Leviticus 27:9
And if it be a beast, whereof men bring an offering to the LORD, all that any man gives of such to the LORD shall be holy.
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(9) And if it be a beast, whereof men bring an offering.—That is, if what a man vows consists of sacrificial quadrupeds, viz., bullocks, sheep, or goats.

Shall be holy.—That is, must not be redeemed at all. They were delivered to the sanctuary: they were sold by the priests to those Israelites who required them as sacrifices for the altar, and the money expended in the maintenance of the service.

Leviticus 27:9. If it be a beast — it shall be holy, &c. — A second sort of things vowed to God are beasts. With respect to which the law is, that the very individual beast was to be disposed of by the owner according to the first intention of his vow, whether to be sacrificed upon the altar, or given to the priests, or sold for the use of the sanctuary, the price to be applied to the repairs of the house of God, or to purchase the usual sacrifices. This is what we are to understand by its being holy, as appears from Leviticus 27:10. The design of this law was to preserve a reverence toward things once consecrated, that they might not return to common uses.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. Whereof men bring, to wit, usually and according to God’s appointment. Giveth, i.e. voweth to give.

Shall be holy, i.e. consecrated to God, either to be sacrificed, or to be given to the priest according to the manner of the vow, and the intention of him that voweth. And if it be a beast whereof men bring an offering to the Lord,.... That is, it such a creature is devoted, which is of that kind which are used in sacrifice to the Lord, such as bullocks, sheep, goats, rams, and lambs:

all that any man giveth of such unto the Lord shall be holy; shall be set apart to sacred uses, and not applied to profane or common uses, but either were for the use of the altar or of the priests; or the price of them for the repair of the sanctuary, according as they were devoted.

And if it be a {f} beast, whereof men bring an offering unto the LORD, all that any man giveth of such unto the LORD shall be holy.

(f) Which is clean, Le 11:2.

9–13. The case of cattle

Such an animal, when presented as a vow, must not be changed, a bad for a good. Otherwise both animals became dedicated. If the animal so presented was ‘unclean,’ and as such could not lawfully be offered to God, the priest was to set upon it a value in proportion to its worth, whereupon the owner might sell it for that sum and pay over the amount. If, however, he desired to have it back, he must pay in addition one-fifth of the price which the priest had adjudged.Verses 9, 10. - In case a clean animal is vowed to the Lord, it is not to be exchanged for another on the plea of not being good enough or being too good for sacrifice. If any such attempt is made, both animals are to be given up and sacrificed, or, if blemished, added to the herd of the sanctuary. 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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