The Hebrew institutions relative to inheritance were of a very simple character. Under the patriarchal system the property was divided among the sons of the legitimate wives, ( Genesis 21:10 ; 24:36 ; 25:5 ) a larger portion being assigned to one, generally the eldest, on whom devolved the duty of maintaining the females of the family. The sons of concubines were portioned off with presents. ( Genesis 25:6 ) At a later period the exclusion of the sons of concubines was rigidly enforced. ( Judges 11:1 ) ff. Daughters had no share in the patrimony, ( Genesis 21:14 ) but received a marriage portion. The Mosaic law regulated the succession to real property thus: it has to be divided among the sons, the eldest receiving a double portion, ( 21:17 ) the others equal shares; if there were no sons, it went to the daughters, ( Numbers 27:8 ) on the condition that they did not marry out of their own tribe, ( Numbers 36:6 ) ff.; otherwise the patrimony was forfeited. If there were no daughters it went to the brother of the deceased; if no brother, to the paternal uncle; and, failing these to the next of kin. ( Numbers 27:9-11 )
[N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
[B] indicates this entry was also found in Baker's Evangelical Dictionary
[E] indicates this entry was also found in Easton's Bible Dictionary
Bibliography InformationSmith, William, Dr. "Entry for 'Heir'". "Smith's Bible Dictionary".