New International Version
Jacob replied, "First sell me your birthright."
King James Bible
And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.
Darby Bible Translation
And Jacob said, Sell me now thy birthright.
World English Bible
Jacob said, "First, sell me your birthright."
Young's Literal Translation
and Jacob saith, 'Sell to-day thy birthright to me.'
Genesis 25:31 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Sell me this day thy birthright - What the בחרה bechorah or birthright was, has greatly divided both ancient and modern commentators. It is generally supposed that the following rights were attached to the primogeniture:
1. Authority and superiority over the rest of the family.
2. A double portion of the paternal inheritance.
3. The peculiar benediction of the father.
4. The priesthood, previous to its establishment in the family of Aaron.
Calmet controverts most of these rights, and with apparent reason, and seems to think that the double portion of the paternal inheritance was the only incontestable right which the first-born possessed; the others were such as were rather conceded to the first-born, than fixed by any law in the family. However this may be, it appears,
1. That the first-born were peculiarly consecrated to God, Exodus 22:29.
2. Were next in honor to their parents, Genesis 49:3.
3. Had a double portion of their father's goods, Deuteronomy 21:17.
4. Succeeded him in the government of the family or kingdom, 2 Chronicles 21:3.
5. Had the sole right of conducting the service of God, both at the tabernacle and temple; and hence the tribe of Levi, which was taken in lieu of the first-born, had the sole right of administration in the service of God, Numbers 8:14-18; and hence we may presume, had originally a right to the priesthood previous to the giving of the law; but however this might have been, afterwards the priesthood is never reckoned among the privileges of the first-born.
That the birthright was a matter of very great importance, there can be no room to doubt; and that it was a transferable property, the transaction here sufficiently proves.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Deuteronomy 21:17 "But he shall acknowledge the firstborn, the son of the unloved, by giving him a double portion of all that he has, for he is the beginning of his strength; to him belongs the right of the firstborn.
1 Chronicles 5:1 Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel (for he was the firstborn, but because he defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given to the sons of Joseph the son of Israel; so that he is not enrolled in the genealogy according to the birthright.
LibraryPottage Versus Birthright
Esau despised his birthright'--GENESIS xxv. 34. Broad lessons unmistakable, but points strange and difficult to throw oneself back to so different a set of ideas. So I. Deal with the narrative. Not to tell it over again, but bring out the following points:-- (a) Birthright.--What? None of them any notion of sacred, spiritual aspect of it. To all, merely material advantages: headship of the clan. All the loftier aspects gone from Isaac, who thought he could give it for venison, from Esau, and from …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
Jesus Heals Multitudes Beside the Sea of Galilee.
He said to Jacob, "Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I'm famished!" (That is why he was also called Edom.)
"Look, I am about to die," Esau said. "What good is the birthright to me?"
when he wills his property to his sons, he must not give the rights of the firstborn to the son of the wife he loves in preference to his actual firstborn, the son of the wife he does not love.
He must acknowledge the son of his unloved wife as the firstborn by giving him a double share of all he has. That son is the first sign of his father's strength. The right of the firstborn belongs to him.
1 Chronicles 5:1
The sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel (he was the firstborn, but when he defiled his father's marriage bed, his rights as firstborn were given to the sons of Joseph son of Israel; so he could not be listed in the genealogical record in accordance with his birthright,
1 Chronicles 5:2
and though Judah was the strongest of his brothers and a ruler came from him, the rights of the firstborn belonged to Joseph)--
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