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---excerpt from the Illustrated Bible Dictionary.
First-born - Sons enjoyed certain special privileges (Deuteronomy 21:17; Genesis 25:23, Genesis 25:31, Genesis 25:34; Genesis 49:3; 1 Chronicles 5:1; Hebrews 12:16; Psalms 89:27). (See BIRTHRIGHT.) The "first-born of the poor" signifies the most miserable of the poor (Isaiah 14:30). The "church of the first-born" signifies the church of the redeemed. The destruction of the first-born was the last of the ten plagues inflicted on the Egyptians (Exodus 11:1; Exodus 12:29 - 12:30). Menephtah is probably the Pharaoh whose first-born was slain. His son did not succeed or survive his father, but died early. The son's tomb has been found at Thebes unfinished, showing it was needed earlier than was expected. Some of the records on the tomb are as follows: "The son whom Menephtah loves; who draws towards him his father's heart, the singer, the prince of archers, who governed Egypt on behalf of his father. Dead."
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