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Birthright (Genesis 25:33)

Picture description: Esau and Jacob presented to Isaac.
Picture copyright: Benjamin West / public domain


In today’s context, a birthright means an inborn privilege.

origin and application

A birthright is a Jewish tradition which entitles the eldest son of the family to inherit two times more property than the younger brothers. This kind of right is called such because this is an in-born privilege to the eldest son.
When Rebekeh, the wife of Isaac gave birth to a pair of twin sons – Jacob and Esau, the two babies jostled with each other within the mother’s womb. In the end, it was Esau who was born first, and then came his brother, Jacob. Yet the battle between the two brothers did not end here. Jacob, who came out later, tried to win the birthright that was endowed upon the eldest brother. One day, when Esau came back from hunting, he asked Jacob to give him some red stew. Jacob’s chance came – he asked Esau to sell his birthright for the red stew. Feeling extremely hungry, Esau complied.


birthright    Esau    inborn    Isaac    Jacob    privilege   

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