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Ask the Pastor

† Theological musings and answers to selected questions by a confessional Lutheran pastor.






06 September 2005

Birthright and Blessing


Q: Are a birthright and a blessing the same thing or different?

A: The birthright is that which you have by order of birth; i.e., throughout Scripture, as in most ancient societies, the firstborn son would inherit the bulk of his father’s estate. The blessing is that which is done by the father. The special blessing would normally go to the firstborn inheritor. We see how Jacob tricked Esau out of first the one, then the other. Later, Jacob skipped the order and Judah became the recipient of Israel’s great blessing (which was God’s plan, since out of Judah would come the Savior).

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Walter Snyder is the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Emma, Missouri and coauthor of the book What Do Lutherans Believe.

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