The First Born, Types of Christ
Exodus 13:1-2
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,…


1. By common nature,

2. By common grace.

3. By a special right.

(1)  In His nature, Christ is Firstborn, as Son of God.

(2)  In His office, by special prerogative.

(a)  For the kind, in that He was Mediator, God and Man in unity of person, and the only Redeemer of His Church.

(b)  For undertaking of His office.

(c)  For the accomplishing His office, in His resurrection. He is called the First-begotten, or Firstborn of the dead, two ways:

(i)  In respect of His Father, who first begot Him from the dead;

(ii)  In regard of Himself, whose privilege it was to raise up Himself from the dead by His own power.

II. The firstborn of Israel was the second, and NEXT TO THE FATHER OF THE FAMILY, yea, after the father instead of the father. So is Christ to His family, the Church; He performs all offices of a careful and tender father, and" takes on Him, not the affection only of a father, but even —

1. The name of a father (Isaiah 9:6).

2. The office of a father.

(1)  He supplies the means of spiritual life, as they of natural.

(2)  He nurtures and teacheth His Church.

(3)  He provides for the present, and bestows the inheritance of eternal life.

III. The firstborn HAD THE PRE-EMINENCE AMONG THE BRETHREN, and were chief in office and authority, rulers in the house after their fathers, and priests in the family, before the Levitical order was established. Herein they were special types of Jesus Christ; who in all things must have the pre-eminence, as first in time, in order, in precedency, and in the excellency and dignity of His person.

IV. The firstborn HAD A DOUBLE PORTION IN GOODS (Deuteronomy 21:17). Signifying —

1. The plenitude of the spirit and grace in Christ, who was anointed with oil of gladness above His fellows.

2. The pre-eminency of Christ in His glorious inheritance, advanced in glory and majesty incomprehensible by all creatures. Use —

(1) Out of the occasion of the law of the firstborn, learn that the more God doth for any man, the more he ought to conceive himself to be the Lord's, and the more right and interest the Lord challengeth in him.

(2) If Christ be the true firstborn, of whom all they are but types, we must give Him the honour of His birthright.

(3) Here is a ground of much consolation.

(a) In that Christ being the truth of the firstborn, from Him the birthright is derived unto us believers, as it was from Reuben unto Judah, and we partake of the same birthright with our head. For here is a difference between the type and truth of the firstborn. They had all their privileges for themselves: but Christ not for Himself but for us.

(b) Being God's firstborn throughout, we are dear unto God.

(c) God takes notice, and avenges all wrongs done to the saints, because they are His firstborn.

(4) Seeing in Christ the firstborn we attain the birthright; let every Christian beware of profaneness, and passing away his birthright as Esau, who sold his birthright for pottage (Hebrews 12:16).

(5) Learn to grow in conformity with our Elder Brother Christ, with whom we cannot be equal, but like as brothers. We must be like Him in affection, like Him in affliction, like Him in the combat, and like Him in the crown.

(T. Taylor, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

WEB: Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,

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