Laws about promises and offerings to the Lord
Making promises to the Lord
1The Lord told Moses 2to say to the community of Israel:
If you ever want to free someone who has been promised to me, 3-7you may do so by paying the following amounts, weighed according to the official standards:
fifty pieces of silver for men aged twenty to sixty,
and thirty pieces for women;
twenty pieces of silver for young men
aged five to twenty,
and ten pieces for young women;
fifteen pieces of silver for men
aged sixty and above and ten pieces for women;
five pieces of silver for boys
aged one month to five years, and three pieces for girls.
8If you have promised to give someone to me and can't afford to pay the full amount for that person's release, you will be taken to a priest, and he will decide how much you can afford.
9If you promise to sacrifice an animal to me, it becomes holy, and there is no way you can set it free. 10If you try to substitute any other animal, no matter how good, for the one you promised, they will both become holy and must be sacrificed. 11Donkeys are unfit for sacrifice, so if you promise me a donkey,#27.11 Donkeys … donkey: The Hebrew text has “If you promise me an unclean animal”, which probably refers to a donkey (see Exodus 13.13; 34.20). you must bring it to the priest, 12and let him determine its value. 13But if you want to buy it back, you must pay an additional twenty per cent.
14If you promise a house to me, a priest will set the price, whatever the condition of the house. 15But if you decide to buy it back, you must pay an additional twenty per cent.
16If you promise part of your family's land to me, its value must be determined by the amount of seed needed to plant the land, and the rate will be ten pieces of silver for every twenty kilogrammes of seed. 17If this promise is made in the Year of Celebration,#27.17 Year of Celebration: See 25.8–34. the land will be valued at the full price. 18But any time after that, the price will be worked out according to the number of years before the next Year of Celebration. 19If you decide to buy back the land, you must pay the price plus an additional twenty per cent, 20but you cannot buy it back once someone else has bought it. 21When the Year of Celebration comes, the land becomes holy because it belongs to me, and it will be given to the priests.
22If you promise me a field that you have bought, 23its value will be decided by a priest, according to the number of years before the next Year of Celebration, and the money you pay will be mine. 24However, on the next Year of Celebration, the land will go back to the family of its original owner. 25Every price will be set by the official standards.
The Lord said:
26All firstborn animals of your flocks and herds are already mine, and so you cannot promise any of them to me. 27If you promise me a donkey,#27.27 donkey: See the note at verse 11. you may buy it back by adding an additional twenty per cent to its value. If you don't buy it back, it can be sold to someone else for whatever a priest has said it is worth.
28 # Num 18.14 Anything that you completely dedicate to me must be completely destroyed.#27.28 completely dedicate … completely destroyed: In order to show that something belonged completely to the Lord and could not be used by anyone else, it was destroyed. This law most often applied to towns and people captured in war (see Joshua 6.16,17). It cannot be bought back or sold. Every person, animal, and piece of property that you dedicate completely is only for me. 29In fact, any humans who have been promised to me in this way must be put to death.
30 # Num 18.21Deut 14.22–29 Ten per cent of everything you harvest is holy and belongs to me, whether it grows in your fields or on your fruit trees. 31If you want to buy back this part of your harvest, you may do so by paying what it is worth plus an additional twenty per cent.
32When you count your flocks and herds, one out of ten of every newborn animal#27.32 one out of ten of every newborn animal: Or “one out of every ten animals”. is holy and belongs to me, 33no matter how good or bad it is. If you substitute one animal for another, both of them become holy, and neither can be bought back.
34Moses was on Mount Sinai when the Lord gave him these laws for the people of Israel.