Exodus 13:13
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Redeem with a lamb every firstborn donkey, but if you do not redeem it, break its neck. Redeem every firstborn among your sons.

New Living Translation
A firstborn donkey may be bought back from the LORD by presenting a lamb or young goat in its place. But if you do not buy it back, you must break its neck. However, you must buy back every firstborn son.

English Standard Version
Every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, or if you will not redeem it you shall break its neck. Every firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem.

New American Standard Bible
"But every first offspring of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, but if you do not redeem it, then you shall break its neck; and every firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem.

King James Bible
And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
You must redeem every firstborn of a donkey with a flock animal, but if you do not redeem it, break its neck. However, you must redeem every firstborn among your sons."

International Standard Version
You are to redeem every firstborn donkey with a lamb, and if you don't redeem it, you are to break its neck. You are to redeem every firstborn among your sons.

NET Bible
Every firstling of a donkey you must redeem with a lamb, and if you do not redeem it, then you must break its neck. Every firstborn of your sons you must redeem.

New Heart English Bible
Every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb; and if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck; and you shall redeem all the firstborn of man among your sons.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
It will cost you a sheep or a goat to buy any firstborn donkey back from the LORD. If you don't buy it back, then you must break the donkey's neck. You must also buy every firstborn son back from the LORD.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break its neck; and all the first-born of man among thy sons shalt thou redeem.

New American Standard 1977
“But every first offspring of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, but if you do not redeem it, then you shall break its neck; and every first-born of man among your sons you shall redeem.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And every firstborn of an ass thou shalt ransom with a lamb; and if thou wilt not ransom it, then thou shalt cut off its head; and in the same manner thou shalt ransom all the human firstborn among thy sons.

King James 2000 Bible
And every firstling of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb; and if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck: and all the firstborn of man among your children shall you redeem.

American King James Version
And every firstling of an ass you shall redeem with a lamb; and if you will not redeem it, then you shall break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among your children shall you redeem.

American Standard Version
And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break its neck: and all the first-born of man among thy sons shalt thou redeem.

Douay-Rheims Bible
The firstborn of an ass thou shalt change for a sheep: and if thou do not redeem it, thou shalt kill it. And every firstborn of men thou shalt redeem with a price.

Darby Bible Translation
And every firstling of an ass shalt thou ransom with a lamb; and if thou do not ransom it, thou shalt break its neck; and every firstborn of a man among thy sons shalt thou ransom.

English Revised Version
And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break its neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy sons shalt thou redeem.

Webster's Bible Translation
And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the first-born of man among thy children shalt thou redeem.

World English Bible
Every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb; and if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck; and you shall redeem all the firstborn of man among your sons.

Young's Literal Translation
And every firstling of an ass thou dost ransom with a lamb, and if thou dost not ransom it, then thou hast beheaded it: and every first-born of man among thy sons thou dost ransom.
Study Bible
Dedication of the Firstborn
12you shall devote to the LORD the first offspring of every womb, and the first offspring of every beast that you own; the males belong to the LORD. 13"But every first offspring of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, but if you do not redeem it, then you shall break its neck; and every firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem. 14"And it shall be when your son asks you in time to come, saying, 'What is this?' then you shall say to him, 'With a powerful hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery.…
Cross References
Exodus 13:2
"Sanctify to Me every firstborn, the first offspring of every womb among the sons of Israel, both of man and beast; it belongs to Me."

Exodus 34:20
"You shall redeem with a lamb the first offspring from a donkey; and if you do not redeem it, then you shall break its neck. You shall redeem all the firstborn of your sons. None shall appear before Me empty-handed.

Numbers 3:46
"For the ransom of the 273 of the firstborn of the sons of Israel who are in excess beyond the Levites,

Numbers 18:15
"Every first issue of the womb of all flesh, whether man or animal, which they offer to the LORD, shall be yours; nevertheless the firstborn of man you shall surely redeem, and the firstborn of unclean animals you shall redeem.
Treasury of Scripture

And every firstling of an ass you shall redeem with a lamb; and if you will not redeem it, then you shall break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among your children shall you redeem.

of an ass

Exodus 34:20 But the firstling of an donkey you shall redeem with a lamb: and …

Numbers 18:15-17 Every thing that opens the matrix in all flesh, which they bring …

lamb, or kid

Exodus 12:3,21 Speak you to all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth …

shalt thou

Numbers 3:46-51 And for those that are to be redeemed of the two hundred and three …

Numbers 18:15,16 Every thing that opens the matrix in all flesh, which they bring …

Revelation 14:4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. …

(13) Every firstling of an ass.--It is observable that nothing is said of the Israelites possessing horses. Horses were well known in Egypt at the time, but were kept only by the kings and the great men. The Hebrews had not been in a position ever to have possessed any. Asses, on the contrary, were exceedingly common, and formed the ordinary beasts of burden in the country. In default of camels, which they seem not to have owned, the Israelites must have carried their tents and other baggage on asses.

Thou shalt redeem.--Since the ass was unclean. In Egypt he is said to have been "Typhonian;" and Set, the Evil Principle, is represented with long ears, which may be those of an ass, cropped towards the upper extremity. The redeeming of an ass with a lamb (or kid) was favourable to the owner, since the ass colt must have been of considerably more value.

If thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck.--There will always be in every nation those who grudge to make any offering to God, and who will seek to evade every requisition for a gift. To check such niggardliness, the present law was made. It would be effectual without requiring to be put in force.

All the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem.--This was declared in anticipation of the arrangement afterwards to be made, whereby the tribe of Levi was taken in lieu of the firstborn for the service Of the sanctuary (Numbers 3:40-45), and an obligation was imposed on Israelites of other tribes to "redeem" their sons by a payment of five shekels for each to the priests (Numbers 18:15-16).

Verse 13. - Every firstling of an ass. The ass was the sole beast of burthen taken by the Israelites out of Egypt. (See Exodus 20:17.) Neither the horse nor the camel was among their possessions in the wilderness. This is agreeable to the Egyptian monuments, by which the camel appears to have been rare in Egypt at this time, and the horse as yet mainly used for war and by the nobles in their chariots. With a lamb. A lamb or a kid. The word used is the generic one. (See the comment on Exodus 12:3.) If thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break its neck. This enactment was evidently made to prevent a refusal to redeem. It would not require to be put in force, since by refusing under such a penalty a man would suffer pecuniary loss. All the first-born of men among thy children. Rather "among thy sons." Shalt thou redeem. Later on, the amount of the redemption money was fixed at five shekels of the sanctuary for each. (Numbers 3:47.) And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb,.... Which was given to the priest for it; and according to the Jewish canon (f), it might be redeemed with that only;"not with a calf, nor with an animal (a goat or a ram, as Bartenora interprets it), nor with a lamb slain, or torn to pieces.''Jarchi thinks the ass only was to be redeemed, and not the firstling of any other unclean creature, but his reasons are insufficient; all unclean creatures, as horses, camels, dogs, swine, &c. are included in it, as should seem from Numbers 18:15 and this is the rather particularly mentioned, because there was a greater plenty of them than of horses and camels, and because they were very useful creatures; and if these were to be redeemed, then much more those of less value, and less useful. Hence might arise the story and calumny, as some have thought, of the Jews worshipping an ass's head:

and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shall break its neck; cut off its head on the back of the neck with a knife or cleaver, such as butchers use, as the Misnah (g), and its commentators, interpret it, so that the owner should have no profit by it:

and all the firstborn of man amongst thy children shall thou redeem; with the price of five shekels of the sanctuary, and within thirty days of the birth of it, Numbers 18:16 and these being to be redeemed as the unclean beasts were, shows that men are by nature unclean, and even the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven, the elect of God, and need redemption by the blood of the Lamb.

(f) Misn. Becorot, sect. 1. sect. 5. (g) lbid. sect. 7. Maimon & Bartenora in ib. 13:11-16 The firstlings of beast not used in sacrifice, were to be changed for others so used, or they were to be destroyed. Our souls are forfeited to God's justice, and unless ransomed by the sacrifice of Christ, will certainly perish. These institutions would continually remind them of their duty, to love and serve the Lord. In like manner, baptism and the Lord's supper, if explained and attended to, would remind us, and give us occasion to remind one another of our profession and duty.
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