New English Translation
Redemption of Persons Given as Votive Offerings
27 The Lord spoke to Moses: 2 “Speak to the Israelites and tell them, ‘When a man makes a special votive offering[a] based on the conversion value of a person to the Lord,[b] 3 the conversion value of the male[c] from twenty years old up to sixty years old[d] is fifty shekels by the standard of the sanctuary shekel.[e] 4 If the person is a female, the conversion value is thirty shekels. 5 If the person is from five years old up to twenty years old, the conversion value of the male is twenty shekels, and for the female ten shekels. 6 If the person is one month old up to five years old, the conversion value of the male is five shekels of silver,[f] and for the female the conversion value is three shekels of silver. 7 If the person is from sixty years old and older, if he is a male the conversion value is fifteen shekels, and for the female ten shekels. 8 If the person making the votive offering[g] is too poor to pay the conversion value, he must stand the person before the priest and the priest will establish his conversion value;[h] according to what the man who made the votive offering can afford,[i] the priest will establish his conversion value.
Redemption of Animals Given as Votive Offerings
9 “‘If what is vowed is a kind of animal from which an offering may be presented[j] to the Lord, anything which he gives to the Lord from this kind of animal[k] will be holy. 10 He must not replace or exchange it, good for bad or bad for good, and if he does indeed exchange one animal for another animal, then both the original animal[l] and its substitute will be holy. 11 If what is vowed is an unclean animal from which an offering must not be presented to the Lord, then he must stand the animal before the priest, 12 and the priest will establish its conversion value,[m] whether good or bad. According to the conversion value assessed by the priest, thus it will be. 13 If, however, the person who made the vow redeems the animal,[n] he must add one-fifth to[o] its conversion value.
Redemption of Houses Given as Votive Offerings
14 “‘If a man consecrates his house as holy to the Lord, the priest will establish its conversion value, whether good or bad. Just as the priest establishes its conversion value, thus it will stand.[p] 15 If the one who consecrates it redeems his house, he must add to it one-fifth of its conversion value in silver, and it will belong to him.[q]
Redemption of Fields Given as Votive Offerings
16 “‘If a man consecrates to the Lord some of his own landed property, the conversion value must be calculated in accordance with the amount of seed needed to sow it,[r] a homer of barley seed being priced at fifty shekels of silver.[s] 17 If he consecrates his field in the Jubilee year,[t] the conversion value will stand, 18 but if[u] he consecrates his field after the Jubilee, the priest will calculate the price[v] for him according to the years that are left until the next Jubilee year, and it will be deducted from the conversion value. 19 If, however, the one who consecrated the field redeems it,[w] he must add to it one-fifth of the conversion price[x] and it will belong to him.[y] 20 If he does not redeem the field, but sells[z] the field to someone else, he may never redeem it. 21 When it reverts[aa] in the Jubilee, the field will be holy to the Lord like a permanently dedicated field;[ab] it will become the priest’s property.[ac]
22 “‘If he consecrates to the Lord a field he has purchased,[ad] which is not part of his own landed property, 23 the priest will calculate for him the amount of its conversion value until the Jubilee year, and he must pay[ae] the conversion value on that Jubilee day as something that is holy to the Lord. 24 In the Jubilee year the field will return to the one from whom he bought it, the one to whom it belongs as landed property. 25 Every conversion value must be calculated by the standard of the sanctuary shekel;[af] twenty gerahs to the shekel.
Redemption of the Firstborn
26 “‘Surely no man may consecrate a firstborn that already belongs to the Lord as a firstborn among the animals; whether it is an ox or a sheep, it belongs to the Lord.[ag] 27 If, however,[ah] it is among the unclean animals, he may ransom it according to[ai] its conversion value and must add one-fifth to it, but if it is not redeemed it must be sold according to its conversion value.
Things Permanently Dedicated to the Lord
28 “‘Surely anything that a man permanently dedicates to the Lord[aj] from all that belongs to him, whether from people, animals, or his landed property, must be neither sold nor redeemed; anything permanently dedicated is most holy to the Lord. 29 Any human being who is permanently dedicated[ak] to the Lord[al] must not be ransomed; such a person must be put to death.
Redemption of the Tithe
30 “‘Any tithe[am] of the land, from the grain of the land or from the fruit of the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord. 31 If a man redeems[an] part of his tithe, however, he must add one-fifth to it.[ao] 32 All the tithe of herds or flocks, everything which passes under the rod, the tenth one will be holy to the Lord.[ap] 33 The owner[aq] must not examine the animals to distinguish between good and bad, and he must not exchange it. If, however, he does exchange it,[ar] both the original animal[as] and its substitute will be holy[at] and must not be redeemed.’”
34 These are the commandments which the Lord commanded Moses to tell the Israelites[au] at Mount Sinai.
- Leviticus 27:2 tn Cf. the note on Lev 22:21. Some take this as an expression for fulfilling a vow, “to fulfill a vow” (e.g., HALOT 927-28 s.v. פלא piel and NASB; cf. NRSV “in fulfillment of a vow”) or, alternatively, “to make a vow” or “for making a vow” (HALOT 928 s.v. פלא piel [II פלא]). Perhaps it refers to the making a special vow, from the verb פָלָא (palaʾ, “to be wonderful; to be remarkable”), cf. Milgrom, Numbers [JPSTC], 44. B. A. Levine, Leviticus (JPSTC), 151 and 193, suggests that this is a special term for “setting aside a votive offering” (related to פָלָה, palah, “to set aside”). In general, the point of the expression seems to be that this sacrifice is a special gift to God that arose out of special circumstances in the life of the worshiper.
- Leviticus 27:2 tn Heb “in your valuation, persons to the Lord,” but “in your valuation” is a frozen form and, therefore, the person (“your”) does not figure into the translation (see J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 73). Instead of offering a person to the Lord one could redeem that person with the appropriate amount of money delineated in the following verses (see the note on Lev 5:15 above and the explanation in Hartley, 480-81).
- Leviticus 27:3 tn Heb “your conversion value shall be [for] the male.”
- Leviticus 27:3 tn Heb “from a son of twenty years and until a son of sixty years.”
- Leviticus 27:3 tn See the note on Lev 5:15.
- Leviticus 27:6 tn Heb “five shekels silver.”
- Leviticus 27:8 tn Heb “if he.”
- Leviticus 27:8 tn Heb “and the priest shall cause him to be valued.”
- Leviticus 27:8 tn Heb “on the mouth which the hand of the one who vowed reaches.”
- Leviticus 27:9 tn Heb “which they may present from it an offering.” The plural active verb is sometimes best rendered in the passive (GKC 460 §144.f, g). Some medieval Hebrew mss, Smr, a ms of the Targum, and the Vulgate all have the singular verb instead (cf. similarly v. 11).
- Leviticus 27:9 tn Heb “from it.” The masculine suffix “it” here is used for the feminine in the MT, but one medieval Hebrew ms, some mss of Smr, the LXX, and the Syriac have the feminine. The referent (this kind of animal) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Leviticus 27:10 tn Heb “it and its substitute.” The referent (the original animal offered) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Leviticus 27:12 tn Heb “and the priest shall cause it to be valued.” See the note on v. 8 above.
- Leviticus 27:13 tn Heb “And if redeeming [infinitive absolute] he redeems it [finite verb].” For the infinitive absolute used to highlight contrast rather than emphasis see GKC 343 §113.p. The referent of “he” (the person who made the vow) and “it” (the animal) have both been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Leviticus 27:13 tn Heb “on,” meaning “on top of, in addition to” (likewise in v. 15).
- Leviticus 27:14 tn The expression “it shall stand” may be a technical term for “it shall be legally valid”; cf. NLT “assessment will be final.”
- Leviticus 27:15 tn Heb “and it shall be to him.”
- Leviticus 27:16 tn Heb “a conversion value shall be to the mouth of its seed.”
- Leviticus 27:16 tn Heb “seed of a homer of barley in fifty shekels of silver.”
- Leviticus 27:17 tn Heb “from the year of the jubilee.” For the meaning of “jubilee,” see the note on Lev 25:10 above.
- Leviticus 27:18 tn Heb “And if.” The Hebrew conjunction ו (vav, “and”) can be considered to have adversative force here.
- Leviticus 27:18 tn Heb “the silver.”
- Leviticus 27:19 tn Heb “And if redeeming [infinitive absolute] he redeems [finite verb] the field, the one who consecrated it.” For the infinitive absolute used to highlight contrast rather than emphasis see GKC 343 §113.p.
- Leviticus 27:19 tn Heb “the silver of the conversion value.”
- Leviticus 27:19 tn Heb “and it shall rise to him.” See HALOT 1087 s.v. קום 7 for the rendering offered here, but see also the note on the end of v. 14 above (cf. J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 476, 478).
- Leviticus 27:20 tn Heb “and if he sells.”
- Leviticus 27:21 tn Heb “When it goes out” (cf. Lev 25:25-34).
- Leviticus 27:21 tn Heb “like the field of the permanent dedication.” The Hebrew word חֵרֶם (kherem) is a much discussed term. In this and the following verses it refers in a general way to the fact that something is permanently devoted to the Lord and therefore cannot be redeemed (cf. v. 20b). See J. A. Naudé, NIDOTTE 2:276-77; N. Lohfink, TDOT 5:180-99, esp. pp. 184, 188, and 198-99; and the numerous explanations in J. E. Hartley, Leviticus (WBC), 483-85.
- Leviticus 27:21 tn Heb “to the priest it shall be his property.”
- Leviticus 27:22 tn Heb “his field of purchase,” which is to be distinguished from his own ancestral “landed property” (cf. v. 16 above).
- Leviticus 27:23 tn Heb “give” (so KJV, ASV, NASB, NLT).
- Leviticus 27:25 tn See the note on Lev 5:15.
- Leviticus 27:26 tn Heb “to the Lord it is.”
- Leviticus 27:27 tn Heb “And if.”
- Leviticus 27:27 tn Heb “in” or “by.”
- Leviticus 27:28 tn Heb “Surely, any permanently dedicated [thing] which a man shall permanently dedicate to the Lord.” The Hebrew term חֵרֶם (kherem) refers to things that are devoted permanently to the Lord (see the note on v. 21 above).
- Leviticus 27:29 tn Heb “permanently dedicated from among men.”
- Leviticus 27:29 tn The words “to the Lord” are not in the Hebrew text but have been supplied for clarity.
- Leviticus 27:30 tn On the “tithe” system in Israel, see R. E. Averbeck, NIDOTTE 2:1035-55 and esp. pp. 1041-42 on Lev 27:30-33.
- Leviticus 27:31 tn Heb “And if redeeming [infinitive absolute] a man redeems [finite verb].” For the infinitive absolute used to highlight contrast rather than emphasis see GKC 343 §113.p.
- Leviticus 27:31 tn Heb “its one-fifth on it.”
- Leviticus 27:32 sn The tithed animal was the tenth one that passed under the shepherd’s rod or staff as they were being counted (see J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 485, and B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 200).
- Leviticus 27:33 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the owner of the animal) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Leviticus 27:33 tn Heb “And if exchanging [infinitive absolute] he exchanges it [finite verb].” For the infinitive absolute used to highlight contrast rather than emphasis see GKC 343 §113.p.
- Leviticus 27:33 tn Heb “it and its substitute.” The referent (the original animal offered) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Leviticus 27:33 tn Heb “it shall be and its substitute shall be holy.”
- Leviticus 27:34 tn Most of the commentaries and English versions translate, “which the Lord commanded Moses for the children of Israel.” The preposition אֶל (ʾel), however, does not usually mean “for.” In this book it is commonly used when the Lord commands Moses “to speak [un]to” a person or group of persons (see, e.g., Lev 1:2; 4:2, etc.). The translation “to tell” here reflects this pattern in the book of Leviticus.