How is it that YHVH declared Israel to be His firstborn among all the other nations of the earth?
“For you are a holy people to YHVH your God; YHVH your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. YHVH did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; but because YHVH loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, YHVH has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Therefore know that YHVH your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments” (Deut 7:6-9).
YHVH set up His Kingdom with the first family when He gave Adam (they) dominion-rule over creation. They were Elohim’s servants-kings, acting as conduits of His life and light to all living things. They were also priests to YHVH, as they walked in a relationship with Him, worshiping in spirit and in truth. This was the beginning of the Melchizedec order of YHVH’s Kingdom on earth. YHVH had already legislated His divine order for this natural family, to be later documented in the Torah, containing the statutes and ordinances that pertain to the family of man and the relationship with Him.
One of those laws, as mentioned above, is, “All firstborn belong to Me”. Thus, ever since YHVH established the family of man, He always had someone in the firstborn position. However, following the story line in the book of Genesis we see that not all firstborn qualified for the position. Some of them lost it because they were not faithful to the will of God, or to their natural fathers.
From the genealogy of Avraham we learn that he was the 20th elder from Adam, and the 10th from Noah (Gen. 5:4-29; 11:10-26). All those specified in the genealogy lists constitute the linage of the firstborn and therefore belonged to YHVH. This is why He calls them “My servants”. Noah, along with all the other firstborn, or patriarchs, were still alive in the days of Avraham. But it was during the days of Avraham that YHVH extended the Birthright from an individual firstborn to an entire nation of firstborn, because of the rise of many nations on earth, with a kingdom government after the order that was established by Nimrod (see Gen 10:8-10; Gen. 11:1-4). Nimrod, whose name means “we will rebel”, set up a counterfeit kingdom to YHVH’s, and had his own king-priests. In contrast to God’s Kingdom he gathered the people unto himself, and ruled over them for the purpose of making a name for man and not for God. YHVH’s Kingdom, on the other hand was (and is) one of ‘multiplying’ and ‘filling’, whose firstborn are His servants for His namesake, and are to bring glory and honor to Him.
For the purpose of setting up His special nation, YHVH made a covenant with Avraham. "Get out of your country, from your family and from your father's house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing” (Gen 12:1-2). Because Avraham was a firstborn from the genealogy of firstborn, the nation that would come out of his loins would likewise be a firstborn (nation). The promised son, who was to father the chosen nation, was birthed through divine intervention. Sarah, Avraham’s legitimate wife, who had been barren, as well as by that time infertile (with a womb that was as good as dead because of her age), was chosen by YHVH to demonstrate a redemptive principle; life being brought forth from the dead. YHVH also revealed this principle in the case of two of the other mothers of Israel - Rebecca and Rachel. The Creator was simply showing that this chosen nation was of His will, and not the result of any man’s plan or intention.
With the birth of Esav and Yaacov we witness once more Elohim’s sovereign intervention. YHVH had said to the mother of the twins that she was carrying two nations, and that the older would serve the younger (Gen 25:22-23), thus giving rise to a problem, as Esav was the firstborn. God, however, declared that the nation would be a chosen one, and so arranged that Esav would come out first (had it been otherwise, Yaacov would have been the natural firstborn and not necessarily chosen for that purpose. The fact that the older would serve the younger, according to the word given to their mother, was another disclosure as to whom the birthright would ultimately be given. However, the leadership, or princely portion, still belonged to Esav. So YHVH arranged a day on which Esav believed that he was going to die of hunger. It just happened that Yaacov was stirring up a pot of lentils at the time, and was of course ready to oblige his sibling providing Esav would pay for his meal with the desired birthright. (This was nothing short of a divine appointment). Esav, who consented, thought to himself, ‘what good is a birthright to a dead man, and anyway should I survive I will get the father’s right hand blessing and the double portion eventually’. Rebecca, understanding that if a firstborn does not receive the double portion he cannot qualify to be the family redeemer, as one must have both of those blessings and much more, immediately devised a plan. (from 18/10/2002)