Leviticus 27:6
And if it be from a month old even to five years old, then your estimation shall be of the male five shekels of silver, and for the female your estimation shall be three shekels of silver.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(6) From a month old even unto five years old.—That is, if a parent, or any other person, devotes his or anyone else’s child to the sanctuary, he is obliged to be redeemed according to the prescribed valuation. The formula used in such a case during the second Temple was, “Behold the estimation of this my boy, or this my girl, or of that boy or that girl, be upon me.”

The male five shekels of silver.—As at this tender age the service of a child is not of much value, the vower is to pay for a boy 12s. 11d.

The female . . . three shekels of silver.—The girl being proportionately less valuable, is to be redeemed at 7s. 9d.

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.

No text from Poole on this verse. And if it be from a month old even unto five years old,.... That is, if a man devotes his child to the Lord within such an age, and says, the estimation of this my son or my daughter be upon me, then he was to pay the value, as next directed; for one under a month old no estimation was to be made: the Jews say,"one less than a mouth old may be vowed, but not estimated (o):"

then thy estimation shall be of the male five shekels of silver; somewhat more than ten shillings:

and for the female thy estimation shall be three shekels of silver; about seven shillings, which is the least value put on any; and though the lives of male or female at this age are equally uncertain, and the service of either of little worth when near the full time fixed; yet the preference is given to the male, as being of the more perfect kind, and its life generally most desirable.

(o) Misn. Eracin, c. 1. sect. 1.

And if it be from a {d} month old even unto five years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male five shekels of silver, and for the female thy estimation shall be three shekels of silver.

(d) He speaks of those vows by which the fathers dedicated their children to God who were not of such force; but they might be redeemed from them.







Leviticus 27:5
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