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Firstborn
Dictionaries
Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible
Firstborn
Firstborn. Term used in the Bible to describe a family’s oldest son (Gn 22:21). Israel was called God’s firstborn because of that nation’s miraculous beginning and special deliverance out of Egypt (17:5, 15, 16; Ex 4:22). As God’s firstborn, Israel had unique privileges over all other nations. Gentiles
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised
First-born; Firstling
First-born; Firstling [Heb. beḵōr; Gk. prōtótokos]. The Hebrew word denotes the first-born of human beings as well as of animals (Ex. 11:5), while a word from the same root denotes first fruits (Ex. 23:16).Some of the early Semitic tribes believed that the first-born belonged to the deity and
Tyndale Bible Dictionary
Firstborn
FIRSTBORN Term used in the Bible to describe a family’s oldest son or daughter (Gn 22:21; 29:26). Israel was called God’s firstborn because of that nation’s miraculous beginning and special deliverance out of Egypt (Gn 17:5, 15–16; Ex 4:22). As God’s firstborn, Israel had unique privileges over all other
The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary (Revised and Updated)
Firstborn, Firstling
firstborn, firstling, the first male child born to a father (Exod. 13:12–15; Num. 18:15–16) and the first offspring of domesticated pure and impure animals (Exod. 13:12–13; Lev. 27:26–27; Num. 18:16–18; Deut. 15:19–23). The firstborn male of humans and beasts in Israel was dedicated to God, because God
The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia
Firstborn
FIRSTBORNOld TestamentThe Heb. word bḥôr makes no distinction between the firstborn of human beings and that of animals (Ex 11:5; 12:29; 13:2). The sacrifice of the firstborn, as of the firstlings of flocks and firstfruits of the produce of the earth, was common in early times (Ex 23:16). Reference
Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible
Firstborn
FirstbornThe first male offspring of both animals (also called “firstlings”) and humans. They were regarded as belonging to God (Exod. 22:29–30 [MT 28–29]); this was a reflection of the Passover when the firstborn males of Israel were spared during the final plague against Egypt (13:2, 14–15). In later
Eerdmans Bible Dictionary
Firstborn
Firstborn (Heb. beḵōr Gk. prōtótokos).† The first male offspring of both humans and animals. In English translations the firstborn of animals are often called “firstlings” (e.g., Gen. 4:4; Exod. 13:12–13). See Firstfruits.
Dictionary of Paul and His Letters
Firstborn
FirstbornThe word firstborn (prōtotokos) appears eight times in the NT; most references are figurative, although a literal sense occurs at Luke 2:7. The term appears in the plural only at Hebrews 11:28 and 12:23 referring to believers; the remaining instances in the singular always refer to Jesus Christ
Catholic Bible Dictionary
Firstborn
FIRSTBORN The oldest or firstborn son in an Israelite family was entitled to important privileges. By custom, the firstborn was entitled to claim the main share of his father’s inheritance (Deut 21:15–17; 2 Chron 21:3), and the law stipulated that a father in a polygamous family should favor his firstborn
Smith’s Bible Dictionary
First-born
First-born. Under the law, in memory of the exodus (when the first-born of the Egyptians were slain), 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 thirty
Key passages
Ge 43:33

And they were seated before him from the firstborn according to his birthright to the youngest according to his youth. And the men looked at one another amazed.

Ps 89:27

I will also make him the firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth.

Sir 44:23

and he rested upon the head of Jacob; he acknowledged him in his blessings and gave him by an inheritance; and he divided his portions; he divided them among twelve tribes. And he brought a man of mercy out from him, who finds favor in the eyes of all flesh,

Ro 8:29

because those whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he should be the firstborn among many brothers.

Col 1:18

and he himself is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he himself may become first in everything,