first-born

A title which indicates the special value attached to the first male offspring, both human and animal. In the Bible the first-born males belonged to the Lord (Exodus 13). In instances, however, both the firstling of the flocks and herds, as well as the first-born son, could be redeemed. The rights of primogeniture were highly regarded; for they affected inheritance, authority, etc., in the family.

New Catholic Dictionary

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