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English Bible Dictionary

Birthright

 

The advantages accruing to the eldest son. These were not definitely fixed in patriarchal times. Great respect was paid to him in the household, and, as the family widened into a tribe, this grew into a sustained authority, undefined save by custom, in all matters of common interest, and you can find more about that here on st-takla.org on other commentaries and dictionary entries. Thus the "princes" of the congregation had probably rights of primogeniture. (Numbers 7:2; 21:18; 25:14) (Gradually the rights of the eldest son came to be more definite: (1) The functions of the priesthood in the family with the paternal blessing. (2) A "double portion" of the paternal property was allotted by the Mosaic law. (21:16-17) (3) The eldest son succeeded to the official authority of the father. The first-born of the king was his successor by law. (2 Chronicles 21:3) In all these Jesus was the first-born of the father.

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