And if it be from five years old even to twenty years old, then your estimation shall be of the male twenty shekels, and for the female ten shekels.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)If it be from five years old, even unto twenty years.—From the fact that a child of five years is here mentioned it is evident that the vows hero spoken of are not simply those which a man makes with regard to his own person, but which he also makes about others, since a vow involving the payment of a considerable sum of money on the part of a child was of no force. The case, therefore, here contemplated is of a father or mother vowing the male child unto the Lord or of any other person taking upon himself to pay the value of such and such a child to the sanctuary, This is still more manifest from the following verse.
The male twenty shekels.—As the services of a boy at the age here specified are of much less value, the parent, or anyone else, who vows him to the sanctuary is to pay £2 11s. 8d.
The female ten shekels.—For the girl, whose value is proportionately less, the vower is to pay £1 5s. 10d.; being the same value put on an old woman. (See Leviticus 27:7.)
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.
the persons shall be for the Lord, &c.—better rendered thus:—"According to thy estimation, the persons shall be for the Lord." Persons might consecrate themselves or their children to the divine service, in some inferior or servile kind of work about the sanctuary (1Sa 3:1). In the event of any change, the persons so devoted had the privilege in their power of redeeming themselves; and this chapter specifies the amount of the redemption money, which the priest had the discretionary power of reducing, as circumstances might seem to require. Those of mature age, between twenty and sixty, being capable of the greatest service, were rated highest; young people, from five till twenty, less, because not so serviceable; infants, though devotable by their parents before birth (1Sa 1:11), could not be offered nor redeemed till a month after birth; old people were valued below the young, but above children; and the poor—in no case freed from payment, in order to prevent the rash formation of vows—were rated according to their means.From five years old, at what age they might be vowed by their parents, as appears from 1Sa 1. though not by themselves; and the children were obliged by their parents’ vow, which is not strange, considering the parents’ power and right to dispose of their children so far as is not contrary to the mind of God.
then thy estimation shall be of the male twenty shekels, and for the female ten shekels; which were for the one above two pounds, and for the other more than one pound; these were valued at a less price than the former, partly because, generally speaking, there are more die between the age of five and the age of twenty years than between twenty and sixty; and partly because within that time they are not capable of so much work and service as in the latter; and it may be observed, that the females of this age are not valued in proportion to the females of the other; the estimation of these being just half that of the males, whereas that of the other is more than half; the reason is, that women above twenty years of age, their service bears, a better proportion to that of men, than that of young women to young men under twenty.And 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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Deuteronomy 30:3-5). In this way the judgment would eventually turn to a blessing, if they would bend in true repentance under the mighty hand of their God.
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