Numbers 3:46
Parallel Verses
New International Version
To redeem the 273 firstborn Israelites who exceed the number of the Levites,

King James Bible
And for those that are to be redeemed of the two hundred and threescore and thirteen of the firstborn of the children of Israel, which are more than the Levites;

Darby Bible Translation
And for those that are to be ransomed, the two hundred and seventy-three of the firstborn of the children of Israel, which are in excess over the Levites,

World English Bible
For the redemption of the two hundred seventy-three of the firstborn of the children of Israel, who exceed the number of the Levites,

Young's Literal Translation
And from those ransomed of the two hundred and seventy and three (who are more than the Levites) of the first-born of the sons of Israel,

Numbers 3:46 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

All the first-born males - were twenty and two thousand two hundred and threescore and thirteen - Thus we find there were 273 first-born beyond the number of the Levites. These are ordered, Numbers 3:46, to be redeemed; and the redemption price is to be five shekels each, Numbers 3:47, about 15s. And this money, amounting to 1,365 shekels, equal to 204 15s. English, he took of the first-born of Israel, Numbers 3:50. But how was this collected among 22,273 persons? Rabbi Solomon Jarchi says, "to prevent contention, Moses took 22,000 slips of parchment, and wrote on each a son of Levi, and 273 others, on which he wrote five shekels; then he mixed them in a basket, and each man took out one; those who drew the slips on which five shekels were written, paid the money; the others went free." This is a most stupid and silly tale, for such a mode of settlement never could have been resorted to by an intelligent people. It would have been much more simple to have paid it out of a general fund; and it is very likely that in this way the expense was defrayed. This species of redeeming of men is referred to by St. Peter, 1 Peter 1:18, 1 Peter 1:19 : "Ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation, received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious (τιμιω αἱματι, valuable) blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot," etc. And it is not the first-born only which are thus redeemed, for he, by the grace of God, tasted death for Every man; Hebrews 2:9. Reader, give glory to God that such a ransom has been paid for thy soul, and see that, redeemed from thy vain conversation, thy empty, fruitless, and graceless observances, on which thou hast built thy hopes of salvation, thou walk in newness of life, giving thy whole soul with thankfulness unto the Father who hath translated thee from darkness, and placed thee in the kingdom of his beloved Son. To Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever! Amen.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Numbers 18:15 Every thing that opens the matrix in all flesh, which they bring to the LORD, whether it be of men or beasts, shall be yours...

Exodus 13:13 And every firstling of an donkey you shall redeem with a lamb; and if you will not redeem it, then you shall break his neck...

the two hundred. As the number of the Levites was

22,000, and the first-born males of the Israelites were

22,273, there were therefore

372 more of the latter than of the former, which are here ordered to be redeemed. The price of redemption is fixed at five shekels, or about

15s. each, in ver

Numbers 3:47 You shall even take five shekels apiece by the poll, after the shekel of the sanctuary shall you take them...

. This money, amounting to

1365 shekels, equal to F204.

15s. English, was taken of the first-born. There is some difficulty, however, in determining which of the first-born should be redeemed by paying this sum, and which should be exchanged for the Levites; for every Israelite, no doubt, would rather have his first-born redeemed by a Levite, than pay five shekels; and yet some of them must have incurred this expense. Rabbi Solomon Jarchi says, to prevent contention, Moses took

22,000 slips of parchment, and wrote on each a son of Levi, and

273 more, on which he wrote five shekels; then putting them in an urn, and shaking them together, he ordered every one of the first-born to draw out a slip. If he drew out one with the first inscription, he said to him, a Levite hath redeemed thee; but if he drew out one of the latter, he said, pay the price. This is pronounced by Dr. A. Clarke to be a stupid, silly tale; but when we know that the determination by lot was used among the Israelites, it does not seem improbable that it was now resorted to, though we cannot vouch for the accuracy of the detail. This species of redeeming men is referred to by Peter in his

1st Epistle,

Numbers 1:18,19 And they assembled all the congregation together on the first day of the second month...


which are

Numbers 3:39-43 All that were numbered of the Levites, which Moses and Aaron numbered at the commandment of the LORD, throughout their families...

Fifth Day. Holiness and Redemption.
Sanctify unto me all the first-born.'--Ex. xiii. 2. 'All the first-born are mine; for on the day I smote all the first-born in the land of Egypt I sanctified unto me all the first-born in Israel: mine they shall be: I am the Lord.'--Num. iii. 13, viii. 17. 'For I am the Lord your God that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.'--Lev. xi. 45. 'I have redeemed thee; thou art mine.'--Isa. xliii. 1. At Horeb we saw how the
Andrew Murray—Holy in Christ

The Fifth Commandment
Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.' Exod 20: 12. Having done with the first table, I am next to speak of the duties of the second table. The commandments may be likened to Jacob's ladder: the first table respects God, and is the top of the ladder that reaches to heaven; the second respects superiors and inferiors, and is the foot of the ladder that rests on the earth. By the first table, we walk religiously towards God; by
Thomas Watson—The Ten Commandments

Cross References
Exodus 13:13
Redeem with a lamb every firstborn donkey, but if you do not redeem it, break its neck. Redeem every firstborn among your sons.

Exodus 13:15
When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the LORD killed the firstborn of both people and animals in Egypt. This is why I sacrifice to the LORD the first male offspring of every womb and redeem each of my firstborn sons.'

Numbers 18:15
The first offspring of every womb, both human and animal, that is offered to the LORD is yours. But you must redeem every firstborn son and every firstborn male of unclean animals.

Numbers 18:16
When they are a month old, you must redeem them at the redemption price set at five shekels of silver, according to the sanctuary shekel, which weighs twenty gerahs.

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Children Exceed Excess First Firstborn First-Born Hundred Israel Israelites Levites Male Price Ransom Ransomed Redeem Redeemed Redemption Score Seventy Seventy-Three Thirteen Three Threescore
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Children Exceed Excess First Firstborn First-Born Hundred Israel Israelites Levites Male Price Ransom Ransomed Redeem Redeemed Redemption Score Seventy Seventy-Three Thirteen Three Threescore
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