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Redemption of Persons Given as Votive Offerings

27 The Lord spoke to Moses: “Speak to the Israelites and tell them, ‘When a man makes a special votive offering[a] based on the conversion value of a person to the Lord,[b] the conversion value of the male[c] from twenty years old up to sixty years old[d] is fifty shekels by the standard of the sanctuary shekel.[e]

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Footnotes

  1. Leviticus 27:2 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 (palaʾ, “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. Leviticus 27:2 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. Leviticus 27:3 tn Heb “your conversion value shall be [for] the male.”
  4. Leviticus 27:3 tn Heb “from a son of twenty years and until a son of sixty years.”
  5. Leviticus 27:3 tn See the note on Lev 5:15.

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