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“Set apart[a] to me every firstborn male—the first offspring of every womb[b] among the Israelites, whether human or animal; it is mine.”[c]

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  1. Exodus 13:2 tn The verb “sanctify” is the Piel imperative of קָדַשׁ (qadash). In the Qal stem it means “be holy, be set apart, be distinct,” and in this stem “sanctify, set apart.” sn Here is the central principle of the chapter—the firstborn were sacred to God and must be “set apart” (the meaning of the verb “sanctify”) for his use.
  2. Exodus 13:2 tn The word פֶּטֶּר (petter) means “that which opens”; this construction literally says, “that which opens every womb,” which means “the first offspring of every womb.” Verses 12 and 15 further indicate male offspring.
  3. Exodus 13:2 tn Heb “to me it.” The preposition here expresses possession; the construction is simply “it [is, belongs] to me.”