above his brethren

1 Chronicles 5:2

5:2 above his brethren. It had been customary (though never commanded by God) for fathers to leave a double portion of their estate to the eldest son, but Jacob chose to give this “birthright” to Joseph instead of Reuben, because of Reuben’s act of incest and because of Joseph’s faithfulness. However, God inspired Jacob to predict that the “sceptre” of the family would go to Judah, probably because of his willingness to die for his younger brother. See notes on Genesis 49:3, 4, 10.

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