But if he be poorer than thy estimation
If he is so poor that he is not able to pay the value that, is set upon him, according to the rules before given:
then he shall present himself before the priest;
that has made the estimation, according to the above directions, observing the difference of years, and of male and female; but if a person could not pay the said sums that were appointed, he might apply to the priest, and tell his case:
and the priest shall value him;
put a price upon him he is able to pay, as follows:
according to his ability that vowed shall the priest value him;
he was to examine into his circumstances, and as they appeared to him he was to put a value on him, which was to be paid, but not less than, a shekel; for if he could not pay that, it was to remain as a debt until he could F17; and it was the ability of him that made the vow that was to be inquired into, and according to which the estimation was to be made, and not of him that was vowed: so it is said in the Misnah,
``ability is regarded in the vower, and years in the vowed, and estimations in the estimated, and according to the tithe of the estimation: ability in the vower, how? a poor man that estimates a rich man, pays the value of a poor man; and a rich man that estimates a poor man, pays the value of a rich man: if he is poor and afterwards becomes rich, or rich and afterwards poor, he pays the price of a rich man F18;''but the sense which Jarchi gives is, that a priest in such a case was to judge according to what a man has, and so order him to pay, but was to leave him so as he might live, a bed and bolster, and working tools, and if he had an ass he might leave him that.
F17 Maimon. Hilchot Eracin, c. 3. sect. 4.
F18 Misn. Eracin, c. 4. sect. 1, 2.