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Votive Offerings and Dedicated Things

27 The Lord spoke to Moses: “Speak to the Israelites and say this to them.”

When a person makes a special vow to the Lord which is based on the value of different classes of people, the set value of a male from twenty years to sixty years of age is fifty shekels of silver, using the sanctuary shekel as the standard. If it is a female, the value is thirty shekels. If the age is from five years to twenty years, the value is twenty shekels for a male and ten shekels for a female. If the age is from one month to five years, the value for the male is five shekels of silver, while the value for the female is three shekels of silver. If the age is sixty years or over, the value is fifteen shekels for a male and ten shekels for a female. But if anyone making a dedication is too poor to pay that standard value, he shall appear before the priest with the dedicated person, and the priest shall assess a substitute valuation for the person. The priest shall assess a value on the basis of what the person who has made the vow can afford.

If what is vowed is livestock which is acceptable as an offering to the Lord, anything that a person dedicates to the Lord is set apart as holy. 10 He may not exchange it or substitute another for it, either good for bad, or bad for good. If he substitutes one animal for another, both the animal and its substitute are set aside as holy. 11 If what has been vowed is any kind of unclean livestock, which may not be presented as an offering to the Lord, he shall present the animal before the priest 12 so that the priest may assess it. Whatever value is set by the priest, whether high or low, will be binding. 13 But if he does indeed redeem it, he must add one-fifth to its value.

14 When a person dedicates his house as holy to the Lord, the priest shall assess it. Whatever value the priest assesses, whether high or low, will be binding. 15 But if the person who has dedicated his house redeems it, he must add one-fifth to its value in silver, so that it belongs to him again.

16 If a person dedicates any field from his family property to the Lord, its value shall be based on how much seed is needed to sow it. Land sown by six bushels[a] of barley seed is worth fifty shekels of silver. 17 If he dedicates his field during the year of Jubilee, its value stands as stated, 18 but if he dedicates his field after the Jubilee, the priest shall recalculate its value in silver based on the number of years that are left until the next year of Jubilee, and that much will be deducted from the value. 19 If the person who dedicated the field redeems it, he must add one-fifth to its value in silver, so that it may be returned to him. 20 But if he does not redeem the field but has sold the field to another person, it may no longer be redeemed. 21 When the field is released on the Jubilee, it will be set aside as holy. It belongs to the Lord as a dedicated field. It belongs to the priest as his holding.

22 If someone dedicates to the Lord a field he has purchased that is not part of his family landholding, 23 the priest shall calculate the amount of value until the year of Jubilee, so that he may pay the value on that day as something holy to the Lord. 24 In the year of Jubilee, the field shall return to the person from whom the donor bought it, to the one to whom the landholding originally belonged. 25 Every value shall be based on the sanctuary shekel, which has twenty gerahs to the shekel.[b]

26 However, no one may dedicate a firstborn from the livestock that has already been designated for the Lord as a firstborn, whether it is a head of cattle or a sheep or a goat. It already belongs to the Lord. 27 But if it is one of the unclean livestock, he may buy it back at its set value plus one-fifth. If it is not redeemed, it may be sold at its set value.

28 However, if anyone devotes anything that belongs to him to the Lord unconditionally, whether it is a human being or livestock or any part of his landholding, it may not be sold and may not be redeemed. Everything devoted unconditionally is most holy to the Lord.

29 Any person who has been devoted to destruction may not be ransomed. He must certainly be put to death.

30 But every tithe from the land, whether from the seed of the land or from the fruit of the trees, belongs to the Lord. It is holy to the Lord. 31 If anyone redeems any of his tithe, he must add one-fifth to it. 32 The tithe from the herd or the flock, that is, every tenth animal that passes under the staff of the shepherd, shall be set apart as holy to the Lord. 33 The donor must not sort out the good from the bad, and he must not make any substitutions for it. If he makes a substitution for it, then both the first animal and its substitute shall be set apart as holy. It cannot be redeemed.

34 These are the commandments that the Lord commanded Moses for the people of Israel at Mount Sinai.

Footnotes

  1. Leviticus 27:16 A homer. A bushel of grain weighs about fifty pounds.
  2. Leviticus 27:25 The exact value of most ancient weights and measures is uncertain. A shekel is about 10 to 12 grams or .4 to .5 ounce, with the sanctuary shekel being slightly larger than the common shekel. The sanctuary likely had its own set of official weights.

Redeeming What Is the Lord’s

27 The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘If anyone makes a special vow(A) to dedicate a person to the Lord by giving the equivalent value, set the value of a male between the ages of twenty and sixty at fifty shekels[a] of silver, according to the sanctuary shekel[b];(B) for a female, set her value at thirty shekels[c]; for a person between the ages of five and twenty, set the value of a male at twenty shekels[d](C) and of a female at ten shekels[e]; for a person between one month and five years, set the value of a male at five shekels[f](D) of silver and that of a female at three shekels[g] of silver; for a person sixty years old or more, set the value of a male at fifteen shekels[h] and of a female at ten shekels. If anyone making the vow is too poor to pay(E) the specified amount, the person being dedicated is to be presented to the priest, who will set the value(F) according to what the one making the vow can afford.

“‘If what they vowed is an animal that is acceptable as an offering to the Lord,(G) such an animal given to the Lord becomes holy.(H) 10 They must not exchange it or substitute a good one for a bad one, or a bad one for a good one;(I) if they should substitute one animal for another, both it and the substitute become holy. 11 If what they vowed is a ceremonially unclean animal(J)—one that is not acceptable as an offering to the Lord—the animal must be presented to the priest, 12 who will judge its quality as good or bad. Whatever value the priest then sets, that is what it will be. 13 If the owner wishes to redeem(K) the animal, a fifth must be added to its value.(L)

14 “‘If anyone dedicates their house as something holy to the Lord, the priest will judge its quality as good or bad. Whatever value the priest then sets, so it will remain. 15 If the one who dedicates their house wishes to redeem it,(M) they must add a fifth to its value, and the house will again become theirs.

16 “‘If anyone dedicates to the Lord part of their family land, its value is to be set according to the amount of seed required for it—fifty shekels of silver to a homer[i] of barley seed. 17 If they dedicate a field during the Year of Jubilee, the value that has been set remains. 18 But if they dedicate a field after the Jubilee,(N) the priest will determine the value according to the number of years that remain(O) until the next Year of Jubilee, and its set value will be reduced. 19 If the one who dedicates the field wishes to redeem it,(P) they must add a fifth to its value, and the field will again become theirs. 20 If, however, they do not redeem the field, or if they have sold it to someone else, it can never be redeemed. 21 When the field is released in the Jubilee,(Q) it will become holy,(R) like a field devoted to the Lord;(S) it will become priestly property.

22 “‘If anyone dedicates to the Lord a field they have bought, which is not part of their family land, 23 the priest will determine its value up to the Year of Jubilee,(T) and the owner must pay its value on that day as something holy to the Lord. 24 In the Year of Jubilee the field will revert to the person from whom it was bought,(U) the one whose land it was. 25 Every value is to be set according to the sanctuary shekel,(V) twenty gerahs(W) to the shekel.

26 “‘No one, however, may dedicate the firstborn of an animal, since the firstborn already belongs to the Lord;(X) whether an ox[j] or a sheep, it is the Lord’s. 27 If it is one of the unclean animals,(Y) it may be bought back at its set value, adding a fifth of the value to it. If it is not redeemed, it is to be sold at its set value.

28 “‘But nothing that a person owns and devotes[k](Z) to the Lord—whether a human being or an animal or family land—may be sold or redeemed; everything so devoted is most holy(AA) to the Lord.

29 “‘No person devoted to destruction[l] may be ransomed; they are to be put to death.(AB)

30 “‘A tithe(AC) of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy(AD) to the Lord. 31 Whoever would redeem(AE) any of their tithe must add a fifth of the value(AF) to it. 32 Every tithe of the herd and flock—every tenth animal that passes under the shepherd’s rod(AG)—will be holy to the Lord. 33 No one may pick out the good from the bad or make any substitution.(AH) If anyone does make a substitution, both the animal and its substitute become holy and cannot be redeemed.(AI)’”

34 These are the commands the Lord gave Moses at Mount Sinai(AJ) for the Israelites.(AK)

Footnotes

  1. Leviticus 27:3 That is, about 1 1/4 pounds or about 575 grams; also in verse 16
  2. Leviticus 27:3 That is, about 2/5 ounce or about 12 grams; also in verse 25
  3. Leviticus 27:4 That is, about 12 ounces or about 345 grams
  4. Leviticus 27:5 That is, about 8 ounces or about 230 grams
  5. Leviticus 27:5 That is, about 4 ounces or about 115 grams; also in verse 7
  6. Leviticus 27:6 That is, about 2 ounces or about 58 grams
  7. Leviticus 27:6 That is, about 1 1/4 ounces or about 35 grams
  8. Leviticus 27:7 That is, about 6 ounces or about 175 grams
  9. Leviticus 27:16 That is, probably about 300 pounds or about 135 kilograms
  10. Leviticus 27:26 The Hebrew word can refer to either male or female.
  11. Leviticus 27:28 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord.
  12. Leviticus 27:29 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.

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