Notwithstanding, no devoted thing that a man shall devote
unto the Lord
This is a different vow from the former, expressed by "sanctifying"; for though "sanctifying" and "devoting" were both vows, yet the latter had an execration or curse added to it, by which a man imprecated a curse upon himself, if that itself, which he devoted, was put to any other use than that for which he devoted it; wherefore this sort of vow was absolute and irrevocable, and what was vowed was unalienable, and therefore not to be sold or redeemed as afterwards expressed, whereas things sanctified might:
of all that he hath, [both] of man and beast, and of the field of his
possession, shall be sold or redeemed;
but must be put to the use for which it was devoted. This must be understood of such as were his own, and he had a right to dispose of; which were in his own power, as Aben Ezra interprets the phrase, "of all that he hath": if of men, they must be such as were his slaves, which he had a despotic power over; such as he could sell, or give to another, or leave to his children for a perpetual inheritance, ( Leviticus 25:46 ) ; and could dispose of as he pleased, and so devote to the service of the priests: thus Jarchi interprets it of menservants and maidservants, Canaanitish ones; and if of beasts, such as were his own property, and not another's; and if of fields, such as were his possession by inheritance. Some Jewish writers, as Abendana, from the phrase, "of all that he hath", gather, that a man might devote only a part of what he had, and not the whole; and so it is said in the Misnah,
``a man may devote of his flock and of his herd, of his servants and maidens Canaanites, and of the field of his possession; but if he devote all of them, they are not devoted F11,''the vow is null and void; and so one of the commentators F12 upon it says, he may devote some movable things, but not all; some of his Canaanitish servants and maidens, but not all; some part of the field of his possession, but not the whole: but a man's children, and Hebrew servants, and purchased fields, according to the Jewish canon, might not be devoted;
``if anyone devotes his son or his daughter, his servant or his handmaid, that are Hebrews, or the field of his purchase, they are not devoted (or to be reckoned so), for no man devotes (or ought to devote) what is not his own F13.''A commentator F14 excepts his daughter, and says, he may devote his daughter, because he may sell her while a minor, but not an adult virgin; see ( Exodus 21:7 ) ;
every devoted thing [is] most holy unto the Lord;
and therefore not to be appropriated to any use but his, nor to be meddled with, not even touched or handled by any but the priests, as the most holy things that were eatable were only to be eaten by them.
F11 Eracin, c. 8. sect. 4.
F12 Bartenora in ib.
F13 lb. sect. 5.
F14 Bartenora in Misn. Eracin, c. 8. sect. 5.