a second son VS the second son


Hi everyone.

When I looked through the Bible, especially in Hosea, I found this verse "After Gomer weaned Lo-ruhamah, she again became pregnant and gave birth to a second son.(1:8,NLT)"

I learned I should add "the' to "first, second... or so" things, right?

Q1. Why did the author use just 'a'?

Q2. What is the difference between when you use 'the' and when you do 'a'?

Thanks a lot. I hope you have a great answer.
  • le Grand Soir

    Senior Member
    Anglais, dialecte de San Francisco
    No, you have it right the way it is. No definite article is required unless you are setting one of the sons apart from the others. The first son implies a special position and rôle for the first born. Believe me, I know how that goes since I, myself, am the first son in my family, though I be old today...