Leviticus 27


וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר   27:1

Levi. 27:1  And the Lord spoke to Moses saying,

דַּבֵּר אֶלבְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם אִישׁ כִּי יַפְלִא נֶדֶר בְּעֶרְכְּךָ נְפָשֹׁת לַיהוָה   27:2

Levi. 27:2  “Speak to the children of Israel and you shall say to them, ‘When someone will make a difficult vow of souls to the Lord, by your estimation,

וְהָיָה עֶרְכְּךָ הַזָּכָר מִבֶּן עֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה וְעַד בֶּן־שִׁשִּׁים שָׁנָה וְהָיָה עֶרְכְּךָ חֲמִשִּׁים שֶׁקֶל כֶּסֶף בְּשֶׁקֶל   27:3


Levi. 27:3  then it shall be your evaluation.  A male from age twenty years and up to age sixty years, then your evaluation shall be fifty shekels of silver in shekels of the sanctuary.’

The two verses 27:2 and 27:3, especially the former, are not simple to translate or interpret.    More >>

וְאִם־נְקֵבָה הִוא וְהָיָה עֶרְכְּךָ שְׁלֹשִׁים שָׁקֶל   27:4

Levi. 27:4  ‘And if it will be a female, then your evaluation shall be thirty shekels.’

וְאִם מִבֶּן־חָמֵשׁ שָׁנִים וְעַד בֶּן־עֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה וְהָיָה עֶרְכְּךָ הַזָּכָר עֶשְׂרִים שְׁקָלִים וְלַנְּקֵבָה עֲשֶׂרֶת    27:5


Levi. 27:5  ‘And if from age five years and up to age twenty years, then your evaluation shall be, the male, twenty shekels, and, for the female, ten shekels.’

וְאִם מִבֶּן־חֹדֶשׁ וְעַד בֶּן־חָמֵשׁ שָׁנִים וְהָיָה עֶרְכְּךָ הַזָּכָר חֲמִשָּׁה שְׁקָלִים כָּסֶף וְלַנְּקֵבָה עֶרְכְּךָ   27:6

שְׁלֹשֶׁת שְׁקָלִים כָּסֶף

Levi. 27:6  ‘And if from age one month and up to age five years, than your evaluation of the male shall be five shekels of silver, and your evaluation of the female shall be three shekels of silver.’

וְאִם מִבֶּן־שִׁשִּׁים שָׁנָה וָמַעְלָה אִם־זָכָר וְהָיָה עֶרְכְּךָ חֲמִשָּׁה עָשָׂר שָׁקֶל וְלַנְּקֵבָה עֲשָׂרָה שְׁקָלִים   27:7

Levi. 27:7  ‘And if from age sixty years and over, if of a male, then your evaluation shall be fifteen shekels, and of a female, ten shekels.’

Ah!  The idea of a senior discount is older than I believed.

וְאִם־מָךְ הוּא מֵעֶרְךֶּךָ וְהֶעֱמִידֹו לִפְנֵי הַכֹּהֵן וְהֶעֱרִיךְ אֹתֹו הַכֹּהֵן עַל־פִּי אֲשֶׁר תַּשִּׂיג יַד הַנֹּדֵר   27:8

יַעֲרִיכֶנּוּ הַכֹּהֵן

Levi. 27:8  ‘But if he is poorer than your evaluation, then you shall set him before the priest and the priest shall evaluate him; according to what would be enough of the means of the vow maker, the priest shall evaluate him.’                                                                [Return to v. 27:2 notes]

וְאִם־בְּהֵמָה אֲשֶׁר יַקְרִיבוּ מִמֶּנָּה קָרְבָּן לַיהוָה כֹּל אֲשֶׁר יִתֵּן מִמֶּנּוּ לַיהוָה יִהְיֶה־קֹּדֶשׁ   27:9

Levi. 27:9  ‘And if it is cattle from which they would bring an offering to the Lord, everything that will be given from it to the Lord shall be holy.’

לֹא יַחֲלִיפֶנּוּ וְלֹא־יָמִיר אֹתֹו טֹוב בְּרָע אֹו־רַע בְּטֹוב וְאִם־הָמֵר יָמִיר בְּהֵמָה בִּבְהֵמָה וְהָיָה־הוּא    27:10

וּתְמוּרָתֹו יִהְיֶה־קֹּדֶשׁ

Levi. 27:10   ‘He shall not alter it or exchange it, a good for a bad or a bad for a good.  But if he will exchange a beast for a beast at all, then it and its exchange shall be holy.’

What exactly is this verse telling us?  It appears to be a concession by the Lord.  An animal may not be exchanged, yet it can be exchanged and (or if) both animals are made holy.  If both animals are holy, then the one that is not sacrificed apparently may not be eaten or used for anything productive outside of the Tabernacle or temple.  This kind of concession also appears, basically repeated, in v. 27:33 below.

וְאִם כָּל־בְּהֵמָה טְמֵאָה אֲשֶׁר לֹא־יַקְרִיבוּ מִמֶּנָּה קָרְבָּן לַיהוָה וְהֶעֱמִיד אֶת־הַבְּהֵמָה לִפְנֵי הַכֹּהֵן   27:11

Levi. 27:11   ‘And if any beast will be unclean, from which they should not bring an offering to the Lord, then he shall set the beast before the priest.’

וְהֶעֱרִיךְ הַכֹּהֵן אֹתָהּ בֵּין טוֹב וּבֵין רָע כְּעֶרְכְּךָ הַכֹּהֵן כֵּן יִהְיֶה   27:12

Levi. 27:12    ‘And the priest shall evaluate it between good and bad; like your valuation, so shall it be of the priest.’

וְאִם־גָּאֹל יִגְאָלֶנָּה וְיָסַף חֲמִישִׁתוֹ עַל־עֶרְכֶּךָ   27:13

Levi. 27:13   ‘And if he should at all redeem it, then he shall add a fifth of it over your valuation.’

I assume this additional premium is only for the animal that is unclean.

וְאִישׁ כִּי־יַקְדִּשׁ אֶת־בֵּיתֹו קֹדֶשׁ לַיהוָה וְהֶעֱרִיכֹו הַכֹּהֵן בֵּין טֹוב וּבֵין רָע כַּאֲשֶׁר יַעֲרִיךְ אֹתֹו הַכֹּהֵן   27:14

כֵּן יָקוּם

Levi. 27:14   ‘And when someone will dedicate his house holy to the Lord, then the priest shall evaluate it between best and worst.  As the priest shall evaluate it, so shall it stand.’

וְאִם־הַמַּקְדִּישׁ יִגְאַל אֶת־בֵּיתוֹ וְיָסַף חֲמִישִׁית כֶּסֶף־עֶרְכְּךָ עָלָיו וְהָיָה לוֹ   27:15

Levi. 27:15   ‘And if the one dedicating would redeem his house, then he shall add a fifth of the money of your evaluation over it and it shall be his.’

A premium of a fifth is also added for a house.  Why?  I don’t believe there’s any way to know for sure.

וְאִם מִשְּׂדֵה אֲחֻזָּתוֹ יַקְדִּישׁ אִישׁ לַיהוָה וְהָיָה עֶרְכְּךָ לְפִי זַרְעוֹ זֶרַע חֹמֶר שְׂעֹרִים בַּחֲמִשִּׁים שֶׁקֶל   27:16


Levi. 27:16   ‘And if someone would dedicate to the Lord some of a field of his possession, then your evaluation shall be according to its sowing:  The sowing of a homer of barley at fifty shekels of silver.’

אִם־מִשְּׁנַת הַיֹּבֵל יַקְדִּישׁ שָׂדֵהוּ כְּעֶרְכְּךָ יָקוּם   27:17

Levi. 27:17   ‘If he were to dedicate his field from the year of Jubilee, according to your evaluation it shall stand.’

וְאִם־אַחַר הַיֹּבֵל יַקְדִּישׁ שָׂדֵהוּ וְחִשַּׁב־לֹו הַכֹּהֵן אֶת־הַכֶּסֶף עַל־פִּי הַשָּׁנִים הַנֹּותָרֹת עַד שְׁנַת הַיֹּבֵל   27:18

וְנִגְרַע מֵעֶרְכֶּךָ

Levi. 27:18   ‘But were he to dedicate his field after the Jubilee, then the priest shall calculate the money for it according to the years remaining until the year of the Jubilee and withdraw some of your evaluation.’

וְאִם־גָּאֹל יִגְאַל אֶת־הַשָּׂדֶה הַמַּקְדִּישׁ אֹתוֹ וְיָסַף חֲמִשִׁית כֶּסֶף־עֶרְכְּךָ עָלָיו וְקָם לוֹ   27:19

Levi. 27:19   ‘And should a redeemer redeem the field of the one who dedicated it, then he shall add a fifth of the money of your evaluation over it and it shall be confirmed to him.’

וְאִם־לֹא יִגְאַל אֶת־הַשָּׂדֶה וְאִם־מָכַר אֶת־הַשָּׂדֶה לְאִישׁ אַחֵר לֹא יִגָּאֵל עֹוד   27:20

Levi. 27:20   ‘But if he should not redeem the field and if he has sold the field to another person, it shall not be redeemed any more.’

וְהָיָה הַשָּׂדֶה בְּצֵאתֹו בַיֹּבֵל קֹדֶשׁ לַיהוָה כִּשְׂדֵה הַחֵרֶם לַכֹּהֵן תִּהְיֶה אֲחֻזָּתֹו   27:21

Levi. 27:21   ‘But the field, in its going out in the Jubilee, shall be a consecration to the Lord like a field dedicated to the priest; it shall be his possession.’

וְאִם אֶת־שְׂדֵה מִקְנָתֹו אֲשֶׁר לֹא מִשְּׂדֵה אֲחֻזָּתֹו יַקְדִּישׁ לַיהוָה   27:22

Levi. 27:22   ‘And should one dedicate to the Lord a field from his purchase that is not from a field of his possession,

וְחִשַּׁב־לוֹ הַכֹּהֵן אֵת מִכְסַת הָעֶרְכְּךָ עַד שְׁנַת הַיֹּבֵל וְנָתַן אֶת־הָעֶרְכְּךָ בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא קֹדֶשׁ לַיהוָה   27:23

Levi. 27:23   then the priest shall calculate for him the worth of your evaluation until the year of Jubilee, and he shall give your evaluation on that day, a sanctification to the Lord.’

בִּשְׁנַת הַיֹּובֵל יָשׁוּב הַשָּׂדֶה לַאֲשֶׁר קָנָהוּ מֵאִתֹּו לַאֲשֶׁר־לֹו אֲחֻזַּת הָאָרֶץ   27:24

Levi. 27:24   ‘In the year of Jubilee the field shall return to whom it was bought from, to whom is the possession of the land.’

וְכָל־עֶרְכְּךָ יִהְיֶה בְּשֶׁקֶל הַקֹּדֶשׁ עֶשְׂרִים גֵּרָה יִהְיֶה הַשָּׁקֶל   27:25

Levi. 27:25   ‘And each evaluation of yours shall be in shekels of the sanctuary; twenty gerah shall be the shekel.’

אַךְ־בְּכֹור אֲשֶׁר־יְבֻכַּר לַיהוָה בִּבְהֵמָה לֹא־יַקְדִּישׁ אִישׁ אֹתֹו אִם־שֹׁור אִם־שֶׂה לַיהוָה הוּא   27:26

Levi. 27:26   ‘Anyway, the firstling, which shall be a firstling to the Lord among the cattle, no person shall separate it.  Whether an ox or a sheep, it is for the Lord.’

וְאִם בַּבְּהֵמָה הַטְּמֵאָה וּפָדָה בְעֶרְכֶּךָ וְיָסַף חֲמִשִׁתוֹ עָלָיו וְאִם־לֹא יִגָּאֵל וְנִמְכַּר בְּעֶרְכֶּךָ   27:27

Levi. 27:27   ‘And if uncleanness is in the beast, then he shall redeem it by your evaluation but shall add a fifth of it over it.  And if it should not be redeemed, then it may be sold according to your evaluation.’

אַךְ־כָּל־חֵרֶם אֲשֶׁר יַחֲרִם אִישׁ לַיהוָה מִכָּל־אֲשֶׁר־לֹו מֵאָדָם וּבְהֵמָה וּמִשְּׂדֵה אֲחֻזָּתֹו לֹא יִמָּכֵר וְלֹא   27:28

יִגָּאֵל כָּל־חֵרֶם קֹדֶשׁ־קָדָשִׁים הוּא לַיהוָה

Levi. 27:28    ‘Nevertheless, any devoted thing that someone may devote to the Lord from all that is his, be it a man or a beast or a field of his possession, shall not be sold or redeemed.  Every devoted thing, it is holy of holy things to the Lord.’

I take it that this verse means that whatever is devoted to the Lord must be given to the priests or entered into the treasury of the Tabernacle or Temple.

כָּל־חֵרֶם אֲשֶׁר יָחֳרַם מִן־הָאָדָם לֹא יִפָּדֶה מֹות יוּמָת   27:29

Levi. 27:29   ‘Any devoted who may be devoted from humanity shall not be redeemed.  He shall surely be put to death.’

As I read this verse, I Imagine the presumption here must be that the devoted person had already been condemned to die.  Therefore, he cannot be redeemed.

וְכָל־מַעְשַׂר הָאָרֶץ מִזֶּרַע הָאָרֶץ מִפְּרִי הָעֵץ לַיהוָה הוּא קֹדֶשׁ לַיהוָה   27:30

Levi. 27:30   ‘And all the tithe of the land, from the seed of the land, from the fruit of the tree, is for the Lord; it is holy to the Lord.’

וְאִם־גָּאֹל יִגְאַל אִישׁ מִמַּעַשְׂרֹו חֲמִשִׁיתֹו יֹסֵף עָלָיו   27:31

Levi. 27:31   ‘And if someone desired to redeem some of his tithe, he shall add a fifth of it over it.’

וְכָל־מַעְשַׂר בָּקָר וָצֹאן כֹּל אֲשֶׁר־יַעֲבֹר תַּחַת הַשָּׁבֶט הָעֲשִׂירִי יִהְיֶה־קֹּדֶשׁ לַיהוָה   27:32

Levi. 27:32   ‘And all the tithe of the herd and the flock, everything that would pass under the rod, the tenth shall be holy to the Lord.’

The sages and rabbis consider this verse is to be interpreted literally.  That is, every tenth animal passing under the rod is marked for the Lord.  See the next verse.                                                    [Return to Ezek. 20:37]

לֹא יְבַקֵּר בֵּין־טֹוב לָרַע וְלֹא יְמִירֶנּוּ וְאִם־הָמֵר יְמִירֶנּוּ וְהָיָה־הוּא וּתְמוּרָתֹו יִהְיֶה־קֹדֶשׁ לֹא יִגָּאֵל   27:33

Levi. 27:33   ‘’He shall not consider between good or bad, and he shall not exchange it, but if he will exchange it at all, then it shall be, and its exchange shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.’”

Apparently if any tenth animal is blemished, it still goes to the Temple.  However, I must presume that it will not be sacrificed.  Perhaps it can be sold by the Temple Levites.  Yet we seem not to have been given more insight into this situation anywhere else in the Torah.  There also seems to be the same unusual concession apparent in this verse as in v. 27:10.  The commandments in the two verses are not absolute?

אֵלֶּה הַמִּצְוֹת אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְהוָה אֶת־מֹשֶׁה אֶל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּהַר סִינָי   27:34

Levi. 27:34   These are the commandments that the Lord commanded Moses concerning the children of Israel on Mount Sinai.

Torah Commandments in this Chapter

340. You shall estimate the value of a vow of souls dedicated to the Lord.    V. 27:2 - 27:8

341. The priest shall follow the procedures for dedicated things.    V. 27:9 - 27:33



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