And if it be from sixty years old and above; if it be a male, then your estimation shall be fifteen shekels, and for the female ten shekels.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)From sixty years old and above.—Being almost past labour, the old man is next in value to the child.
A male . . . fifteen shekels.—The old man is therefore to be redeemed at £1 18s. 9d.
The female ten shekels.—The old woman, from sixty and upwards, is estimated at exactly the same value as the girl from five to twenty years old (see Leviticus 27:5), and hence is to be redeemed at £1 5s. 10d. It will be seen that the disproportion between a man and a woman is not the same in old age as in youth. The authorities during the second Temple account for it by adducing the adage, “An old man in the house is always in the way; an old woman in the house is a treasure, she manages all household affairs.”
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.
if it be a male, then thy estimation shall between shekels; about one pound fifteen shillings:
and for the female ten shekels; about one pound three shillings; it may be observed that there is not the disproportion between a man and a woman in old age as in youth, with respect to the estimation of them; the reason of which is, because there is but little difference in their labour and service; nay, sometimes the woman is most useful and serviceable; for when a man, through age, is quite worn out and his labour gone, an older woman is capable of managing the affairs of the family, and is of great use and service, either by directing and advising, or by doing: so Jarchi observes, when persons come to old age, a woman is nearly to be reckoned as a man, and quotes a proverb of theirs, an old man in a house is a broken potsherd in the house (some interpret the word, a snare or stumbling block, that is in the way); an old woman in a house is a treasure in a house, a good sign in a house (p), of great use in the management of the affairs of the family.And if it be from sixty years old and above; if it be a male, then thy estimation shall be fifteen shekels, and for the female ten shekels.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Leviticus 26:46), as an appendix to it, because vows formed no integral part of the covenant laws, but were a freewill expression of piety common to almost all nations, and belonged to the modes of worship current in all religions, which were not demanded and might be omitted altogether, and which really lay outside the law, though it was necessary to bring them into harmony with the demands of the law upon Israel. Making a vow, therefore, or dedicating anything to the Lord by vowing, was not commanded, but was presupposed as a manifestation of reverence for God, sanctified by ancient tradition, and was simply regulated according to the principle laid down in Deuteronomy 23:22-24, that it was not a sin to refrain from vowing, but that every vow, when once it had been made, was to be conscientiously and inviolably kept (cf. Proverbs 20:25; Ecclesiastes 5:3-5), and the neglect to keep it to be atoned for with a sin-offering (Leviticus 5:4). - The objects of a vow might be persons (Leviticus 27:2-8), cattle (Leviticus 27:9-13), houses (Leviticus 27:14, Leviticus 27:15), and land (Leviticus 27:16-25), all of which might be redeemed with the exception of sacrificial animals; but not the first-born (Leviticus 27:26), nor persons and things dedicated to the Lord by the ban (Leviticus 27:28, Leviticus 27:29), nor tithes (Leviticus 27:30-33), because all of these were to be handed over to the Lord according to the law, and therefore could not be redeemed. This followed from the very idea of the vow. For a vow was a promise made by any one to dedicate and given his own person, or a portion of his property, to the Lord for averting some danger and distress, or for bringing to his possession some desired earthly good. - Besides ordinary vowing or promising to give, there was also vowing away, or the vow of renunciation, as is evident from Numbers 30. The chapter before us treats only of ordinary vowing, and gives directions for redeeming the thing vowed, in which it is presupposed that everything vowed to the Lord would fall to His sanctuary as corban, an offering (Mark 7:11); and therefore, that when it was redeemed, the money would also be paid to His sanctuary. - (On the vow, see my Archaeologie, 96; Oehler in Herzog's Cycl.)
Leviticus 27:1-3This was to be, for persons between twenty and thirty years of age, 50 shekels for a man and 30 for a woman; for a boy between 5 and 20, 20 shekels, for a girl of the same age 10 shekels; for a male child from a month to five years 5 shekels, for a female of the same age 3 shekels; for an old man above sixty 15 shekels, for an old woman of that age 10; the whole to be in shekels of the sanctuary (see at Exodus 30:15). The valuation price was regulated, therefore, according to capacity and vigour of life, and the female sex, as the weaker vessel (1 Peter 3:7), was only appraised at half the amount of the male.
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