Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power: Unstable 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.
Rueben, as the firstborn son, represented his father’s manly strength in procreation, and held the place of power and dignity. The birthright, with its double portion, belonged to him. But he forfeited his preeminence when he went into Bilhah, his father’s concubine. When we allow lust into our lives, the consequences are great.