Why did the younger often get blessed over the older in the Bible? 😒🤔

Genesis 48:17-19

A friend asked this question and got me thinking as it’s a repeated and interesting Bible phenomenon. 

One of my thoughts is that in all these cases, God already knew the heart of the people and that’s what guided how the weight of blessings flowed. 

  • If you look at the example of David and his brothers when Samuel came to anoint a king, the brothers all looked handsome, strong and potential kings in Samuel’s eyes but God said none of these qualified and that He looks at the heart and not mere outward evidence like man does. Not too long after in the Goliath battle, we could see that David’s brothers were weak in faith in God and rebuked David for wanting to step forward in faith. 
  • Also if you look at Reuben, Jacob’s first born, he was poor in character and had slept with Jacob’s wife; as a result, he brought a curse on His head. God knew the heart of all Jacob’s sons and the greatest blessing rested on Joseph’s head. 
  • Same with Esau and Jacob. Indeed God foreknew the hearts of the two children and which would be more malleable to His ways, and the greater blessing went to Jacob over Esau. 

Basically, the blessings perhaps often went to the younger because the younger’s heart was more open to God’s ways.


From a more spiritual context, another way to look at it is to look at trends in God’s great plan of salvation. 

  • The first Adam was weak and sinned but Jesus was perfect and saved us from the curse of sin. 😁
  • John the baptist was the most prominent prophet but yet still a lesser light compared to the light of God that came through Jesus. 🙏🏾
  • The canon of scriptures is split into the old and new testament, with the old testament pointing to Jesus who came not to abolish the old but to build on and shed more light on the old. 🌤

Again here you see there’s a common link of the latter being greater than the former.


Finally it helps in understanding that the laws that operate in God’s kingdom are very different from those that humans or unbelievers commonly understand or live by. Or better said, God’s ways are very different from common-place human understanding. Some examples: 

  • Jesus said the first shall be the last and the last shall be first. 🤔 
  • The more you give the more you receive.
  • To lead you must first be a servant. 👀
  • Perhaps one of the most intriguing is in 1 Cor 1:27-29… “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.” 🍿🙌🏾

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