And Judah begot Pharez and Zarah of Tamar, and Pharez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Aram,
And Aram begot Aminadab, and Aminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon,
Tamar conceived twins (Gen. 38:27-30). At the time of delivery, one boy, Zarah, tried to come out first, but he did not succeed. He put out his hand, and the midwife marked it with a scarlet thread, indicating that he would be the firstborn. However, Pharez preceded him to be the firstborn. Thus, the first became the last, and the last became the first. The midwife was surprised. This is a good illustration of how to gain the birthright. Pharez inherited the birthright. Man did not choose him, but God sent him. This proves that it is not up to man’s endeavoring; it is up to God’s choice. The mother’s story tells us one side: that we should be anxious for the birthright, trying our best to obtain it; the son’s story tells us the other side: that although we may strive to obtain the birthright, it is actually a matter of God’s choice, not our efforts (see Rom. 9:11).