|<< Leviticus 27 >>|
Barnes' Notes on the Bible
1And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Dues. The position which this chapter holds after the formal conclusion, Leviticus 26:46, suggests that it is of a supplementary character. There seems, however, no reason to doubt its Mosaic origin.
2Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When a man shall make a singular vow, the persons shall be for the LORD by thy estimation.
Rather, When a man makes a special vow which concerns thy valuation of persons to Yahweh, if thy estimation shall be of the male, etc. The expression "thy estimation" is addressed either to Moses or to the priest Leviticus 27:12 : it denoted a legal valuation. The vow of a person was perhaps most frequently made in cases of illness or danger, under the impulse of religions feeling, either in the way of thankfulness for blessings received, or of supplication for something desired. A man might dedicate himself, his wife, his child, or his bondservant. This might have been an old custom; but the Law ordained that he who had taken such a vow should pay a sum of money to the sanctuary, determined according to the age and sex of the person.
3And thy estimation shall be of the male from twenty years old even unto sixty years old, even thy estimation shall be fifty shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary.
4And if it be a female, then thy estimation shall be thirty shekels.
The relative values of the persons appear to be regulated according to an estimate of the probable value of their future work:
Ages Male Female From a month to five years of age 5 shekels 3 shekels From five years to twenty of age 20 shekels 10 shekels From forty years to sixty of age 50 shekels 30 shekels Sixty years of age and older: 15 shekels 10 shekels
As regards the shekel of the sanctuary, see Exodus 38:24 note.
5And if it be from five years old even unto twenty years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male twenty shekels, and for the female ten shekels.
6And if it be from a month old even unto five years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male five shekels of silver, and for the female thy estimation shall be three shekels of silver.
7And if it be from sixty years old and above; if it be a male, then thy estimation shall be fifteen shekels, and for the female ten shekels.
8But if he be poorer than thy estimation, then he shall present himself before the priest, and the priest shall value him; according to his ability that vowed shall the priest value him.
If he be poorer than thy estimation - Too poor (to pay) thy valuation. Compare Leviticus 27:7, Leviticus 27:11.
9And if it be a beast, whereof men bring an offering unto the LORD, all that any man giveth of such unto the LORD shall be holy.
10He shall not alter it, nor change it, a good for a bad, or a bad for a good: and if he shall at all change beast for beast, then it and the exchange thereof shall be holy.
11And if it be any unclean beast, of which they do not offer a sacrifice unto the LORD, then he shall present the beast before the priest:
12And the priest shall value it, whether it be good or bad: as thou valuest it, who art the priest, so shall it be.
13But if he will at all redeem it, then he shall add a fifth part thereof unto thy estimation.
14And when a man shall sanctify his house to be holy unto the LORD, then the priest shall estimate it, whether it be good or bad: as the priest shall estimate it, so shall it stand.
Sanctify - i. e. vow to devote. This law relates to houses in the country Leviticus 25:31, which were under the same general law as the land itself, with a right of redemption for the inheritor until the next Jubilee. See Leviticus 27:17-19. For houses in walled towns the right of redemption lasted for only one year Leviticus 25:29.
15And if he that sanctified it will redeem his house, then he shall add the fifth part of the money of thy estimation unto it, and it shall be his.
16And if a man shall sanctify unto the LORD some part of a field of his possession, then thy estimation shall be according to the seed thereof: an homer of barley seed shall be valued at fifty shekels of silver.
Some part of a field of his possession - Rather, a part of the land of his inheritance.
The seed thereof - i. e. the quantity of seed required to sow it properly. Thus the value of about 5 1/2 bushels (an homer) was about 6 pounds, 9 shillings, 2d. (50 shekels. See Exodus 38:24.)
17If he sanctify his field from the year of jubile, according to thy estimation it shall stand.
18But if he sanctify his field after the jubile, then the priest shall reckon unto him the money according to the years that remain, even unto the year of the jubile, and it shall be abated from thy estimation.
19And if he that sanctified the field will in any wise redeem it, then he shall add the fifth part of the money of thy estimation unto it, and it shall be assured to him.
20And if he will not redeem the field, or if he have sold the field to another man, it shall not be redeemed any more.
21But the field, when it goeth out in the jubile, shall be holy unto the LORD, as a field devoted; the possession thereof shall be the priest's.
Devoted - See Leviticus 27:28 note.
22And if a man sanctify unto the LORD a field which he hath bought, which is not of the fields of his possession;
23Then the priest shall reckon unto him the worth of thy estimation, even unto the year of the jubile: and he shall give thine estimation in that day, as a holy thing unto the LORD.
24In the year of the jubile the field shall return unto him of whom it was bought, even to him to whom the possession of the land did belong.
25And all thy estimations shall be according to the shekel of the sanctuary: twenty gerahs shall be the shekel.
On the shekel and the gerah, see Exodus 30:13, note; Exodus 38:24, note.
26Only the firstling of the beasts, which should be the LORD'S firstling, no man shall sanctify it; whether it be ox, or sheep: it is the LORD'S.
27And if it be of an unclean beast, then he shall redeem it according to thine estimation, and shall add a fifth part of it thereto: or if it be not redeemed, then it shall be sold according to thy estimation.
28Notwithstanding no devoted thing, that a man shall devote unto the LORD of all that he hath, both of man and beast, and of the field of his possession, shall be sold or redeemed: every devoted thing is most holy unto the LORD.
Devoted thing - The primary meaning of the Heb. word חרם chērem is something cut off, or shut up. Its specific meaning in the Law is, that which is cut off from common use and given up in some sense to Yahweh, without the right of recal or commutation. It is applied to a field wholly appropriated to the sanctuary Leviticus 27:21, and to whatever was doomed to destruction 1 Samuel 15:21; 1 Kings 20:42. Our translators have often rendered the word by "cursed," or "a curse," which in some places may convey the right sense, but it should be remembered that the terms are not identical in their compass of meaning (Deuteronomy 7:26; Joshua 6:17-18; Joshua 7:1; Isaiah 34:5; Isaiah 43:28, etc. Compare Galatians 3:13).
Of man and beast - This passage does not permit human sacrifices. Man is elsewhere clearly recognized as one of the creatures which were not to be offered in sacrifice Exodus 13:13; Exodus 34:20; Numbers 18:15.
Therefore the application of the word חרם chērem to man is made exclusively in reference to one rightly doomed to death and, in that sense alone, given up to Yahweh. The man who, in a right spirit, either carries out a sentence of just doom on an offender, or who, with a single eye to duty, slays an enemy in battle, must regard himself as God's servant rendering up a life to the claim of the divine justice (compare Romans 13:4). It was in this way that Israel was required to destroy the Canaanites at Hormah (Numbers 21:2-3; compare Deuteronomy 13:12-18), and that Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the Lord 1 Samuel 15:33. In all such instances, a moral obligation rests upon him whose office it is to take the life: he has to look upon the object of his stroke as under a ban to the Lord (compare Deuteronomy 20:4; Galatians 3:13). Therefore, there can be neither redemption nor commutation.
It is evident that the righteousness of this law is not involved in the sin of rash or foolish vows, such as Saul's 1 Samuel 14:24 or Jephthah's Judges 11:30.
And it seems hardly needful to add that sacrifice, as it is represented both in the Law and in the usage of the patriarchs, is something very different from consecration under a ban, though a tiring to be sacrificed might come under the designation of חרם chērem in its wider sense. The sacrifice was always the offering up of the innocent life of a creature chosen, approved, and without spot or blemish.
29None devoted, which shall be devoted of men, shall be redeemed; but shall surely be put to death.
30And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD'S: it is holy unto the LORD.
31And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof.
32And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD.
Whatsoever passeth under the rod - According to rabbinical tradition, the animals to be tithed were enclosed in a pen, and as they went out one by one at the opening, every tenth animal was touched with a rod dipped in vermilion. Compare the margin reference.
For a more full explanation of what relates to tithes, see the margin reference and Genesis 14:20; Deuteronomy 14:22, Deuteronomy 14:28.
33He shall not search whether it be good or bad, neither shall he change it: and if he change it at all, then both it and the change thereof shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.
34These are the commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses for the children of Israel in mount Sinai.