EVALUATION FOR SERVICE

God also has a place for those who would give more than the  Law requires.  Some may dedicate
themselves or a family member to the Lord’s service.  Such zeal is often regretted later, and they
may want to buy their family member or livestock back.  God allows them to do this at a prescribed
price.  I want to look at several  translations of this idea:

LEVITICUS 27:1-8 TRANSLATED IN SEVERAL VERSIONS:

KING JAMES VERSION:

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,  Speak unto the  children of Israel, and say unto them, When
a man shall make a singular vow
, the persons shall be for the LORD by thy  estimation.  And thy estimation shall be  of the male from twenty years old even unto sixty years old, even thy  estimation shall be fifty shekels of silver, after the shekel of the  sanctuary.  And if it be a female, then  thy estimation shall be thirty shekels.  And if it be from five years old even unto twenty years old, then thy  estimation shall be of the male twenty shekels, and for the female ten  shekels.  And if it be from a month old  even unto five years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male five shekels  of silver, and for the female thy estimation shall be three shekels of
silver.  And if it be from sixty years  old and above; if it be a male, then thy estimation shall be fifteen shekels,
and for the female ten shekels.  But if  he be poorer than thy estimation, then he shall present himself before the
priest, and the priest shall value him; according to his ability that vowed  shall the priest value him.
Leviticus 27:1-8

THE MESSAGE BIBLE

God spoke to Moses: He said, “Speak  to the People of Israel.  Tell them, If anyone wants to vow the
value of a person to the service of God
, set the value of a man between the ages of twenty and
sixty at fifty shekels of silver, according to the Sanctuary shekel. For a  woman the valuation is thirty shekels. If the person is between the ages of  five and twenty, set the value at twenty shekels for a male and ten shekels for
a female. If the person is between one month and five years, set the value at  five shekels of silver for a boy and three shekels of silver for a girl. If the  person is over sixty, set the value at fifteen shekels for a man and ten
shekels for a woman. If anyone is too poor to pay the stated amount, he is to  present the person to the priest, who will then set the value for him according  to what the person making the vow can afford.   Leviticus 27:1-8

CONTEMPORARY ENGLISH VERSION

The 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 ages twenty to sixty,  and  thirty pieces for women;  twenty pieces
of silver for young men ages five to twenty, and ten pieces for young women;  fifteen pieces of silver for men ages sixty and above and ten pieces for women;  five pieces of silver for boys ages one month to five years, and three pieces  for girls. If 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.
Leviticus 27:1-8

YOUNG’S LITERAL TRANSLATION

And Jehovah calleth unto Moses, and speaketh unto him out  of the tent of meeting, saying,  ‘Speak unto the sons of Israel, and thou hast said unto them,  Any man of you when he doth bring near an offering to Jehovah, out of the cattle — out of the herd,  or out of the flock — ye do bring near your offering.3 If his offering is a
burnt-offering out of the herd — a male, a perfect one, he doth bring near,  unto the opening of the tent of meeting he doth bring it near, at his pleasure,  before Jehovah;4 and he hath laid his hand on the head of the burnt-offering,  and it hath been accepted for him to make atonement for him;5 and he hath  slaughtered the son of the herd before Jehovah; and sons of Aaron, the priests,  have brought the blood near, and sprinkled the blood on the altar round about,  which is at the opening of the tent of meeting. ‘And he hath stripped the
burnt-offering, and hath cut it into its pieces;  and the sons of Aaron the priest have put  fire on the altar, and arranged wood on the fire;  and sons of Aaron, the priests, have arranged  the pieces, with the head and the fat, on the wood, which is on the fire, which  is on the altar; 

Leviticus 27:1-8 

Here is the beginning of confusion.  All these translations are in English, yet  one speaks of paying to offer someone to  the Lord’s service, and another of buying  the person out of that service.  Yet another jumps directly to the  offering of cattle, and totally skips  that of men.  Other translations place  that subject after verse 9 as  related below.  We need to select  translations and doctrines with care.  e know that Samuel’s mother offered him to Eli the priest  from gratitude to the Lord for having a child. She did not pay other than the  sacrifice of raising her son.  Paying for this privilege of giving a child  or servant is an interesting ritual.
Paying to redeem one out of service seems more understandable.  Later we will learn about the Nazarites, who
were required to live a more strict and holy life for God.

The Law is a complex set of regulations and rituals, to be  followed exactly.  Here we see that translations
become an issue for our language.  But  even in Israel,  the understanding could be confused.  Over time, men added rules of their own.  They might have intended to create a “fence” of laws to keep people from  trespassing on the Lord’s rules.  This  becomes a religion, instead of faith.  We  use the term “dogma” to define man made rules that try to replace the spirit of  God’s law.  God has a problem with this.

For I testify unto every man that  heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the  plagues that are written in this book:  And if any man shall take away  from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out
of the book of life
, and out of the holy city, and from the things which  are written in this book.  Revelation 22:18-19

From these small changes come all cults.  We need to know how to discern spiritual  things to know error when it creeps in.  God made his will known clearly, and there is enough historical  documentation to establish what the scriptures said.  We need to check the “new” interpretations  with care.

Notice how deftly I dodged the controversy sure to follow  the differing evaluations of male and female too.  Hey…take it up with (God) the  author.  Actually he has created the difference, and even follows it by making  us the bride of Christ to his  bridegroom.  You macho guys aren’t the  head either…you are just (part of) the sweet young virgin in waiting!

God continues his instructions to Moses: And if it be a beast, whereof men  bring an offering unto the LORD, all that any man giveth of such unto the LORD  shall be holy.  He shall not alter it,  nor change it, a good for a bad, or a bad for a good: and if he shall at all  change beast for beast, then it and the exchange thereof shall be holy.  And if it be any unclean beast, of which they  do not offer a sacrifice unto the LORD, then he shall present the beast before  the priest:  And the priest shall value  it, whether it be good or bad: as thou valuest it, who art the priest, so shall  it be.  But if he will at all redeem it,  then he shall add a fifth part thereof unto thy estimation.  Leviticus 27:9-13

If an offering is made of an unclean beast, it can be  received if the priest is agreeable. But it will cost you 20% extra to redeem  it.  There is some flexibility within the  law, for a price.

And when a man shall sanctify his  house to be holy unto the LORD, then the priest shall estimate it, whether it
be good or bad: as the priest shall estimate it, so shall it stand.  And if he that sanctified it will redeem his  house, then he shall add the fifth part of the money of thy estimation unto it,  and it shall be his.  And if a man shall  sanctify unto the LORD some part of a field of his possession, then thy  estimation shall be according to the seed thereof: an homer of barley seed  shall be valued at fifty shekels of silver.  If he sanctify his field from the year of jubile, according to thy  estimation it shall stand.  But if he  sanctify his field after the jubile, then the priest shall reckon unto him the  money according to the years that remain, even unto the year of the jubile, and
it shall be abated from thy estimation.  And if he that sanctified the field will in any wise redeem it, then he
shall add the fifth part of the money of thy estimation unto it, and it shall  be assured to him.  And if he will not
redeem the field, or if he have sold the field to another man, it shall not be  redeemed any more.  But the field, when  it goeth out in the jubile, shall be holy unto the LORD, as a field devoted;  the possession thereof shall be the priest’s.  And if a man sanctify unto the LORD a field which he hath bought, which is not of the fields of his possession; 

Then the priest shall reckon unto  him the worth of thy estimation, even unto the year of the jubile: and he shall
give thine estimation in that day, as a holy thing unto the LORD.  In the year of the jubile the field shall return unto him of whom it was bought, even to him to whom the possession of the land did belong.  And all thy
estimations shall be according to the shekel of the sanctuary: twenty gerahs shall be the shekel.  Leviticus
27:14-25

It appears that a field redeemed before the jubilee is  expected to have a short term of value.  It can be redeemed at the jubilee, so it is worth less to the priest.  As such it is pro-rated in value according to the time remaining.  The priest can use it for the time remaining for crops, or perhaps to let others work the land.

People might offer homes, land, livestock, or even their own service to God in that day.  Consider how
we struggle to offer a tithe today.  If we want God he is available to help.  But if you have little material wealth to offer, he will take your time as well.  There are many ways to give service.  And James reminds us that faith without works is dead.  But good works are more thansacrifice.  They are patience, endurance, longsuffering, forgiveness, mercy, and love.

Only the firstling of the beasts,  which should be the LORD’s firstling, no man shall sanctify it; whether it be
ox, or sheep: it is the LORD’s.  And if  it be of an unclean beast, then he shall redeem it according to thine
estimation, and shall add a fifth part of it thereto: or if it be not redeemed, then it shall be sold according to thy estimation.  Notwithstanding no devoted thing, that a man shall devote unto the LORD of all that
he hath, both of man and beast, and of the field of his possession, shall be sold or redeemed: every
devoted thing is most holy unto the LORD. None devoted, which shall be devoted of men, shall be redeemed; but shall surely be put to death.  And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’s: it is holy unto the LORD.  And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof.  And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD.  He shall not search whether it be good or bad, neither shall he change it: and if he change it at all, then both it and the change thereof shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.  These are the commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses for the children of Israel in mount Sinai.  Leviticus 27:26-34

God has spoken.  Man  has his measure now, and the charge to conform to it.  Israel was free to try to meet the
challenge.  They just had a few simple rules to obey.  God had chosen a righteous man in Abraham.  By faith he
would see a nation formed.  This nation was isolated just to demonstrate man’s best effort to obey God.

The life span of man has grown mercifully shorter since Adam.  Watching man fail to obey God could be agony if prolonged for 900 years! We will see many generations of failure before God himself delivers the only victory possible.  Watch for signs and shadows of that deliverance as we tour the Old Testament.

Advertisements