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People's Dictionary of the Bible


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Firstborn. Under the law, in a Hebrew family, the eldest son was regarded as devoted to God, and was in every case to be redeemed by an offering not exceeding five shekels, within one month from birth. If he died before the expiration of 30 days, the Jewish doctors held the father excused, but liable to the payment if he outlived that time. Exodus 13:12-15; Exodus 22:29; Numbers 8:17; Numbers 18:15-16; Leviticus 27:6. The eldest son received a double portion of the father's inheritance, Deuteronomy 21:17, but not of the mother's. Under the monarchy the eldest son usually, but not always, as appears in the case of Solomon, succeeded his father in the kingdom. 1 Kings 1:30; 1 Kings 2:22. The male first-born of animals was also devoted to God. Exodus 13:2; Exodus 13:12-13; Exodus 22:29; Exodus 34:19-20. Unclean animals were to be redeemed with the addition of one-fifth of the value, or else put to death; or, if not redeemed, to be sold, and the price given to the priests. Leviticus 27:13; Leviticus 27:27-28.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Firstborn'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. 1893.

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Saturday, November 28th, 2020
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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