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What was Esau's birthright?

What did Esau's birthright consist of?

Hebrews 12:16 - 17

ESV - 16 That no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. 17 For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.

Clarify Share Report Asked July 30 2016 Mini Anonymous

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
The birthright was the preference given to the firstborn son in the distribution of a father's wealth to his children following the father's death.

Although Isaac, Esau, and Jacob all lived before the giving of the Law to the nation of Israel following the exodus from Egypt, Deuteronomy 21:17 specified that, following a father's death, the firstborn son (which Esau was (Genesis 25:24-26)) was to receive a double share (that is, twice as much as his brothers) of his father's (in this case, Isaac's) estate.

However, a father could also revoke the firstborn son's birthright and assign it to another son, as Jacob did in Genesis 49:3-4, by taking away the birthright of Reuben (Jacob's actual firstborn son) because Reuben had slept with Jacob's concubine Bilhah (Genesis 35:22). (Reuben's birthright was then assigned to Joseph.) 

In the case of Esau and Jacob (as cited in the question), Esau forfeited his birthright to Jacob in exchange for food (Genesis 25:29-34).

July 30 2016 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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