Leviticus 27

Listen to Leviticus 27

Laws About Vows

1 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
2 "Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, If anyone 1makes a special vow to the LORD involving the valuation of persons,
3 then the valuation of a male from twenty years old up to sixty years old shall be fifty shekels[a] of silver, according to the 2shekel of the sanctuary.
4 If the person is a female, the valuation shall be thirty shekels.
5 If the person is from five years old up to twenty years old, the valuation shall be for a male twenty shekels, and for a female ten shekels.
6 If the person is from a month old up to five years old, the valuation shall be for a male five shekels of silver, and for a female the valuation shall be three shekels of silver.
7 And if the person is sixty years old or over, then the valuation for a male shall be fifteen shekels, and for a female ten shekels.
8 And if someone is too poor to pay the valuation, then he shall be made to stand before the priest, and the priest shall value him; the priest shall value him according to what the vower can afford.
9 "If the vow[b] is an animal that may be offered as an offering to the LORD, all of it that he gives to the LORD is holy.
10 3He shall not exchange it or make a substitute for it, good for bad, or bad for good; and if he does in fact substitute one animal for another, then both it and the substitute shall be holy.
11 And if it is any unclean animal that may not be offered as an offering to the LORD, then he shall stand the animal before the priest,
12 and the priest shall value it as either good or bad; as the priest values it, so it shall be.
13 4But if he wishes to redeem it, he shall add a 5fifth to the valuation.
14 "When a man dedicates his house as a holy gift to the LORD, the priest shall value it as either good or bad; as the priest values it, so it shall stand.
15 6And if the donor wishes to redeem his house, he shall add a 7fifth to the valuation price, and it shall be his.
16 "If a man dedicates to the LORD part of the land that is his possession, then the valuation shall be in proportion to its seed. A homer[c] of barley seed shall be valued at fifty shekels of silver.
17 If he dedicates his field from the year of jubilee, the valuation shall stand,
18 but if he dedicates his field after the jubilee, then the priest shall 8calculate the price according to the years that remain until the year of jubilee, and a deduction shall be made from the valuation.
19 9And if he who dedicates the field wishes to redeem it, then he shall add a 10fifth to its valuation price, and it shall remain his.
20 But if he does not wish to redeem the field, or if he has sold the field to another man, it shall not be redeemed anymore.
21 But the field, 11when it is released in the jubilee, shall be a holy gift to the LORD, like a field that has been 12devoted. The priest shall be in 13possession of it.
22 If he dedicates to the LORD a field that he has bought, 14which is not a part of his possession,
23 15then the priest shall calculate the amount of the valuation for it up to the year of jubilee, and the man shall give the valuation on that day as a holy gift to the LORD.
24 16In the year of jubilee the field shall return to him from whom it was bought, to whom the land belongs as a possession.
25 Every valuation shall be according to 17the shekel of the sanctuary: 18twenty gerahs[d] shall make a shekel.
26 "But a 19firstborn of animals, which as a firstborn belongs to the LORD, no man may dedicate; whether ox or sheep, it is the LORD's.
27 And if it is an unclean animal, then he shall buy it back at the valuation, 20and add a fifth to it; or, if it is not redeemed, it shall be sold at the valuation.
28 "But 21no devoted thing that a man devotes to the LORD, of anything that he has, whether man or beast, or of his inherited field, shall be sold or redeemed; every devoted thing is most holy to the LORD.
29 22No one devoted, who is to be devoted for destruction[e] from mankind, shall be ransomed; he shall surely be put to death.
30 23"Every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is the LORD's; it is holy to the LORD.
31 If a man wishes to redeem some of his tithe, he shall add a fifth to it.
32 And every tithe of herds and flocks, every tenth animal of all that 24pass under the herdsman's staff, shall be holy to the LORD.
33 One shall not differentiate between good or bad, 25neither shall he make a substitute for it; and if he does substitute for it, then both it and the substitute shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed."
34 26These are the commandments that the LORD commanded Moses for the people of Israel 27on Mount Sinai.

Leviticus 27 Commentary

Chapter 27

The law concerning vows, Of persons and animals. (1-13) Vows concerning houses and land. (14-25) Devoted things not to be redeemed. (26-33) Conclusion. (34)

Verses 1-13 Zeal for the service of God disposed the Israelites, on some occasions, to dedicate themselves or their children to the service of the Lord, in his house for life. Some persons who thus dedicated themselves might be employed as assistants; in general they were to be redeemed for a value. It is good to be zealously affected and liberally disposed for the Lord's service; but the matter should be well weighed, and prudence should direct as to what we do; else rash vows and hesitation in doing them will dishonour God, and trouble our own minds.

Verses 14-25 Our houses, lands, cattle, and all our substance, must be used to the glory of God. It is acceptable to him that a portion be given to support his worship, and to promote his cause. But God would not approve such a degree of zeal as ruined a man's family.

Verses 26-33 Things or persons devoted, are distinguished from things or persons that were only sanctified. Devoted things were most holy to the Lord, and could neither be taken back nor applied to other purposes. Whatever productions they had the benefit, God must be honoured with the tenth of, if it could be applied. Thus they acknowledge God to be the Owner of their land, the Giver of its fruits, and themselves to be his tenants, and dependants upon him. Thus they gave him thanks for the plenty they enjoyed, and besought his favour in the continuance of it. We are taught to honour the Lord with our substance.

Verse 34 The last verse seems to have reference to this whole book. Many of the precepts in it are moral, and always binding; others are ceremonial, and peculiar to the Jewish nation; yet they have a spiritual meaning, and so teach us; for unto us, by these institutions, is the gospel preached, as well as unto them, Heb. 4:2 . The doctrine of reconciliation to God by a Mediator, is not clouded with the smoke of burning sacrifice, but cleared by the knowledge of Christ and him crucified. We are under the sweet and easy institutions of the gospel, which pronounces those true worshippers, who worship the Father in spirit and truth, by Christ only, and in his name. Yet, let us not think, because we are not tied to the ceremonial rites and oblations, that a little care, time, and expense, will serve to honour God with. Having boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, let us draw near with a true heart, and in full assurance of faith, worshipping God with the more cheerfulness and humble confidence, still saying, BLESSED BE GOD FOR JESUS CHRIST.

Cross References 27

  • 1. [Judg. 11:30, 31, 39; 1 Samuel 1:11, 28; See Numbers 30]
  • 2. ver. 25; See Exodus 30:13
  • 3. ver. 33
  • 4. ver. 15, 19
  • 5. Leviticus 22:14
  • 6. ver. 13
  • 7. [See ver. 13 above]
  • 8. ver. 23; Leviticus 25:15, 16
  • 9. ver. 13
  • 10. [See ver. 13 above]
  • 11. Leviticus 25:28, 30, 31, 33, 41
  • 12. ver. 28
  • 13. Numbers 18:14; Ezekiel 44:29
  • 14. Leviticus 25:10, 25
  • 15. ver. 18
  • 16. Leviticus 25:28
  • 17. ver. 3
  • 18. See Exodus 30:13
  • 19. See Exodus 13:2
  • 20. ver. 11-13
  • 21. ver. 21; Joshua 6:17-19; 1 Samuel 15:21
  • 22. [Numbers 21:2; Judges 11:35]
  • 23. Genesis 14:20; Genesis 28:22; Numbers 18:21, 24; Deuteronomy 14:28; 2 Chr. 31:5, 6, 12; Nehemiah 13:12; Malachi 3:8, 10
  • 24. Ezekiel 20:37; [Jeremiah 33:13]
  • 25. ver. 10
  • 26. Leviticus 26:46
  • 27. Leviticus 25:1; Leviticus 26:46

Footnotes 5

  • [a]. A shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams
  • [b]. Hebrew it
  • [c]. A homer was about 6 bushels or 220 liters
  • [d]. A gerah was about 1/50 ounce or 0.6 gram
  • [e]. That is, set apart (devoted) as an offering to the Lord (for destruction)

Chapter Summary


This chapter contains various laws concerning vows made unto the Lord, whether of persons whose estimation was to be made by the priest, according to their age, sex, and condition, Le 26:1-8; or of beasts, clean and unclean, good or bad, Le 26:9-13; or of houses, fields, and lands, the estimation of which was to be according to its seed, and the time of its being set apart, whether from or after the year of jubilee, and the number of years to it, Le 26:14-25; with this exception to the above laws, that no firstling of the Lord's might be sanctified, and if an unclean beast it might be redeemed, but nothing devoted to the Lord, whether of man, beast, or field, might be sold or redeemed, Le 26:26-29; and the chapter is concluded with some laws concerning the redemption or change of tithes, what might or what might not be redeemed or changed, Le 26:30-34;

Leviticus 27 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.