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First-born, Redemption of

First-born, Redemption of

From the beginning the office of the priesthood in each family belonged to the eldest son. But when the extensive plan of sacrificial worship was introduced, requiring a company of men to be exclusively devoted to this ministry, the primitive office of the first-born was superseded by that of the Levites ( Numbers 3:11-13 ), and it was ordained that the first-born of man and of unclean animals should henceforth be redeemed ( 18:15 ).

The laws concerning this redemption of the first-born of man are recorded in Exodus 13:12-15 ; 22:29 ; 34:20 ; Numbers 3:45 ; 8:17 ; 18:16 ; Leviticus 12:2 Leviticus 12:4 .

The first-born male of every clean animal was to be given up to the priest for sacrifice ( Deuteronomy 12:6 ; Exodus 13:12 ; 34:20 ; Numbers 18:15-17 ).

But the first-born of unclean animals was either to be redeemed or sold and the price given to the priest ( Leviticus 27:11-13 Leviticus 27:27 ). The first-born of an ass, if not redeemed, was to be put to death ( Exodus 13:13 ; 34:20 ).

These dictionary topics are from
M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.

Bibliography Information

Easton, Matthew George. "Entry for First-born, Redemption of". "Easton's Bible Dictionary". .