Genesis: This passage depicts a rather significant event in the lives of Joseph, his sons, and all the sons of Israel. Reuben relinquished his right as the firstborn of Israel (and also a “double portion” of the inheritance) once he slept with Israel’s concubine Bilhah. That act represented a usurpation of Israel’s authority and the gross disrespect Reuben had for his father. This may have prompted Reuben to exchange the lives of his to sons in the place of Benjamin. Maybe he wanted to regain his father’s favor.