Lectionary Calendar
Monday, July 15th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Leviticus 27

Kretzmann's Popular Commentary of the BibleKretzmann's Commentary

Verses 1-13

Of Men and Beasts

v. 1. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

v. 2. Speak unto the children of Israel and say unto them, When a man shall make a singular vow, an exceptional, unusual, special promise to the Lord, which involved the offering of his own body to the Lord for some service in His worship, the persons shall be for the Lord by thy estimation; the redemption from the obligations of the promise had to be made in accordance with the estimate given out, first by Moses and later by the priest in charge. The fulfillment of the vow consisted in this, that the person concerned paid the price of the estimation to the Sanctuary.

v. 3. And thy estimation shall be of the male, in the case of a man, from twenty years old even unto sixty years old; even thy estimation shall be fifty shekels of silver, after the shekel of the Sanctuary (about $32).

v. 4. And if it be a female, then thy estimation shall be thirty shekels (about $19. 20).

v. 5. And if it be from five years old even unto twenty years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male twenty shekels (about $12. 80) and for the female ten shekels (about $6. 40).

v. 6. And if it be from a month old even unto five years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male five shekels of silver (about $3. 20), and for the female thy estimation shall be three shekels of silver (about $1. 92).

v. 7. And if it be from sixty years old and above, at the time of life when the bodily strength usually will not permit strenuous service; if it be a male, then thy estimation shall be fifteen shekels (about $9. 60) and for the female ten shekels (about $6. 40).

v. 8. And if he be poorer than thy estimation, if he cannot afford the price of redemption according to the priest's estimate, then he shall present himself before the priest, and the priest shall value him, fix the price of redemption in proportion to the person's ability to pay; according to his ability that vowed shall the priest value him. This special ordinance made it possible even for the very poor to dedicate themselves to the Lord by a vow; for the Lord's mercy and kindness at all times stands out with special force.

v. 9. And if it be a beast whereof men bring an offering unto the Lord, that is, if the vow concerns such an animal, all that any man giveth of such unto the Lord shall be holy, dedicated to Him, set aside subject to His orders.

v. 10. He shall not alter it, nor change it, a good for a bad or a bad for a good; for the vow, having once been made, could not be recalled; and if he shall at all change beast for beast, then it and the exchange thereof shall be holy, both of them devoted to the Lord, subject to His disposal, those without blemish being used for sacrifices, those not perfect being allotted to the priest.

v. 11. And 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;

v. 12. and the priest shall value it, whether it be good or bad; as thou valuest it, who art the priest, so shall it be. The priest was to fix a medium price, neither too high nor too low, for the proceeds of the sale were used in the interest of the Sanctuary.

v. 13. But if he will at all redeem it, for his own use, then he shall add a fifth part thereof unto thy estimation, as a sort of compensation for his act in taking the animal back for his own use.

Verses 14-34

Of Houses, Fields, and Firstlings

v. 14. And when a man shall sanctify his house to be holy unto the Lord, in a vow devoting its value to the service of Jehovah, then the priest shall estimate it, whether it be good or bad; as the priest shall estimate it, so shall it stand, his medium valuation should be final.

v. 15. And if he that sanctified it will redeem his house, desiring to have it back for his own use, then he shall add the fifth part of the money of thy estimation unto it, and it shall be his.

v. 16. And if a man shall sanctify unto the Lord some part of a field of his possession, the price of its valuation being intended for the use of the Sanctuary, as a gift, then thy estimation shall be according to the seed thereof, according to the amount of seed used in putting the field to grain; an homer (a little over eight bushels) of barley-seed shall be valued at fifty shekels of silver (about $32. 40).

v. 17. If he sanctify his field from the Year of Jubilee, immediately after its close, when the land was again cultivated, according to thy estimation it shall stand. The valuation once fixed would hold good till the nest Tear of Jubilee, and the one that made the vow would be obliged to make his yearly payments accordingly.

v. 18. But if he sanctify his field after the Jubilee, after some years had elapsed, then the priest shall reckon unto him the money according to the years that remain, even unto the year of the Jubilee, and it shall be abated from thy estimation. In the case of a field of barley, for instance, if twenty years still remained till the nest Tear of Jubilee, then the person concerned would have twenty shekels to pay, plus the one-fifth which was added for the sake of compensation, if it was so arranged.

v. 19. And 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.

v. 20. And if he will not redeem the field, by the regular payment of the price of valuation, or if he have sold the field to another man, it shall not be redeemed any more; if a person lapsed in his payments, he forfeited his ownership of the field.

v. 21. But the field, when it goeth out in the Jubilee, out of the hands of the man that bought it in the mean time, shall be holy unto the Lord, as a field devoted, and thus the property of the Sanctuary; the possession thereof shall be the priest's.

v. 22. And if a man sanctify unto the Lord a field which he hath bought, which is not of the fields of his possession, does not belong to the land which is the perpetual inheritance of his family,

v. 23. then the priest shall reckon unto him the worth of thy estimation, even unto the Year of the Jubilee, the total sum due as the price of redemption; and he shall give thine estimation in that day, make payment of the required sum at once, as a holy thing unto the Lord. This provision obviated the possibility of the land's being devoted to the Sanctuary and thus being lost to the original owner, who was to regain possession of it in the year of the Jubilee.

v. 24. In the year of the jubilee the field shall return unto him of whom it was bought, even to him to whom the possession of the land did belong, and who could not dispose of it absolutely, but only until the year of redemption.

v. 25. And all thy estimations shall be according to the shekel of the Sanctuary, the standard of weight for all money transactions; twenty gerahs shall be the shekel.

v. 26. Only the firstling of the beasts, which should be the Lord's firstling, Exodus 13:2-12, no man shall sanctify it: these animals could not be used in the event of vows; whether it be ox or sheep; it is the Lord's.

v. 27. And if it be of an unclean beast, one that could be used neither for sacrifices nor as food for the priests, then he shall redeem it according to thine estimation, and shall add a fifth part of it there to; or if it be not redeemed, then it shall be sold according to thy estimation, for the benefit of the Sanctuary.

v. 28. Notwithstanding, 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, while it is under the vow; every devoted thing is most holy unto the Lord, a gift which cannot be redeemed, surrendered to the Lord to be disposed of at His will, irrevocably cut off from all common use.

v. 29. None devoted, which shall be devoted of men, dedicated to the Lord in this special sense, shall be redeemed, but shall surely be put to death; the person was irredeemable, and Jehovah's sentence of destruction was sure to be carried out.

v. 30. And 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, absolutely at His disposal, and Jehovah executed the ban.

v. 31. And if a man will at all redeem aught of his tithes, he shall add there to the fifth part thereof, as a penalty or compensation.

v. 32. And concerning the tithe of the herd or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, that is, under the staff of the shepherd, who keeps a careful record of the animals in his care, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord, the tenth part of the annual increase was set apart for the use of the Lord and His Sanctuary.

v. 33. He shall not search whether it be good or bad, neither shall he change it, v. 10; and if he change it at all, then both it and the change thereof shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.

v. 34. These are the commandments which the Lord commanded Moses for the children of Israel in Mount Sinai, this last Chapter on vows being an appendix to the Book of Leviticus, the types of whose sacrifices point forward to the Lord, our Righteousness; for they were prescribed to the Jews of the Old Covenant because of transgressions, until the promised Seed should come.

Bibliographical Information
Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Leviticus 27". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kpc/leviticus-27.html. 1921-23.
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