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Bible Dictionaries
Firstborn

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary

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This phrase is not always to be understood literally; it is sometimes taken for the prime, most excellent, most distinguished of things, Psalm 89:27 Romans 8:29 Hebrews 1:4-6 . Thus Jesus Christ is "the firstborn of every creature," Colossians 1:15 , inasmuch as he was the "Only begotten" of the Father before any creature was produced. He is "the firstborn from the dead," Colossians 1:18 , because he is the beginning, and the author of the resurrection of all who die in faith.

After the destroying angel had slain the firstborn of the Egyptians, God ordained that all the Jewish firstborn, both of men and of beasts for service, should be consecrated to him; but the male children only were subject to this law. If a man had several wives, he was obliged to offer the firstborn son by each one of them to the Lord. The firstborn were offered at the temple, and redeemed for five shekels. The firstling of a clean beast was offered at the temple, not to be redeemed, but to be killed; an unclean beast, a horse, an ass, or a camel, was either redeemed or exchanged; an ass was redeemed by a lamb or five shekels; if not redeemed, it was killed, Exodus 13:2,11 , etc. The firstborn son among the Hebrews, as among all other nations, enjoyed particular privileges. See BIRTHRIGHT .

Bibliography Information
Rand, W. W. Entry for 'Firstborn'. American Tract Society Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​ats/​f/firstborn.html. 1859.
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