God?" We, as the body of Christ, have the same Presence dwelling within us. God doesn't dwell in buildings now but within His people.

1 Cor 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?


F) Its teaching covers in type almost all of New Testament truth.

The study of the tabernacle is so rich in meaning to the Christian and so pregnant with Messianic significance that we can spend a lifetime in the study of it and only begin to understand the riches and the depth of truth that lies within the study of the tabernacle.

Rom 15:4 "Whatever things that were written before were written for our learning."

G) Studying the Tabernacle will absolutely strengthen our faith in the Bible.

Be assured that anyone who has delved into the wonderful details of the tabernacle will confess that the Bible is more than just a book. No man could have thought of this. The Bible is the Word of God.

"all Scripture is given by inspiration of God..."



The Tabernacle

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