Origin and Meaning of the Name Reuben

The name Ruben is one that never goes out of style. It has a Hebrew origin and its meaning is 'behold, a son'. Learn more!
Origin and Meaning of the Name Reuben

Last update: 01 September, 2022

Choosing what to name a child is one of the first tasks for parents and can be a bit overwhelming. For that reason, we want to help you with your search and give you all the information about the origin and meaning of the name Reuben.

Reuben is a traditional name whose origin dates back to biblical times, but it never really goes out of style. For example, in Spain, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics – INE, it appears in the top 100 of the most chosen names in 2021. More exactly, it was in the 67th position.

We invite you to discover all the details about this name!

What’s the meaning of the name Reuben?

Reuben is a name of Hebrew origin. Its spelling in that language is Re’uven (רְאוּבֵן), formed by re’u, translated as ‘see’ or ‘look’, and the suffix ben, which means ‘son’. Therefore, its meaning is ‘behold, a son’.

There’s also an ancient Greek version which is Rouben, and a Latin one, Reuben, as we know it today in English. But there’s much more to this beautiful name, and we’re going to share it with you below.

Reuben, one of the heads of the 12 tribes of Israel

The Old Testament tells that Jacob had 12 sons, who are those who later gave birth to the 12 tribes of Israel. Of all of them, Reuben was his firstborn.

The name appears in the book of Genesis 29:32, which states, “And Leah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben”. According to the biblical account, Leah wasn’t Jacob’s favorite wife and suffered contempt, which is why God granted her the joy of her first son, and she named him Reuben. Later, the woman had 5 other children: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun.

As you can see, like all biblical names, Reuben has a very beautiful story behind it. So, if you’re a person of faith, it could be the right one for your baby!

A young boy reading the Bible.
Reuben is a name of Hebrew origin that means ‘Behold, a son’. In addition, his saint’s day is celebrated every August 4.

What day is Reuben’s saint’s day celebrated?

Many people like the idea of having their child’s name coincide with the name of the saint celebrated on the day of his birth.

If you also have this preference, we want to let you know that August 4th is commemorated as Saint Rubin the Stylite. The date was chosen in memory of a hermit and austere saint who spent part of his life of prayer installed on top of a column.

A curious fact is that stylite comes from the Greek word stylos, which means ‘column’. For this reason, from the 5th century onwards, many monks took this kind of penance of living on a column until the day of their death.

How do you say Reuben in other languages?

Reuben has biblical origins, and from there, it was adopted in different places and adapted to different languages so that today, many variations of this name are known:

  • English: Reuben, Rube
  • German/French/Italian: Ruben
  • Spanish: Ruben, Rubem, Rubens
  • Russian: Рубен
  • Estonian/Finnish: Ruuben
  • Armenian: Rouben
  • Portuguese: Rubén, Rubhino

The diminutives of Reuben are mostly used in the English language. These are Rube, Ru, Ben, and Reb.

Famous people with the name Reuben

There are many prominent people with the name Reuben. Some of them are the following:

  • Rubén Darío: Journalist, politician, and poet born in Nicaragua. His work marked the beginning of modernism in Spanish-language literary works.
  • Sir Reuben Vincent Barrow: British politician of the Victorian era.
  • Rubén Sanz: Spanish actor and model. He co-starred in the film Lo contrario al amor, directed by Vicente Villanueva.
  • Rubén Cortada: Cuban model and actor. He participated in the series El príncipe and in the successful El tiempo entre costuras.
Spanish actor Rubén Cortada.
Spanish actor Rubén Cortada participated in the successful series El tiempo entre costuras. His first name is among the most chosen in Spain.

Reuben in the world of art

We did a little more research and found that the name Reuben has made its imprint and transferred its character to manifestations related to art and creativity. Here are some famous examples:

  • There’s a British rock band called Reuben.
  • The group Kenny Rogers and the First Edition recorded a song called Reuben James, which was included on the 1970 album Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town.
  • Reuben, Reuben is a 1983 comedy film whose star, Tom Conti, was nominated for an Academy Award.
  • The Reuben Awards is the highest award for cartoonists. This award is given by the The National Cartoonists Society United States since 1948.
  • Peter Paul Rubens was a 16th-century Dutch painter who excelled in the Baroque style.

More options of names for boys

To find the perfect name for your baby, it’s best to have many options. This way, you’re sure to find one that’s to your liking and has a relevant meaning.

Apart from finding names according to origin and meaning, other options available are listings inspired by different subjects, such as geography and history. You can choose some names according to the letter they start with or by countries, such as Japanese, Greek, and Catalan names, among others. Shall we start with the search?

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.