Leviticus 27:11
And if it be any unclean beast, of which they do not offer a sacrifice to the LORD, then he shall present the beast before the priest:
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(11) And if it be any unclean beast.—That is, if what he vows consists of an unclean beast, which does not belong to the three kinds of sacrificial quadrupeds, and which cannot therefore be sacrificed on the altar. According to the authorities during the second Temple, however, the expression “unclean beast” here denotes defective sacrificial animals, such as oxen, sheep, and goats with blemishes, which have become unlawful for the altar.

Leviticus 27:11. Unclean — Either for the kind or for the quality of it; if it were such a one as might not be offered. In the case of any unclean beast; that is, which was not allowed to be offered in sacrifice, such as a horse, camel, &c., it was to be valued by the priest, and then the owner had liberty to leave the beast at the priest’s disposal, or to redeem it by paying the price set upon it, with a fifth part more. This served as a proper check to men’s levity and fickleness in making vows and religious resolutions. It put them in mind not to be rash in opening their mouths to God, and made them feel the inconvenience of repenting of their vows.27:1-13 Zeal for the service of God disposed the Israelites, on some occasions, to dedicate themselves or their children to the service of the Lord, in his house for life. Some persons who thus dedicated themselves might be employed as assistants; in general they were to be redeemed for a value. It is good to be zealously affected and liberally disposed for the Lord's service; but the matter should be well weighed, and prudence should direct as to what we do; else rash vows and hesitation in doing them will dishonour God, and trouble our own minds.If he be poorer than thy estimation - Too poor (to pay) thy valuation. Compare Leviticus 27:7, Leviticus 27:11. 9-13. if it be a beast, whereof men bring an offering unto the Lord—a clean beast. After it had been vowed, it could neither be employed in common purposes nor exchanged for an equivalent—it must be sacrificed—or if, through some discovered blemish, it was unsuitable for the altar, it might be sold, and the money applied for the sacred service. If an unclean beast—such as an ass or camel, for instance, had been vowed, it was to be appropriated to the use of the priest at the estimated value, or it might be redeemed by the person vowing on payment of that value, and the additional fine of a fifth more. If it be unclean, either for the kind, or for the quality of it, if it were such a one as might not be offered. The dog only may seem to be excepted, for his price might not be offered. See Deu 23:18. And if it be any unclean beast, of which they do not offer a sacrifice unto the Lord,.... Any creature, excepting a dog, the price of which was not to be brought into the house of the Lord; besides oxen, sheep, goats, rams, and lambs; though some understand it even of such that have blemishes on them, and so not fit to be offered unto the Lord; so Jarchi and others (x):

then he shall present the beast before the priest; to be viewed, examined, and judged of as to its worth, and a value put upon it, that it might be sold or redeemed, as no other but a beast might; so it is observed birds, wood, frankincense, and ministering vessels, have no redemption, for it is only said a beast (y).

(x) Maimon. & Bartenora in Misn. Menachot, c. 12. sect. 1.((y) Misn. ib.

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:
Verses 11-13. - An unclean animal, which might not be sacrificed, if vowed, was to be valued at a price fixed by the priest. If its original owner took it back again, he was to pay this price and one-fifth more than the sum named; if he did not, it became the property of the sanctuary. The words, the priest shall value it, whether it be good or bad, should rather be rendered, the priest shall estimate it between good and bad, that is, at a moderate price, as though it were neither very good nor very bad. And so in the next verse. The vowing of persons. - "If any one make a special vow, souls shall be to the Lord according to thy valuation." נדר הפליא does not mean to dedicate or set apart a vow, but to make a special vow (see at Leviticus 22:21). The words בּערכּך, "according to thy (Moses') valuation," it is more simple to regard as an apodosis, so as to supply to ליהוה the substantive verb תּהיינה, than as a fuller description of the protasis, in which case the apodosis would follow in Leviticus 27:3, and the verb יקדּישׁ would have to be supplied. But whatever may be the conclusion adopted, in any case this thought is expressed in the words, that souls, i.e., persons, were to be vowed to the Lord according to Moses' valuation, i.e., according to the price fixed by Moses. This implies clearly enough, that whenever a person was vowed, redemption was to follow according to the valuation. Otherwise what was the object of valuing them? Valuation supposes either redemption or purchase. But in the case of men (i.e., Israelites) there could be no purchasing as slaves, and therefore the object of the valuing could only have been for the purpose of redeeming, buying off the person vowed to the Lord, and the fulfilment of the vow could only have consisted in the payment into the sanctuary of the price fixed by the law.

(Note: Saalschtz adopts this explanation in common with the Mishnah. Oehler is wrong in citing 1 Samuel 2:11, 1 Samuel 2:22, 1 Samuel 2:28 as a proof of the opposite. For the dedication of Samuel did not consist of a simple vow, but was a dedication as a Nazarite for the whole of his life, and Samuel was thereby vowed to service at the sanctuary, whereas the law says nothing about attachment to the sanctuary in the case of the simple vowing of persons. But because redemption in the case of persons was not left to the pleasure or free-will of the person making the vow as in the case of material property, no addition is made to the valuation price as though for a merely possible circumstance.)

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