Leviticus 27

Redeeming What Is the LORD’s

1 The LORD said to Moses,
2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘If anyone makes a special vow to dedicate a person to the LORD by giving the equivalent value,
3 set the value of a male between the ages of twenty and sixty at fifty shekels[a] of silver, according to the sanctuary shekel[b] ;
4 for a female, set her value at thirty shekels[c] ;
5 for a person between the ages of five and twenty, set the value of a male at twenty shekels[d] and of a female at ten shekels[e] ;
6 for a person between one month and five years, set the value of a male at five shekels[f] of silver and that of a female at three shekels[g] of silver;
7 for a person sixty years old or more, set the value of a male at fifteen shekels[h] and of a female at ten shekels.
8 If anyone making the vow is too poor to pay the specified amount, the person being dedicated is to be presented to the priest, who will set the value according to what the one making the vow can afford.
9 “ ‘If what they vowed is an animal that is acceptable as an offering to the LORD, such an animal given to the LORD becomes holy.
10 They must not exchange it or substitute a good one for a bad one, or a bad one for a good one; if they should substitute one animal for another, both it and the substitute become holy.
11 If what they vowed is a ceremonially unclean animal—one that is not acceptable as an offering to the LORD—the animal must be presented to the priest,
12 who will judge its quality as good or bad. Whatever value the priest then sets, that is what it will be.
13 If the owner wishes to redeem the animal, a fifth must be added to its value.
14 “ ‘If anyone dedicates their house as something holy to the LORD, the priest will judge its quality as good or bad. Whatever value the priest then sets, so it will remain.
15 If the one who dedicates their house wishes to redeem it, they must add a fifth to its value, and the house will again become theirs.
16 “ ‘If anyone dedicates to the LORD part of their family land, its value is to be set according to the amount of seed required for it—fifty shekels of silver to a homer[i] of barley seed.
17 If they dedicate a field during the Year of Jubilee, the value that has been set remains.
18 But if they dedicate a field after the Jubilee, the priest will determine the value according to the number of years that remain until the next Year of Jubilee, and its set value will be reduced.
19 If the one who dedicates the field wishes to redeem it, they must add a fifth to its value, and the field will again become theirs.
20 If, however, they do not redeem the field, or if they have sold it to someone else, it can never be redeemed.
21 When the field is released in the Jubilee, it will become holy, like a field devoted to the LORD; it will become priestly property.
22 “ ‘If anyone dedicates to the LORD a field they have bought, which is not part of their family land,
23 the priest will determine its value up to the Year of Jubilee, and the owner must pay its value on that day as something holy to the LORD.
24 In the Year of Jubilee the field will revert to the person from whom it was bought, the one whose land it was.
25 Every value is to be set according to the sanctuary shekel, twenty gerahs to the shekel.
26 “ ‘No one, however, may dedicate the firstborn of an animal, since the firstborn already belongs to the LORD; whether an ox[j] or a sheep, it is the LORD’s.
27 If it is one of the unclean animals, it may be bought back at its set value, adding a fifth of the value to it. If it is not redeemed, it is to be sold at its set value.
28 “ ‘But nothing that a person owns and devotes[k] to the LORD—whether a human being or an animal or family land—may be sold or redeemed; everything so devoted is most holy to the LORD.
29 “ ‘No person devoted to destruction[l] may be ransomed; they are to be put to death.
30 “ ‘A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD.
31 Whoever would redeem any of their tithe must add a fifth of the value to it.
32 Every tithe of the herd and flock—every tenth animal that passes under the shepherd’s rod—will be holy to the LORD.
33 No one may pick out the good from the bad or make any substitution. If anyone does make a substitution, both the animal and its substitute become holy and cannot be redeemed.’ ”
34 These are the commands the LORD gave Moses at Mount Sinai for the Israelites.

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 37

  • 1. S Genesis 28:20; Numbers 6:2
  • 2. S Exodus 30:13; Numbers 3:47; Numbers 18:16
  • 3. S Genesis 37:28
  • 4. Numbers 3:47; Numbers 18:16
  • 5. S Leviticus 5:11
  • 6. ver 12,14
  • 7. S Genesis 28:20; S Leviticus 1:2
  • 8. ver 21,26,28; Exodus 40:9; Numbers 6:20; Numbers 18:17; Deuteronomy 15:19
  • 9. ver 33
  • 10. ver 27; S Exodus 13:13; Numbers 18:15
  • 11. ver 15,19; S Leviticus 25:25
  • 12. S Leviticus 5:16
  • 13. ver 13,20
  • 14. Leviticus 25:10
  • 15. Leviticus 25:15
  • 16. S Leviticus 25:25
  • 17. S Leviticus 25:10
  • 18. S ver 9
  • 19. ver 28; Numbers 18:14; Ezekiel 44:29
  • 20. S Leviticus 25:15
  • 21. Leviticus 25:28
  • 22. S Exodus 30:13; Numbers 18:16
  • 23. Numbers 3:47; Ezekiel 45:12
  • 24. S Exodus 13:12; Exodus 13:2,12
  • 25. S ver 11
  • 26. Numbers 18:14; Joshua 6:17-19
  • 27. S ver 9
  • 28. Deuteronomy 7:26
  • 29. Genesis 28:22; Numbers 18:26; Deuteronomy 12:6,17; Deuteronomy 14:22,28; 2 Chronicles 31:6; Nehemiah 10:37; Nehemiah 12:44; Nehemiah 13:5; Malachi 3:8
  • 30. Deuteronomy 7:6; Ezra 9:2; Isaiah 6:13
  • 31. S Leviticus 25:25
  • 32. Leviticus 5:16
  • 33. Psalms 89:32; Jeremiah 33:13; Ezekiel 20:37
  • 34. ver 10
  • 35. Numbers 18:21
  • 36. S Exodus 19:11
  • 37. S Leviticus 7:38; Leviticus 26:46; Deuteronomy 4:5; Acts 7:38

Footnotes 12

  • [a]. That is, about 1 1/4 pounds or about 575 grams; also in verse 16
  • [b]. That is, about 2/5 ounce or about 12 grams; also in verse 25
  • [c]. That is, about 12 ounces or about 345 grams
  • [d]. That is, about 8 ounces or about 230 grams
  • [e]. That is, about 4 ounces or about 115 grams; also in verse 7
  • [f]. That is, about 2 ounces or about 58 grams
  • [g]. That is, about 1 1/4 ounces or about 35 grams
  • [h]. That is, about 6 ounces or about 175 grams
  • [i]. That is, probably about 300 pounds or about 135 kilograms
  • [j]. The Hebrew word can refer to either male or female.
  • [k]. The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord.
  • [l]. The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.

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

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