Ex 30:12

30:12 take the census. The half-shekel atonement money that accompanied each census witnessed to Israel’s dependence on the Lord’s mercy. Their lives were forfeit because of sin, and must be redeemed. The lesson of the Passover and the redemption of the firstborn is applied to all Israel (13:15; 22:29; Num. 3:40–51).

ransom. Lit. “atonement.” The payment served as an act of individual atonement and was an assertion of God’s rights over Israel.