Metaphysical meaning of Reuben (mbd)
Reuben, reu'-ben (Heb.)--behold a son; vision of the son; behold ye, a son; a son seen.
A faculty takes on the tincture and tone of some associate faculty. We must understand the relation of that faculty, since any faculty can take on the character of another faculty or perform its office. And so we find in the sons of Jacob that the faculties that they signify are interblending and acting in various capacities under varying circumstances.
The twelve sons of Jacob represent the twelve foundation faculties of man. The name of each of these sons, correctly interpreted, gives the development and office of its particular faculty in spirit, soul, and body. For example, when the sons of Jacob were born their mothers revealed the character of the faculties that they represented as set forth in the 29th and 30th chapters of Genesis. "And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Because Jehovah hath looked upon my affliction." The emphasis is on the word looked, and by referring to the concordance we find that the meaning of the name Reuben is, "a son seen; behold, a son!" It is clear that this refers to the bringing forth of sight. "And she conceived again and bare a son: and said, Because Jehovah hath heard that I am hated." Here the emphasis is on the word heard, and referring to the concordance we find that Simeon means who hears, obeys, hearing. "And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Now this time will my husband be joined unto me." In this case the emphasis is on the word joined. Levi means joined to, attached, or unity, which in body is feeling; in soul, sympathy; and in spirit, love. So each of these twelve faculties in the complete man functions in this threefold degree.
What is here described as the twelve sons of Jacob is the first or natural bringing forth of the faculties, which arrive at a higher expression in the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ. Simon Peter is hearing and faith united. John is feeling and love joined. When we believe what we hear it forms in us the substance of the word, which is Peter, a rock, a sure foundation. "So belief cometh of hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ."