the advantages accruing to the eldest son. These were not definitely fixed in patriarchal times. Great respect was paid to him in the household, and, as the family widened into a tribe, this grew into a sustained authority, undefined save by custom, in all matters of common interest. Thus the "princes" of the congregation had probably rights of primogeniture. ( Numbers 7:2 ; 21:18 ; 25:14 ) (Gradually the rights of the eldest son came to be more definite: (1) The functions of the priesthood in the family with the paternal blessing. (2) A "double portion" of the paternal property was allotted by the Mosaic law. ( 21:16-17 ) (3) The eldest son succeeded to the official authority of the father. The first-born of the king was his successor by law. ( 2 Chronicles 21:3 ) In all these Jesus was the first-born of the father.
[N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
[E] indicates this entry was also found in Easton's Bible Dictionary
Bibliography InformationSmith, William, Dr. "Entry for 'Birthright'". "Smith's Bible Dictionary".