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Leviticus 27:1-8

Context
Redemption of Vowed People

27:1 The Lord spoke to Moses: 27:2 “Speak to the Israelites and tell them, ‘When a man makes a special votive offering 1  based on the conversion value of persons to the Lord, 2  27:3 the conversion value of the male 3  from twenty years old up to sixty years old 4  is fifty shekels by the standard of the sanctuary shekel. 5  27:4 If the person is a female, the conversion value is thirty shekels. 27:5 If the person is from five years old up to twenty years old, the conversion value of the male is twenty shekels, and for the female ten shekels. 27:6 If the person is one month old up to five years old, the conversion value of the male is five shekels of silver, 6  and for the female the conversion value is three shekels of silver. 27:7 If the person is from sixty years old and older, if he is a male the conversion value is fifteen shekels, and for the female ten shekels. 27:8 If he is too poor to pay the conversion value, he must stand the person before the priest and the priest will establish his conversion value; 7  according to what the man who made the vow can afford, 8  the priest will establish his conversion value.

1 tn Cf. the note on Lev 22:21. Some take this as an expression for fulfilling a vow, “to fulfill a vow” (e.g., HALOT 927-28 s.v. פלא piel and NASB; cf. NRSV “in fulfillment of a vow”) or, alternatively, “to make a vow” or “for making a vow” (HALOT 928 s.v. פלא piel [II פלא]). Perhaps it refers to the making a special vow, from the verb פָלָא (pala’, “to be wonderful; to be remarkable”), cf. Milgrom, Numbers [JPSTC], 44. B. A. Levine, Leviticus (JPSTC), 151 and 193, suggests that this is a special term for “setting aside a votive offering” (related to פָלָה, palah, “to set aside”). In general, the point of the expression seems to be that this sacrifice is a special gift to God that arose out of special circumstances in the life of the worshiper.

2 tn Heb “in your valuation, persons to the Lord,” but “in your valuation” is a frozen form and, therefore, the person (“your”) does not figure into the translation (see J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 73). Instead of offering a person to the Lord one could redeem that person with the appropriate amount of money delineated in the following verses (see the note on Lev 5:15 above and the explanation in Hartley, 480-81).

3 tn Heb “your conversion value shall be [for] the male.”

4 tn Heb “from a son of twenty years and until a son of sixty years.”

5 tn See the note on Lev 5:15.

6 tn Heb “five shekels silver.”

7 tn Heb “and the priest shall cause him to be valued.”

8 tn Heb “on the mouth which the hand of the one who vowed reaches.”



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