Genesis 25:31


King James Version (KJV)

And Jacob said, Sell me this day your birthright.

American King James Version (AKJV)

And Jacob said, Sell me this day your birthright.

American Standard Version (ASV)

And Jacob said, Sell me first thy birthright.

Basic English Translation (BBE)

And Jacob said, First of all give me your birthright.

Webster's Revision

And Jacob said, Sell to me this day thy birth-right.

World English Bible

Jacob said, "First, sell me your birthright."

English Revised Version (ERV)

And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.

Clarke's Genesis 25:31 Bible Commentary

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.

Wesley's Genesis 25:31 Bible Commentary

25:31 Sell me this day thy birth-right — He cannot be excused in taking advantage of Esau's necessity, yet neither can Esau be excused who is profane, Hebrews 12:16, because for one morsel of meat he sold his birth-right. The birth-right was typical of spiritual privileges, those of the church of the first-born: Esau was now tried how he would value those, and he shews himself sensible only of present grievances: may he but get relief against them, he cares not for his birth-right. If we look on Esau's birth-right as only a temporal advantage, what he said had something of truth in it, that our worldly enjoyments, even those we are most fond of, will stand us in no stead in a dying hour. They will not put by the stroke of death, nor ease the pangs, nor remove the sting. But being of a spiritual nature, his undervaluing it, was the greatest profaneness imaginable. It is egregious folly to part with our interest in God, and Christ, and heaven, for the riches, honours, and pleasures of this world.

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