Numbers 18:16
And those that are to be redeemed from a month old shall you redeem, according to your estimation, for the money of five shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, which is twenty gerahs.
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(16) According to thine estimation.—See Leviticus 18:3-7, and Notes.

Numbers 18:16. Those that are to be redeemed — Namely, of men only, not of unclean beasts, as is manifest from the time and price of redemption here mentioned, both which agree to men; the time, Numbers 18:16; the price, Numbers 3:46-47; but neither agree to unclean beasts, which were to be redeemed with a sheep, (Exodus 13:13,) and that after it was eight days old.18:8-19 All believers are spiritual priests, and God has promised to take care of them. Godliness has the promise of the life that now is. And from the provision here made for the priests, the apostle shows that it is the duty of christian churches to maintain their ministers. Scandalous maintenance makes scandalous ministers. The priests were to be wholly devoted to their ministry, not diverted from it, or disturbed in it, by worldly care or business. Also, that they might be examples of living by faith, not only in God's providence, but in his ordinances. The best should be offered for the first-fruits unto the Lord. Those who think to save, by putting God off with the refuse, deceive themselves, for God is not mocked.Surely redeem ... redeem - A stronger expression is intentionally used in reference to the redemption of the first-born of man than in reference to that of unclean beasts. For the rule as to the former admitted of no exception: the owner of the latter, if unwilling to redeem, might destroy the beasts. Compare the marginal references. 14. Every thing devoted in Israel shall be thine—provided it was adapted for food or consumable by use; for the gold and silver vessels that were dedicated as the spoils of victory were not given to the priests, but for the use and adornment of the sacred edifice. Those that are to be redeemed, to wit, of men only, not of unclean beasts last mentioned, as is manifest from the time and price of redemption here mentioned, both which agree to men; the time, Numbers 18:16; the price, Numbers 3:46,47; but neither agree to unclean beasts, which were to be redeemed with a sheep, Exodus 13:13, and that after it was eight days old.

According to thine estimation: this belongs either,

1. To the foregoing clause, to this purpose, that whereas women newly delivered of a child continued in their uncleanness either a longer or shorter time, according to the quality of the birth, as it was male or female, Leviticus 12:4,5, and the temper of the mother, the priest was to take that time when he judged the mother to be clean, that so the mother might be purified and the child redeemed at the same time. Or rather,

2. To the following clause, to wit, the price which was to be paid, as appears by comparing this place with Leviticus 27:2,3. And both there and here it is said to be done according to the priest’s estimation, though a certain rule be added to guide his estimation, and a certain price set, because the priest was to apply that general rule to each person, and to put that price upon him. And those that are to be redeemed,.... Which is to be understood not of unclean beasts last mentioned, for they were redeemed with lambs and not with money; and after they were eight days and not a month old, as follows, Exodus 13:13; but of the firstborn of men:

from a month old shalt thou redeem, according to thine estimation: that is, take the redemption money next mentioned; and though both time and price are fixed, yet said to be according to the estimation of the priest; see Leviticus 27:5,

for the money of five shekels; which was about eleven or twelve shillings of our money, and is the price given for the redemption of the firstborn, when the Levites were taken in their stead, Numbers 3:47,

after the shekel of the sanctuary, which is twenty gerahs; see Gill on Numbers 3:47; of the manner of redeeming the firstborn; see Gill on Exodus 13:15.

And those that are to be redeemed from a month old shalt thou redeem, according to thine estimation, for the money of five shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, which is twenty gerahs.
16. And as to his redemption money, from a month, &c.] The pronoun ‘his’ refers to the firstborn of men, who were redeemed from death by 5 shekels. The price for the firstborn of unclean animals varied according to the priests’ valuation (Leviticus 27:11 f., Lev 27:27).

from a month old] i.e. directly the age of a month has been reached, and so it practically means ‘at a month old.’

the shekel of the sanctuary] See on Numbers 3:47.Verse 16. - From a month old. Literally, "from the monthly child," as soon as they reach the age of one month. According to thine estimation. See on Leviticus 5:15; 27:2-7. It would seem that the priest was to make the valuation for the people, since each first-born or firstling was separately claimed by God, and had to be separately redeemed; but at the same time, to prevent extortion, the sum which the priest might assess was fixed by God. For the money of five shekels. About seventeen shillings of our money (see Numbers 3:47). It is extremely drill cult to estimate the number of first-born, but it is evident that in any case a large income must have accrued to the priests in this way. No value is here set upon the firstlings of unclean beasts; in the most usual ease, that of the ass, the rule had been laid down in Exodus 13:13; and in other cases it was apparently left to the discretion of the priests, subject to the right of the owner, if he saw fit, to destroy the animal rather than pay for it (see Leviticus 27:27). The Revenues of the Priests. - These are summed up in Numbers 18:8 in these words, "I give thee the keeping of My heave-offerings in all holy gifts for a portion, as an eternal statute." The notion of משׁמרת, keeping, as in Exodus 12:6; Exodus 16:23, Exodus 16:32, is defined in the second parallel clause as משׁחה, a portion (see at Leviticus 7:35). The priests were to keep all the heave-offerings, as the portion which belonged to them, out of the sacrificial gifts that the children of Israel offered to the Lord. תּרוּמת, heave-offerings (see at Exodus 25:2, and Leviticus 2:9), is used here in the broadest sense, as including all the holy gifts (kodashim, see Leviticus 21:22) which the Israelites lifted off from their possessions and presented to the Lord (as in Numbers 5:9). Among these, for example, were, first of all, the most holy gifts in the meat-offerings, sin-offerings, and trespass-offerings (Numbers 18:9, Numbers 18:10; see at Leviticus 2:3). The burnt-offerings are not mentioned, because the whole of the flesh of these was burned upon the altar, and the skin alone fell to the portion of the priest (Leviticus 7:8). "From the fire," sc., of the altar. אשׁ, fire, is equivalent to אשּׁה ot , firing (see Leviticus 1:9). These gifts they were to eat, as most holy, in a most holy place, i.e., in the court of the tabernacle (see Leviticus 6:9, Leviticus 6:19; Leviticus 7:6), which is called "most holy" here, to lay a stronger emphasis upon the precept. In the second place, these gifts included also "the holy gifts;" viz., (a) (Numbers 18:11) the heave-offering of their gifts in all wave-offerings (tenuphoth), i.e., the wave-breast and heave-leg of the peace-offerings, and whatever else was waved in connection with the sacrifices (see at Leviticus 7:33): these might be eaten by both the male and female members of the priestly families, provided they were legally clean (Leviticus 22:3.); (b) (Numbers 18:12) the gifts of first-fruits: "all the fat (i.e., the best, as in Genesis 45:18) of oil, new wine, and corn," viz., ראשׁיתם, "the first of them," the בּכּוּרים, "the first-grown fruits" of the land, and that of all the fruit of the ground (Deuteronomy 26:2, Deuteronomy 26:10; Proverbs 3:9; Ezekiel 44:30), corn, wine, oil, honey, and tree-fruit (Deuteronomy 8:8, compared with Leviticus 19:23-24), which were offered, according to 2 Chronicles 31:5; Nehemiah 10:36, Nehemiah 10:38, Tob. 1:6, as first-fruits every year (see Mishnah, Bikkur, i. 3, 10, where the first-fruits are specified according to the productions mentioned in Deuteronomy 8:8; the law prescribed nothing in relation to the quantity of the different first-fruits, but left this entirely to the offerer himself); (c) (Numbers 18:14) everything placed under a ban (see at Leviticus 27:28); and (d) (Numbers 18:15-18) the first-born of man and beast. The first-born of men and of unclean beasts were redeemed according to Numbers 3:47; Exodus 13:12-13, and Leviticus 27:6, Leviticus 27:27; but such as were fit for sacrifice were actually offered, the blood being swung against the altar, and the fat portions burned upon it, whilst the whole of the flesh fell to the portion of the priests. So far as the redemption of human beings was concerned (Numbers 18:16), they were "to redeem from the monthly child," i.e., the first-born child as soon as it was a month old.
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