Is an act by which a person takes a stranger into his family, acknowledges him for his child, and constitutes him heir of his estate. Jacob’s adoption of his two grandsons, Ephraim and Manasseh, Genesis 48:5, was a kind of substitution, whereby he intended that these his grandson should have each his lot in Israel, as if they had been his own sons: "Ephraim and Manasseh are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine." As he give no inheritance to their father Joseph, the effect of this adoption was simply the doubling of their inheritance.
But Scripture afford instances of another kind of adoption-that of a father having a daughter only, and adopting her children. Thus, 1 Chronicles 2:21, Machir, grandson of Joseph, and father of Gilead, Numbers 26:29, gave his daughter to Hezron, "who took her; and was a son of sixty years," sixty years of age, "and she bare hi Segub; and Segub begat Jair, who had twenty-three cities in the land of Gilead," Joshua 13:30 1 Kings 4:13. However, as well he as his posterity, instead of being reckoned to the family of Judah, as they would have been by their paternal descent from Hezron, is reckoned as sons of Machir, the father of Gilead. Nay, more, it appears, Numbers 32:41, that this Jair, who was in fact the son of Segub, the son of Segub, the son of Hezron, the son of Judah, is expressly called "Jair, the son of Manasseh," because his maternal great-grandfather was Machir to the son of Manasseh. In like manner we read that Mordecai adopted Esther, his niece; he took her to himself to be a daughter, Esther 2:7. So the daughter of Pharaoh adopted Moses; and he became her son, Exodus 2:10. So we read, Ruth 4:17, that Naomi had a son-a son is born to Naomi; when indeed it was the son of Ruth.
At the present day, adoption is not uncommon in the East, where it is made before a public officer with legal forms.
In the New Testament, adoption denotes that act of God’s free grace by which, on being justified through faith, we are received into the family of God, and made heirs of the inheritance of heaven. It is "in Christ," and through his atoning merits, that believers "receive the adoption of sons," Galatians 4:4,5. Some of the privileges of this state are, deliverance from a fearful and servile spirit; the special love and care of our heavenly Father; conformity to his image; a filial confidence in him; free access to him at all times; the witness of the Holy Spirit, whereby we cry, "Abba, Father;" and the title to our heavenly home, Romans 8:14-17 Ephesians 1:4,5.