Chapter
Verse

Exodus 1:2

ESV Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah,
NIV Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah;
NASB Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah;
CSB Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah;
NLT Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah,
KJV Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah,

What does Exodus 1:2 mean?

Four of Jacob's twelve sons are mentioned in this verse, starting with Reuben. Reuben was the firstborn son of Jacob through Leah (Genesis 29:32; 35:23; 49:3). Yet Reuben later had sex with his father's concubine Bilhah (Genesis 35:22). This act caused him to lose his preeminence or role as leader (Genesis 49:3–4). On the positive side, Reuben helped protect the life of Joseph from his brothers (Genesis 37:21–22).

Simeon, Levi, and Judah are the other three sons noted in this verse. Simeon and Levi were considered violent and angry (Genesis 49:5–7). They had attacked many people (Genesis 34:30). Simeon was the second son of Jacob and Leah (Genesis 29:33). Joseph imprisoned Simeon on the first trip Jacob's sons took to Egypt (Genesis 42:24). Levi was the third son of Jacob and Leah (Genesis 29:34). Judah was their fourth son whose name sounds like the Hebrew word for "praise" (Genesis 29:35). Judah was considered powerful among Jacob's sons (Genesis 49:8–12).
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