Birthright - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words


[ 1,,G4415, protokia ]
a birthright" (from protos, "first," tikto, "to beget"), is found in Hebrews 12:16, with reference to Esau (cp. prototokos, firstborn). The "birthright" involved pre-eminence and authority, Genesis 27:29; Genesis 49:3. Another right was that of the double portion, Deuteronomy 21:17; 1 Chronicles 5:1-2. Connected with the "birthright" was the progenitorship of the Messiah. Esau transferred his "birthright" to Jacob for a paltry mess of pottage, profanely despising this last spirtual privilge, Gen. 25; 27. In the history of the nation God occassionally set aside the "birthright," to show that the objects of His choice depended not on the will of the flesh, but on His own authority. Thus Isaac was preferred to Ishmael, Jacob to Esau, Joseph to Reuben, David to his elder brethren, Solomon to Adonijah. See FIRSTBORN.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words