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Mainly it appears to be a right to a double share in the inheritance. That is, if a couple had two sons, the first inherited 2/3 of the property and the second inherited 1/3. I've read some discussions that he also had additional responsibilities which made this fair. Side note: Modern Bible teachers routinely talk about how sneaky and dishonest Jacob was ...


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When Esau lost his birthright, he lost a greater ownership of his father's property, as well as the position of leader of the family (thinking of family as a whole tribe of people). Jacob may have prized the birthright out of greed, but it's worth mentioning that God spoke to Rebekah in Genesis 25:22-23 and told her that the younger of her sons would rule ...


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Malachi 1:2-3 (cited in Romans 9:13) is talking primarily about nations - Jacob (or Izrael) is the people of Izrael and Esau is Edom. By stating "I have loved Jacob but Esau I have hated", God confirms that Izrael is the chosen nation and His promises are still fully valid about Izrael, but Edom is no chosen nation and God's promises to Abraham can't be ...


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It's worth mentioning that inheritance included father's blessing. Orthodox professor of theology Lopukhin thinks that those blessings had mystical meaning - the son being blessed becomes continuator of testament between God and Abraham, takes ability to "speak" with God and so on. Also i like Jakob's blessing of Joseph, it's so poetic.



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