Leviticus 27:5
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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(5) 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.)

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.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.

2-8. When a man shall make a singular vow, &c.—Persons have, at all times and in all places, been accustomed to present votive offerings, either from gratitude for benefits received, or in the event of deliverance from apprehended evil. And Moses was empowered, by divine authority, to prescribe the conditions of this voluntary duty.

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. And if it be from five years old, even unto to twenty years old,.... Not that one of five years old is supposed to vow or to make an estimation, but one grown up, that says, the estimation of this little one, who is five years of age, be upon me; and such an one was bound to pay the value of him, which is as follows:

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.
He would therefore remember the covenant with the forefathers, whom He had brought out of Egypt before the eyes of the nations, to be a God to them; and He would renew the covenant with the fathers to them (the descendants), to gather them again out of the heathen, and adopt them again as His nation (cf. 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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