This Week in the Word
Reading the Bible together in 2009
Birthrights – Genesis 25.29-34
When Jacob asked Esau to sell him his birthright, he was looking to obtain a position that had both legal and spiritual benefits.
In biblical times, the firstborn son enjoyed a favored position, which was his by right of birth. He was privileged to inherit a double portion of his father’s assets (Deuteronomy 21.17) and could expect to receive a special blessing before the father died. After his father’s death, a firstborn son became the head of the family, carrying on the family name and even acting as the family priest. For whatever reason, Esau failed to realize the importance of his birthright and squandered it for the satisfaction of a moment’s desire.