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Heir


Heir. The Hebrew institutions relative to inheritance were of a very simple character. Under the patriarchal system the property was divided among the sons of the legitimate wives, Gen. 21:10; 24:36; 25:5, a larger portion being assigned to one, generally the eldest, on whom devolved the duty of maintaining the females of the family. The sons of concubines were portioned off with presents. Gen. 25:6. At a later period the exclusion of the sons of concubines was rigidly enforced. Judges 11:1ff. Daughters had no share in the patrimony, Gen. 21:14, but received a marriage portion. The Mosaic law regulated the succession to real property thus: it was to be divided among the sons, the eldest receiving a double portion, Deut. 21:17, the others equal shares; if there were no sons, it went to the daughters, Num. 27:8, on the condition that they did not marry out of their own tribe, Num. 36:6ff.; otherwise the patrimony was forfeited. If there were no daughters, it went to the brother of the deceased; if no brother, to the paternal uncle; and, failing these, to the next of kin. Num. 27:9-11.