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American Tract Society Bible Dictionary


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The privilege of the firstborn son. Among the Hebrews, as indeed among most other nations, the firstborn enjoyed particular privileges; and wherever polygamy was tolerated, it was highly necessary to fix them, Deuteronomy 21:15-17 . Besides the father's chief blessing, Genesis 27:1-46 , and various minor advantages, the firstborn son was, first, specially consecrated to the Lord,

Exodus 13:11-16 22:29 ; and the firstborn son of a priest succeeded his father in the priestly office. Among the sons of Jacob, Reuben the firstborn forfeited the right of the firstborn, Genesis 35:22 49:3,4 , and God gave it to Levi, Numbers 3:12,13 8:18 . Secondly, the firstborn was entitled to a share of his father's estate twice as large as any of the other brethren received, Deuteronomy 21:17 . Thirdly, he succeeded to the official dignities and rights of his father, 2 Chronicles 21:3 . In some of these privileges there is an allusion to Him, who is "the firstborn among many brethren," Romans 8:29 Colossians 1:18 Hebrews 1:2-6 . Universal dominion is his, and an everlasting priesthood.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of the topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859.

Bibliography Information
Rand, W. W. Entry for 'Birthright'. American Tract Society Bible Dictionary. 1859.

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