Leviticus 27

Listen to Leviticus 27
1 The LORD said to Moses,
2 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. If anyone makes a special vow to dedicate someone to the LORD by paying the value of that person,
3 here is the scale of values to be used. A man between the ages of twenty and sixty is valued at fifty shekels of silver, as measured by the sanctuary shekel.
4 A woman of that age is valued at thirty shekels of silver.
5 A boy between the ages of five and twenty is valued at twenty shekels of silver; a girl of that age is valued at ten shekels of silver.
6 A boy between the ages of one month and five years is valued at five shekels of silver; a girl of that age is valued at three shekels of silver.
7 A man older than sixty is valued at fifteen shekels of silver; a woman of that age is valued at ten shekels of silver.
8 If you desire to make such a vow but cannot afford to pay the required amount, take the person to the priest. He will determine the amount for you to pay based on what you can afford.
9 “If your vow involves giving an animal that is acceptable as an offering to the LORD, any gift to the LORD will be considered holy.
10 You may not exchange or substitute it for another animal—neither a good animal for a bad one nor a bad animal for a good one. But if you do exchange one animal for another, then both the original animal and its substitute will be considered holy.
11 If your vow involves an unclean animal—one that is not acceptable as an offering to the LORD —then you must bring the animal to the priest.
12 He will assess its value, and his assessment will be final, whether high or low.
13 If you want to buy back the animal, you must pay the value set by the priest, plus 20 percent.
14 “If someone dedicates a house to the LORD, the priest will come to assess its value. The priest’s assessment will be final, whether high or low.
15 If the person who dedicated the house wants to buy it back, he must pay the value set by the priest, plus 20 percent. Then the house will again be his.
16 “If someone dedicates to the LORD a piece of his family property, its value will be assessed according to the amount of seed required to plant it—fifty shekels of silver for a field planted with five bushels of barley seed.
17 If the field is dedicated to the LORD in the Year of Jubilee, then the entire assessment will apply.
18 But if the field is dedicated after the Year of Jubilee, the priest will assess the land’s value in proportion to the number of years left until the next Year of Jubilee. Its assessed value is reduced each year.
19 If the person who dedicated the field wants to buy it back, he must pay the value set by the priest, plus 20 percent. Then the field will again be legally his.
20 But if he does not want to buy it back, and it is sold to someone else, the field can no longer be bought back.
21 When the field is released in the Year of Jubilee, it will be holy, a field specially set apart for the LORD . It will become the property of the priests.
22 “If someone dedicates to the LORD a field he has purchased but which is not part of his family property,
23 the priest will assess its value based on the number of years left until the next Year of Jubilee. On that day he must give the assessed value of the land as a sacred donation to the LORD .
24 In the Year of Jubilee the field must be returned to the person from whom he purchased it, the one who inherited it as family property.
25 (All the payments must be measured by the weight of the sanctuary shekel, which equals twenty gerahs.)
26 “You may not dedicate a firstborn animal to the LORD, for the firstborn of your cattle, sheep, and goats already belong to him.
27 However, you may buy back the firstborn of a ceremonially unclean animal by paying the priest’s assessment of its worth, plus 20 percent. If you do not buy it back, the priest will sell it at its assessed value.
28 “However, anything specially set apart for the LORD —whether a person, an animal, or family property—must never be sold or bought back. Anything devoted in this way has been set apart as holy, and it belongs to the LORD .
29 No person specially set apart for destruction may be bought back. Such a person must be put to death.
30 “One-tenth of the produce of the land, whether grain from the fields or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD and must be set apart to him as holy.
31 If you want to buy back the LORD ’s tenth of the grain or fruit, you must pay its value, plus 20 percent.
32 Count off every tenth animal from your herds and flocks and set them apart for the LORD as holy.
33 You may not pick and choose between good and bad animals, and you may not substitute one for another. But if you do exchange one animal for another, then both the original animal and its substitute will be considered holy and cannot be bought back.”
34 These are the commands that the LORD gave through Moses on 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.

Footnotes 8

  • [a]. Or 20 ounces [570 grams].
  • [b]. Or 12 ounces [342 grams].
  • [c]. Or A boy . . . 8 ounces [228 grams] of silver; a girl . . . 4 ounces [114 grams].
  • [d]. Or A boy . . . 2 ounces [57 grams] of silver; a girl . . . 1.2 ounces [34 grams].
  • [e]. Or A man . . . 6 ounces [171 grams] of silver; a woman . . . 4 ounces [114 grams].
  • [f]. Hebrew 50 shekels [20 ounces or 570 grams] of silver for a homer [220 liters] of barley seed.
  • [g]. The Hebrew term used here refers to the complete consecration of things or people to the, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering; also in 27:28, 29 .
  • [h]. Each shekel was about 0.4 ounces [11 grams] in weight.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO LEVEITICUS 27

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