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V. Redemption of Offerings

Chapter 27

Votive Offerings and Dedications. The Lord said to Moses: [a]Speak to the Israelites and tell them: When anyone makes a vow to the Lord(A) with respect to the value of a human being, the value for males between the ages of twenty and sixty shall be fifty silver shekels, by the sanctuary shekel;

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  1. 27:2–13 Vows are conditional promissory oaths. One covenants to do something for the benefit of God, usually to make a dedication, if God fulfills the individual’s accompanying request (cf. Gn 28:20–21; Jgs 11:30–31; 1 Sm 1:11; 2 Sm 15:7–8; Ps 56:13–14). Vows must be fulfilled (Nm 30:3; Dt 23:22; cf. Ps 66:13–15). Verses 2–8 deal with votive offerings involving human beings. Actual dedication of human beings (cf. Jgs 11:30–31, 34–40; 1 Sm 1:11, 24–28) is obviated by payment of the person’s value (mentioned in the temple income in 2 Kgs 12:5). The values reflect the different economic and administrative roles of people in different age and gender groups within ancient Israelite society. Verses 9–13 concern the bringing of animals for a vow.

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