Rules concerning Valuations
1 Again, the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘When a man makes a (a)special vow [consecrating himself or a member of his family], he shall be valued according to your [established system of] valuation of people belonging to the Lord [that is, the priest accepts from the man making the vow a specified amount of money for the temple treasury in place of the actual person]. 3 If your valuation is of a male between twenty and sixty years of age, then your valuation shall be fifty shekels of silver, according to the shekel of the sanctuary. 4 Or if the person is a female, then your valuation shall be thirty shekels. 5 If the person is between five years and twenty years of age, then your valuation for the male shall be twenty shekels and for the female ten shekels. 6 But if the child is between one month and five years of age, then your valuation shall be five shekels of silver for the male and three shekels for the female. 7 If the person is sixty years old and above, your valuation shall be fifteen shekels for the male, and ten shekels for the female. 8 But if the person is too poor to pay your valuation, then he shall be placed before the priest, and the priest shall value him; according to the ability of the one who vowed, the priest shall value him.
9 ‘Now if it is an animal of the kind which men can present as an offering to the Lord, any such that one gives to the Lord shall be holy. 10 He shall not replace it or exchange it, a good for a bad, or a bad for a good; but if he does exchange an animal for an animal, then both the original offering and its substitute shall be holy. 11 If it is any unclean animal of the kind which men do not present as an offering to the Lord, then he shall bring the animal before the priest, 12 and the priest shall value it as either good or bad; it shall be as you, the priest, value it. 13 But if he ever wishes to redeem it, then he shall add one-fifth of it to your valuation.
14 ‘If a man consecrates his house as sacred to the Lord, the priest shall appraise it as either good or bad; as the priest appraises it, so shall it stand. 15 If the one who consecrates his house should wish to redeem it, then he shall add one-fifth of your valuation price to it, so that it may be his.
16 ‘And if a man consecrates to the Lord part of a field of his own property, then your valuation shall be proportionate to the seed needed for it; a homer of barley seed shall be valued at fifty shekels of silver. 17 If he consecrates his field during the Year of Jubilee, it shall stand according to your valuation. 18 But if he consecrates his field after the Jubilee, then the priest shall calculate the price for him in proportion to the years that remain until the Year of Jubilee; and it shall be deducted from your valuation. 19 If the one who consecrates the field should ever wish to redeem it, then he shall add one-fifth of the appraisal price to it, so that it may return to him. 20 If he does not redeem the field, but has sold it to another man, it may no longer be redeemed. 21 When the field reverts in the Jubilee, the field shall be holy to the Lord, like a field set apart (devoted); the priest shall possess it as his property. 22 Or if a man consecrates to the Lord a field which he has bought, which is not part of the field of his [ancestral] property, 23 then the priest shall calculate for him the amount of your valuation up to the Year of Jubilee; and the man shall give that [amount] on that day as a holy thing to the Lord. 24 In the Year of Jubilee the field shall return to the one from whom it was purchased, to whom the land belonged [as his ancestral inheritance]. 25 Every valuation of yours shall be in accordance with the sanctuary shekel; twenty gerahs shall make a shekel.
26 ‘However, the firstborn among animals, which as a firstborn belongs to the Lord, no man may consecrate, whether an ox or a sheep. It is [already] the Lord’s. 27 If it is among the unclean animals, the owner may redeem it in accordance with your valuation, and add one-fifth to it; or if it is not redeemed, then it shall be sold in accordance with your valuation.
28 ‘But nothing that a man (b)sets apart [that is, devotes as an offering] to the Lord out of all that he has, of man or of animal or of the fields of his own property, shall be sold or redeemed. Anything devoted to destruction (banned, cursed) is most holy to the Lord. 29 No one who may have been set apart among men shall be ransomed [from death], he shall most certainly be put to death.
30 ‘And all the tithe (tenth part) of the land, whether the seed of the land or the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s; it is holy to the Lord.(A) 31 If a man wishes to redeem any part of his tithe, he shall add one-fifth to it. 32 For every tithe of the herd or flock, whatever (c)passes under the [shepherd’s] staff, the tenth one shall be holy to the Lord.(B) 33 The man is not to be concerned whether the animal is good or bad, nor shall he exchange it. But if he does exchange it, then both it and its substitute shall become holy; it shall not be redeemed.’”
a. Leviticus 27:2: Or explicit. A man could consecrate (dedicate) himself to the Lord or he could consecrate another family member, his house, his property, his animals, his field, or other possession. The priest set an established value on the person, animal, or property and the man paid the set amount instead of transferring ownership. Consecrating someone or something to the Lord was not the same as “devoting” or “setting apart” something to the Lord (see vv 21, 28).
b. Leviticus 27:28: In OT times “devoting” or “setting apart” was a different and much more serious act than “consecrating” something or someone to God. The thing “devoted” belonged exclusively to God. It was an irrevocable command or vow. Anyone who kept for himself something that had been “devoted” or placed under a ban, placed himself under a sentence of death (Josh 7).
c. Leviticus 27:32: Each tenth animal was marked as it passed through a small door.