And if a man shall sanctify unto the Lord [some part] of a
field of his possession
That which he enjoyed by inheritance from his father, to distinguish it from a field of his own purchase, as in ( Leviticus 27:22 ) ; and which might be devoted, not all of it, but a part of it; partly that he might have something to live upon, or to improve for a livelihood for himself and family, and partly that estates might not be alienated entirely from their families and tribes in which they were:
then thy estimation shall be according to the seed thereof;
not according to the field, the goodness or badness of that, one field being good and another bad, as Jarchi observes, but according to the quantity of seed which it produced, or rather which it required for the sowing of it;
an homer of barley seed [shall be valued] at fifty shekels of silver;
which was near six pounds of our money; and here we must carefully distinguish between an "omer", beginning with an "o", and an "homer", beginning with an "h"; not observing this has led some learned men into mistakes in their notes on this place, for an "omer" was the tenth part of an "ephah", ( Exodus 16:36 ) ; and an "ephah" is but the tenth part of an "homer", ( Ezekiel 45:11 ) ; which makes a very great difference in this measure of barley, for an homer of it contained ten ephahs or bushels; and even according to this account a bushel of barley is rated very high, for ten bushels at fifty shekels, reckoning a shekel half a crown, or them at six pounds five shillings, are at the rate of twelve shillings and sixpence a bushel, which is too high a price for barley; wherefore as an ephah, the tenth part of an homer, contained three seahs or pecks, and which some call bushels, then an homer consisted of thirty bushels, which brings down the value of it to little more than two shillings a bushel, which is much nearer the true value of barley; but the truth of the matter is, that the value of barley for sowing is not ascertained, as our version leads us to think; for the words should be rendered, if the "seed be an homer of barley", it, the field, shall be valued "at fifty shekels of silver": if the field take so much seed to sow it as the quantity of an homer of barley, then it was to be rated at fifty shekels of silver; and if it took two homers, then it was to be rated at an hundred shekels, and so on.