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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Deuteronomy 21:17

 

 

"But he shall acknowledge the firstborn, the son of the unloved, by giving him a double portion of all that he has, for he is the beginning of his strength; to him belongs the right of the firstborn.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn,.... Own him and declare him to be so, both by his will and the division of goods by him; or he shall "separate" him, as Onkelos; distinguish him from all his other sons, and make known to all, as the Targum of Jonathan, that he is his firstborn:

by giving him a double portion of all that he hath; or, "that is found with him"F20אשר ימצא לו "quod inventum fuerit ei", Pagninus, Montanus., ; which he was in the possession of when he made his will, or divided his goods; and so refers not to what might come into his hands afterwards, or should be his in reversion afterwards; in this the firstborn had not his double portion, only in what his father was for the present possessed of; so that if a man had two sons, his goods were divided into three parts, and the firstborn took two parts, and the other the third; if three sons, they were divided into four parts, of which the firstborn had two parts, and the others each of them one; if four sons, they were divided into five parts, and the firstborn took two, and the other three one apiece, and so in proportion; the division was made according to their number:

for he is the beginning of his strength; as Jacob said, of Reuben; see Gill on Genesis 49:3 the right of the firstborn is his; before this law was given, there was a birthright, or a privilege belonging to the firstborn, which gave him the preeminence in the family to his brethren; but whether he was entitled to a double portion of goods, previous to this law, is not certain; however, by this it was his right, and might not be alienated from him; for, according to the Jewish canonsF21Misn. Bava Bathra, c. 8. sect. 5. ,"if a man say, such an one my son, the firstborn, shall not take the double portion, and my son such an one shall not inherit with his brethren, he says nothing, cause he disposes contrary to what is written in the law.'This law of the firstborn in the mystery of it may respect our Lord Jesus Christ, the firstborn of God, and the firstborn of Mary; and who had a double portion of the gifts and grace of the Spirit, or rather the Spirit without measure, the oil of gladness he was anointed with above his fellows, and is the firstborn among many brethren, among whom in all things he has the preeminence; and also the elect of God, the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven, who have a double portion, both temporal and spiritual things, the promise of this life and that to come, grace here and glory hereafter; and the ultimate glory is but one inheritance, they all share alike in, being equally children, and all firstborn; and it may have regard also to the Jewish and Gentile churches, the former was the beloved wife, the latter some time not beloved, and yet the children of the Gentile church have a larger measure of the Spirit than those of the jewish church had; see Romans 9:25.


Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 21:17". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/deuteronomy-21.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated [for] the firstborn, by giving him a h double portion of all that he hath: for he [is] the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn [is] i his.

(h) As much as to two of the others.

(i) Unless he is unworthy, as Reuben, Jacob's son, was.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 21:17". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/deuteronomy-21.html. 1599-1645.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Deuteronomy 21:17 But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated [for] the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he [is] the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn [is] his.

Ver. 17. A double portion.] According to this phrase, Elisha [2 Kings 2:9] doth not desire a greater measure of the spirit than rested upon his master; but only to excel the other children of the prophets by a right of the firstborn.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 21:17". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/deuteronomy-21.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Acknowledge, i.e. make it appear that he owns him.

Double portion; for the phrase, see 2 Kings 2:9 Zechariah 13:8; and for the thing, see Genesis 25:31 1 Chronicles 5:1.

The beginning of his strength, i.e. the first evidence of his manly strength and ability for procreation.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Deuteronomy 21:17". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/deuteronomy-21.html. 1685.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Double portion. If a person left six children, his effects were divided into seven equal parts, and the eldest son received two of them, though others think that he was entitled to one-half of the whole, (Calmet) in order to enable him to support the dignity of the family, (Haydock) and the greater expenses which he had to incur for sacrifices and solemn feasts. (Grotius) --- If he were dead, his children or heirs were entitled to his portion. This was the prerogative of the first-born, 1 Paralipomenon v. 2. (Selden) --- The right to the priesthood, if they might have claimed it before the law, was now given to the family of Aaron. Females had no privilege above one another. They received equal shares, when there was no male issue, Numbers xxxvi. (Haydock) --- First. Hebrew, "the beginning of his strength." See Genesis xlix. 3.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 21:17". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/deuteronomy-21.html. 1859.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his.
by giving
Genesis 25:5,6,32,34; 1 Chronicles 5:1,2
that he hath
Heb. that is found with him. the beginning.
Genesis 49:3; Psalms 105:36
the right
Genesis 25:31-34

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 21:17". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/deuteronomy-21.html.

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