In order to properly understand many important parts of the Bible it is essential that you fully understand the concept of the first born blessing.
The Hebrew firstborn blessing is akin to the formalized reading of the family will just prior to the passing away of the father.
It was customary for the firstborn to receive both of the following:
1) A double-portion of the father’s wealth
2) the authority to rule over the family.
A double-portion meant that the first born son received at least double the amount given to any other son.
In addition, the firstborn was never a female.
A married couple could have 10 daughters and then one son born after all of those daughters and that one son would be considered the firstborn and receive a double portion of the family’s inheritance and the ruling authority over that family.
What’s interesting is that in Noah’s pronouncement of the curses and blessings, we have a precursory firstborn blessing being proclaimed prior to it eventually becoming a formalized biblical concept in the Bible.
However, what is unique in this case is that the first born blessing was split between Shem and Japheth.
“May God extend Japheth’s territory;
may Japheth live in the tents of Shem,
From the above verse, we can see that Shem received the ruling authority and Japheth received the equivalent of a double-portion of the wealth (of the world so to speak).
Note that Japheth’s blessing is dependent on Shem.
In other words, Japheth’s descendants would only prosper when their relationship with Shem was in a harmonious state.
Again, Japheth is the ancestor of most of the European peoples including the Romans and the Greeks.
Shem would become the Hebrews (as well as the Arabs, and most of the Asian races).
Historically, speaking we can see a direct correlation between the prosperity of the Japhethic nations and how they treated Israel (a Shemitic nation).
Trust me, America’s prosperity has all to do with the blessing upon Japheth.
Finally, we will see this splitting up of the firstborn blessing occur again later in Genesis when Jacob blesses his 12 sons who will eventually grow to become the 12 tribes of Israel.
NEXT TIME WE WILL BEGIN GENESIS CHAPTER 10