God’s Renewing Word of Peace and Justice
Leviticus 27:1-15: Today’s reading begins the concluding chapter to the book of Leviticus and details various vows made to the LORD as well as certain laws pertaining to offerings required of God’s people.
Laws concerning Gifts to the Lord
27 The Lord gave Moses 2 the following regulations for the people of Israel. When any of you have been given to the Lord in fulfillment of a special vow, you may be set free by the payment of the following sums of money, 3-7 according to the official standard:
–adult male, twenty to sixty years old: 50 pieces of silver
–adult female: 30 pieces of silver
–young male, five to twenty years old: 20 pieces of silver
–young female: 10 pieces of silver
–infant male under five: 5 pieces of silver
–infant female: 3 pieces of silver
–male above sixty years of age: 15 pieces of silver
–female above sixty: 10 pieces of silver
8 If any of you make a vow and are too poor to pay the standard price, you shall bring the person to the priest, and the priest will set a lower price, according to your ability to pay.
9 If your vow concerns an animal that is acceptable as an offering to the Lord, then every gift made to the Lord is sacred, 10 and you may not substitute another animal for it. If you do, both animals belong to the Lord. 11 But if your vow concerns a ritually unclean animal, which is not acceptable as an offering to the Lord, you shall take the animal to the priest. 12 The priest shall set a price for it, according to its good or bad qualities, and the price will be final. 13 If you wish to buy it back, you must pay the price plus an additional 20 percent.
14 When any of you dedicate your house to the Lord, the priest shall set the price according to its good or bad points, and the price will be final. 15 If you wish to buy your house back, you must pay the price plus an additional 20 percent.
Today’s Key Verse: Leviticus 27:9b
…every gift made to the LORD is sacred.
Verses 2-7 refer to people who had been dedicated to the LORD by a promise or a vow. To free someone from this service meant overriding the vow with a payment of money. The standard payments were probably based on how much work an individual would be able to do. A strong mature male, for example, would normally be able to do more work that required physical strength. What were your thoughts as you read these verses? In what ways are monetary values placed on the work people do today?
Lord God, every good gift comes from you and is sacred. Bless the labor of my hands today and may it serve as an offering to you. Amen.
Leviticus 27:16-34: The conclusion to the book of Leviticus describes various laws about the sale of lands and various offerings.