Reuben By Signs
This article explains how to identify the Lost Tribe of Reuben using signs. They became Vikings and later modern Scandinavia.
Sign Based Identification
Reuben was the biological first born son of Jacob. Reuben is mentioned when Jacob blessed each son:
3"Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, the first sign of my strength, excelling in honor, excelling in power. 4Turbulent as the waters, you will no longer excel, for you went up onto your father's bed, onto my couch and defiled it. (Genesis 49:3-4 NIV)
3¶Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power: 4Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father's bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch.thou shalt…: Heb. do not thou excelhe went…: or, my couch is gone (Genesis 49:3-4 KJV)
3Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity and the excellency of power. 4You went astray like water. You will not surpass others because you went up to the bed of your father. Truly you have defiled my bed by going up into it. (Genesis 49:3-4 BRB)
Turbulent waters is a characteristic of the waters of the North Sea. These are very different sailing conditions to the Mediterranean. Mastering of sailing skills for these waters prepared them for early European trips to North America.
By rights Reuben should have received the double-portion of land inheritance due the firstborn son. This turns out to be the right to North America, which instead given to and populated by Joseph.
This inheritance was lost because Reuben defiled his father's bed. He did this when he was hired by Rachael with mandrakes and became the father of Joseph.
These personal patterns of Reuben show up in the later national history of Reuben.
The idea of "defiling the father's bed" shows up in an important historical footnote. The Viking raiders terrorized places like the British Isles. When they did this, they had 2 targets. One target was raping local women, the other was targeting Christian monasteries for plunder. These were generally not defended and thus soft targets.
The sexual side of this is self evident, Reuben had effectively done the same as a man and his nation did the same as Vikings. But, the monastic component is more important.
In the days before universities, monasteries were the place where information itself was kept and reproduced in the world. The scrolls of this era did not last very long. They had to be reproduced, copied. The monastic life was one of keeping libraries and constantly making copies of both sacred and secular manuscripts.
Jacob, his father, was the holder of the vault where copies of scripture had been passed to him. This was the blessing Isaac had passed to him. That vault would be passed by inheritance all the way to New Testament times and is accessed at the story of the field ripe for harvest. This was the most important 'bed of reproduction.'
Reuben lost his birthright because he was not faithful to his father's bed. He would have wrecked the sacred text more than actually happened. As it is, ancient Scandinavian language does not survive, suggesting carelessness with ancient texts.
The Vikings, the lost tribe of Reuben, in effect continued to defile the Father's bed for a very long time after the original Genesis account. This quality is a signature attribute of the tribe, and not just a fleeting footnote about Reuben himself.