4 occurrences in 4 dictionaries

Reference: Inheritance


The laws of inheritance among the Hebrews were very simple. Land might be mortgaged, but could not be alienated, Nu 36:6-9. See JUBILEE. The only permanent right to property was by heritage, or lineal succession. The eldest son had a double portion. Females had no territorial possession; but if a man left no sons, his daughters inherited-on condition of their marrying into a family within the tribe to which their father belonged. If a man had no children, his land passed to distant relatives, according to a law laid down in Nu 27:8-11. The Law of Moses rendered wills unnecessary; they were introduced, however, at a later period, Ga 3:15; Heb 9:17. Property was sometimes distributed among children during the lifetime of the father: thus, in the parable of the prodigal son, the father divided his property between the two sons, Lu 15:12.

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It is a remarkable fact that the Hebrew language fails to discriminate between the inheritance of property and its possession or acquisition in any other manner. The two words most constantly used in this connexion denote the idea of settled possession, but are quite indeterminate as to the manner in which that possession has been acquired. As might easily be inferred, from the historical circumstances of Israel's evolution, the words became largely restricted to the holding of land, obviously the most important of all kinds of property among a pastoral or agricultural people.

I. Inheritance in Law and Custom

1. Property.

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The land of promise is constantly spoken of as the inheritance of Israel: the land flowing with milk and honey was given to them by God. De 4:21; Ps 105:11, etc. So when Israel returns to take possession of the land in a future day, it is still called their inheritance. Eze 45:1, etc. This all shows that they were and will be an earthly people, but God blessed them on earth in relationship with Himself as Jehovah, and will again bless them on earth when they own the Lord Jesus as their Messiah. In connection with this God calls Israel His inheritance: He hath chosen them for His own inheritance. Ps 33:12; 78:62, etc.

The Christian has no inheritance on earth; his inheritance is with the saints in light, Col 1:12; an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven.

1Pe 1:4. In the meanwhile the Holy Spirit is given as the earnest of the inheritance. Eph 1:14. It is in Christ Himself the inheritance is obtained, for the Lord Jesus will possess all things in heaven and in earth. Eph 1:18.

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See Heir