What the scriptures say about
FIRST (Alpha)
How to put God FIRST in priority today

Alpha | First of all things: Ps 8:3-9

First: Scripture and International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE)
God's First claims: Thompson Chain Reference
First-fruits: Easton's Bible Dictionary | Smith's Bible Dictionary | ISBE | Thompson Chain Reference

FIRST in scriptures [BibleGateway Search]   Site search: FreeFind

Select Cross Reference Bible links
Genesis 1:5 (First day)
Deuteronomy 30:19 (Implied first choice: life)
Jeremiah 7:12 (the first dwelling place of the NAME in Shiloh)
Ezekiel 44:30 (the firstfruits to be given to the priests)
Zechariah 12:1-9 (when the nations attack Jerusalem, the LORD will save the dwellings of Judah first)
Matthew 5:23-24 (first be reconciled with someone I've offended before offering a gift at the altar)

ALPHA: first and last
Isaiah 44:6, 48:12 (The LORD, the first and the last, the only God)
Revelation 1:8 (the Alpha and Omega: who is, who was, who is to come; the Almighty)
Revelation 21:6 (Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost...)
Revelation 22:13 (the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End)

1 Kings 22:5, 18:4 (First seek the counsel of the Lord)
Matthew 6:33 (First seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness)

More firsts, including Elijah comes first; the first will be last...

Regular time given God for prayer:
Daniel 6 (when prayer became against the law, Daniel put his prayer schedule first, to thank God and ask for His help)

FIRST [International Standard Bible Encyclopedia]

furst ('echadh, ri'shon; proton, to proton, protos):

Of these words, which are those most frequently used for "first,"

ri'shon is from rosh, "the head, and is used for the highest, chief, etc.;
also of time, the beginning, e.g. Genesis 8:13, in the first month";
in Isaiah 44:6; 48:12, it is used of Yahweh as Eternal and solely Supreme -- the First and the Last (compare Isaiah 41:4).
Special usages are in connection with "firstborn," "first-fruit," etc.;

proton is used of that which is first in order; but also of that which is first or chief in importance, etc. (Matthew 6:33; James 3:17).

In 1 Tim 1:15, Paul says Jesus came "to save sinners; of whom I am chief," literally, "first"; the same word is used by Jesus of the "first" of the commandments (Mark 12:29);

where we read in 1 Corinthians 15:3, "I delivered unto you first of all," it is en protois ("in the foremost place");

"The first and the last" is applied to Christ as Eternal and Supreme (Revelation 1:17; 2:8; 22:13);

protos is "the first day" (Matthew 26:17; Mark 16:9); in Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2; Luke 24:1; John 20:1,19; Acts 20:7, it is mia ("one").

W. L. Walker

FIRST CLAIMS [Thompson Chain Reference]
(God's First Claims, Upon All the Possessions of Men)
* Numbers 3:13 (first born)
* Deuteronomy 26:2 (first of the harvests)
* 1 Kings 17:13 (God tells what to do first)
* Matthew 6:33 (God - first priority followed by supply)

FIRST-FRUITS [Easton's Bible Dictionary]

The law required,
  • That on the morrow after the Passover Sabbath a sheaf of new corn should be waved by the priest before the altar (Leviticus 23:5,6,10,12; 2:12).
  • That at the feast of Pentecost two loaves of leavened bread, made from the new flour, were to be waved in like manner (Leviticus 23:15,17; Numbers 28:26).
  • The feast of Tabernacles was an acknowledgement that the fruits of the harvest were from the Lord (Exodus 23:16; 34:22).
  • Every individual, besides, was required to consecrate to God a portion of the first-fruits of the land (Exodus 22:29; 23:19; 34:26; Numbers 15:20,21).
  • The law enjoined that no fruit was to be gathered from newly-planted fruit-trees for the first three years, and that the first-fruits of the fourth year were to be consecrated to the Lord (Leviticus 19:23-25). (Jeremiah 2:3) alludes to the ordinance of "first-fruits," and hence he must have been acquainted with the books of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, where the laws regarding it are recorded.

  • FIRST-FRUITS [Smith's Bible Dictionary]

    1. The law ordered in general that the first of all ripe fruits and of liquors, or, as it is twice expressed, the first of first-fruits, should be offered in Godís house. (Exodus 22:29; 23:19; 34:27) It was an act of allegiance to God as the giver of all. No exact quantity was commanded, but it was left to the spiritual and moral sense of each individual.
    2. On the morrow after the passover sabbath, i.e. on the 16th of Nisan, a sheaf of new corn was to be brought to the priest and waved before the altar, in acknowledgment of the gift of fruitfulness. (Leviticus 2:12; 23:5,6,10,12)
    3. At the expiration of seven weeks from this time, i.e. at the feast of pentecost, an oblation was to be made from the new flour, which were to be waved in like manner with the passover sheaf. (Exodus 34:22; Leviticus 23:15,17; Numbers 28:26)
    4. The feast of ingathering, i.e. the feast of tabernacles, in the seventh month, was itself an acknowledgment of the fruits of the harvest. (Exodus 23:16; 34:22; Leviticus 23:39) These four sorts of offerings were national. Besides them, the two following were of an individual kind.
    5. A cake of the first dough that was baked was to be offered as a heave-offering. (Numbers 15:19,21)
    6. The first-fruits of the land were to be brought in a basket to the holy place of Godís choice, and there presented to the priest, who was to set the basket down before the altar. ( 26:2-11) The offerings were the perquisite of the priests. (Numbers 18:11; 18:4) Nehemiah, at the return from captivity, took pains to reorganize the offerings of first-fruits of both kinds, and to appoint places to receive them. (Nehemiah 10:35,37; 12:44) An offering of first-fruits is mentioned as an acceptable one to the prophet Elisha. (2 Kings 4:42)

    FIRST-FRUITS [International Standard Bible Encyclopedia]

    furst'-froots (re'shith, bikkurim; aparche. Septuagint translates re'shith by aparche, but for bikkurim it uses the word protogennemata; compare Philo 22 33):

    In acknowledgment of the fact that the land and all its products were the gift of Yahweh to Israel, and in thankfulness for His bounty, all the first-fruits were offered to Him. These were offered in their natural state (e.g. cereals, tree fruits, grapes), or after preparation (e.g. musk, oil, flour, dough), after which the Israelite was at liberty to use the rest (Exodus 23:19; Numbers 15:20; 18:12; Deuteronomy 26:2; Nehemiah 10:35,37). No absolute distinction can be made between re'shith and bikkurim, but re'shith seems generally to mean what is prepared by human labor, and bikkurim the direct product of Nature.

    The phrase "the first of the first-fruits" (Exodus 23:19; 34:26; Ezekiel 44:30), Hebrew re'shith bikkure, Greek aparchai ton protogennematon, is not quite clear. It may mean the first-ripe or the choicest of the first-fruits. The re'shith offerings were individual, except that a re'shith of dough was to be offered as a heave offering (Numbers 15:17-21). The priest waved a re'shith of corn before the Lord on the morrow after the Sabbath in the week of unleavened bread (Leviticus 23:9-11). These offerings all fell to the priest (Numbers 18:12). Bikkurim refers specially to things sown (Exodus 23:16; Leviticus 2:14).

    At the Feast of Weeks, seven weeks after the offering of the sheaf, bikkurim of corn in the ear, parched with fire and bruised, were brought to the House of the Lord as a meal offering (Exodus 34:22-26; Leviticus 2:14-16). The bikkurim also fell to the priest, except a portion which was burned as a memorial (Leviticus 2:8-10,16).

    The beautiful ceremony of the offering of the re'shith in the House of God is described in Deuteronomy 26:1-11, and is enlarged upon in the Talmud (Bikkurim 3 2). According to the Talmud (Terumoth 4 3) a sixtieth part of the first-fruits in a prepared form was the minimum that could be offered; the more generous brought a fortieth part, and even a thirtieth. The fruits of newly planted trees were not to be gathered during the first three years; the fruits of the fourth year were consecrated to Yahweh, and from the fifth year the fruits belonged to the owner of the trees (Leviticus 19:23-25). According to Mishna, `Orlah i.10, even the shells of nuts and pomegranates could not be used during the first three years as coloring matter or for the lighting of fires.

    It is held by some scholars that the institution of the tithe (see TITHE) is a later development from the first-fruits.


    In the Old Testament, in Jeremiah 2:3, Israel is called "the re'shith of his increase."

    In the New Testament aparche is applied figuratively
    * to the first convert or converts in a particular place (Romans 16:5; 1 Corinthians 16:15);
    * to the Christians of that age (James 1:18; 2 Thessalonians 2:13, WHm),
    * and to the 144,000 in heaven (Revelation 14:4);
    * to Christ, as the first who rose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:20,23);
    * also to the blessings which we receive now through the Spirit, the earnest of greater blessings to come (Romans 8:23).

    Paul Levertoff

    FIRST FRUITS [Thompson Chain Reference]
    God's Priority of Claim
    * Exodus 22:29
    * Leviticus 2:12
    * Numbers 18:12
    * Deuteronomy 18:4
    * Deuteronomy 26:2
    * Nehemiah 10:35
    * Proverbs 3:9
    * Romans 11:16
    * Romans 16:5
    * 1 Corinthians 15:20
    * James 1:18
    * First - fruits demanded
        SEE Tithes, Giving of

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