Luke 2:23

23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord"),

Luke 2:23 Meaning and Commentary

Luke 2:23

As it is written in the law of the Lord
In ( Exodus 13:2 ) ( Numbers 3:13 )

every male that openeth the womb, shall be called holy to the Lord;
that is, devoted and consecrated to him, and so to be redeemed. The reason of this law was this, when God smote all the firstborn of Egypt, he saved the firstborn of Israel; and therefore claimed a right to them, and obliged their parents, excepting the Levites, to redeem them at the price of five shekels, which were about twelve shillings and six pence of our money, and which was given to the Levites: see ( Exodus 13:12-15 ) ( Numbers 3:12 Numbers 3:13 Numbers 3:46 Numbers 3:47 ) ( Numbers 18:15 Numbers 18:16 ) And this law our Lord came under as Mary s firstborn, and as one holy to the Lord; and such a sum of money was now paid for his redemption, who was the great Redeemer of his people: he being made under the law, and in all things subject to it, that he might redeem them from the bondage, curse, and condemnation of it. Now as the tribe of Levi was excepted from this law, it is a clear case, that Mary, though allied to Elisabeth, was not of the tribe of Levi, otherwise her firstborn would not have been subject to it {y}.

``An Israelite that comes from a priestess, or from a she Levite, is free, (i.e. from the redemption of the firstborn;) for the thing does not depend on the father, but on the mother, as it is said, that openeth the womb in Israel.''


F25 Maimon. Hilch. Biccurim c. 11. sect. 10.

Luke 2:23 In-Context

21 After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
22 When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord
23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord"),
24 and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, "a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons."
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.