The privilege of the Eldest
In ancient Israel, the firstborn son was the most privileged child in the family. Responsibilities and entitlement were showered upon him. There was a price to pay for this position of honor, however. According to the Torah, the firstborn son is dedicated as a gift to the Lord. Only through God’s grace can he be “bought back” by his parents through a redemption ceremony (Exodus 13:13).
Redemption of the Firstborn
Jesus was God’s firstborn son, and thus superior to any created being. Fulfilling Jewish custom, Jesus was redeemed in the Jerusalem Temple on the thirtieth day of his life (Luke 2:22). It was here that Simeon proclaimed that Jesus would be the Messiah. At the beginning of his life, Jesus was redeemed by his parents. At the end of his life, he would redeem all of humanity.
Start Early: Learn the Bible in its Original Language
The Hebrew word for firstborn is bechor (בְּכוֹר) which comes from the root BKR (בכר) meaning “early.” When Paul says that Jesus is the “firstborn of all creation” he is highlighting this earliness. From the very beginning of creation, before anyone had ever heard of Jesus of Nazareth, God’s plan for humanity was always pointed toward Christ’s arrival. Enroll in our live, online Biblical Hebrew course and learn to read the Bible in its original Hebrew as early as possible.