Firstborn was conceived from this question-How can the firstborn of creation be the Last Adam or Second Man? After a fruitful study, I am now ready to birth this post about the Firstborn. This study started growing into a very complicated child because of all the aspects related to the topic of the firstborn. Maybe I will get to that plethora of information in a future post.
Some about the Firstborn
This is a title as well as a position on a family tree. Part of being the firstborn son was the inheritance and the blessing that went with that honor. These rights of the firstborn are mentioned in the Five Books of Moses. Each book has a slightly different focus. (I am making some very loose points here as rules and requirements are mentioned in Exodus to Deuteronomy.)
- Genesis-The focus here is Jacob and how he handles the rights of the firstborn. He buys and steals them from Esau, takes them away from Ruben and gives them to Joseph, and transfers them to Ephraim. 1 Chronicles 5:1, Jeremiah 31:9, with Genesis 49:3,4; 48:5 and 14-20 all refer to the story of Ruben.
- Exodus’ focus is that Egypt/Pharaoh will not let Israel (God’s firstborn) go, so it will cost them their firstborn.
- Leviticus has only one mention of firstborn-Chapter 27. It states that they belong to the Lord.
- Numbers-There are many things written about the firstborn in Numbers. The theme I saw was Egypt being traded for Israel, and now Israel would cover the redeeming of the Levites’ firstborn. Zelophehad’s daughters (Numbers 36:11) do set some rules about all-girl families.
- Deuteronomy restates the rules and requirements of the firstborn. Chapter 21:15 adds a rule for loved and unloved wives, and whose children get the rights of the firstborn. I want to think this adjusts some things Jacob did so as not to be an excuse for later generations.
Firstborn of Creation
Adam was the prototype, while Jesus is the prototokos (Colossians 1:15). Adam was made/created/assembled by God and he received the breath of life (The first CPR:). Jesus came from that amazing creation when the Holy Spirit surrounded Mary with grace (charitoo) and put in the male half of the DNA to form Jesus. So, He was the first man born from the Spirit. (Luke 2:21-He was circumcised.) This sets the example of our born-again experience with the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the firstborn of Creation (Hebrews 1:6, Colossians 1:15, Romans 8:29). He is also the firstborn of/from the dead (Revelation 1:5, Colossians 1:18). Jesus is the head of the church of the firstborn (Colossians 1:18, Hebrews 12:23).
1 Corinthians 15:45 and 46 is discussing the concepts that are also found in Romans 5:15 and 17 (here it is one man). The first Adam, the first man, allowed death into the world by his transgression. The last Adam (Jesus) is a life-giving Spirit that brought grace to us. In 1 Corinthians 15:46, Jesus is referred to as the second man. I believe, because of the Hebrew for Adam and man, being related has caused this to become the title of Second Adam.