Leviticus 27:1-18 . CONCERNING VOWS.
28, 29. no devoted thing, that a man shall devote unto the Lord of all that he hath, . . . shall be sold or redeemed--This relates to vows of the most solemn kind--the devotee accompanying his vow with a solemn imprecation on himself not to fail in accomplishing his declared purpose.
29. shall surely be put to death--This announcement imported not that the person was to be sacrificed or doomed to a violent death; but only that he should remain till death unalterably in the devoted condition. The preceding regulations were evidently designed to prevent rashness in vowing ( Ecclesiastes 5:4 ) and to encourage serious and considerate reflection in all matters between God and the soul ( Luke 21:4 ).
30-33. all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land--This law gave the sanction of divine authority to an ancient usage ( Genesis 14:20 , 28:22 ). The whole produce of the land was subjected to the tithe tribute--it was a yearly rent which the Israelites, as tenants, paid to God, the owner of the land, and a thank offering they rendered to Him for the bounties of His providence. (See Proverbs 3:9 , 1 Corinthians 9:11 , Galatians 6:6 ).
32. whatsoever passeth under the rod, &c.--This alludes to the mode of taking the tithe of cattle, which were made to pass singly through a narrow gateway, where a person with a rod, dipped in ochre, stood, and counting them, marked the back of every tenth beast, whether male or female, sound or unsound.
34. These are the commandments, &c.--The laws contained in this book, for the most part ceremonial, had an important spiritual bearing, the study of which is highly instructive ( Romans 10:4 , Hebrews 4:2 , 12:18 ). They imposed a burdensome yoke ( Acts 15:10 ), but yet in the infantine age of the Church formed the necessary discipline of "a schoolmaster to Christ" [ Galatians 3:24 ].