The firstborn was the beginning of a man’s strength

Deuteronomy Bible Background

03.13.2016 Old Testament: Deu 21.15–17

To read the Bible in a year, read Deuteronomy 20–22 on March 13, In the year of our Lord 2016

By Don Ruhl

The Lord never intended for men to have more than one wife, but He tolerated it for a while, even regulating it, not because He approved of it, no, He wanted to protect the women and the children. Therefore, concerning firstborn sons, the Lord said,

“If a man has two wives, one loved and the other unloved, and they have borne him children, both the loved and the unloved, and if the firstborn son is of her who is unloved, then it shall be, on the day he bequeaths his possessions to his sons, that he must not bestow firstborn status on the son of the loved wife in preference to the son of the unloved, the true firstborn. But he shall acknowledge the son of the unloved wife as the firstborn by giving him a double portion of all that he has, for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his” (Deuteronomy 21.15–17).

The Lord taught equity, that the children of Israel would treat all people fairly. In this case, He made provisions to make sure that the son of an unloved wife did not suffer. Of course, He wants us to do the same.


  • Do you treat people fairly?
  • Do you think of how the Lord wants you to treat people?

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