Under the Law of Moses, God gave instructions for the proper fulfillment of vows of persons, animals, houses, and land that an Israelite dedicated to His service.
We previously established that some Israelites took a special purity vow known as the Nazarite vow. Others might vow service of themselves, other persons, their livestock, houses, or land to GOD.
When these vows were made, a value needed to be assigned to these people and things so that they could be redeemed at a fair price.
Here is what the Law said:
Value of Persons
1 Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, ‘When a man vows a vow to the Lord equivalent to the value of his soul, 3 and if your valuation is of a male from twenty years old up to sixty years old, his valuation shall be fifty didrachm of silver, according to the pure measure. 4 But if it is of a female, your valuation shall be thirty didrachm; 5 and if from five years old up to twenty years old, your valuation for a male shall be twenty didrachm, and for a female ten didrachm; 6 and if from a month old up to five years old, your valuation for a male shall be five didrachm of silver, and for a female, three didrachm of silver; 7 and if from sixty years old and above, if it is a male, then your valuation shall be fifteen didrachm, and for a female ten didrachm. 8 But if he is too poor to pay your valuation, he shall present himself before the priest, and the priest shall set a value for him; according to the ability of him who vowed, the priest shall value him.Leviticus 27:1-8 OSB
Value of Animals
9 If they bring from the cattle a gift to the Lord, whoever gives from these to the Lord, his gift shall be holy. 10 He shall not change it, good for bad or bad for good; and if he changes it at all, cattle for cattle, then both it and that which is changed shall be holy. 11 But if it is any unclean animal which they do not offer as a gift to the Lord, he shall present the animal before the priest; 12 and the priest shall set a value for it, whether good or bad; and as the priest values it, so it shall stand. 13 But if he wants at all to redeem it, then he must add one-fifth to his valuation.Leviticus 27:9-13 OSB
Value of Houses
14 And when a man sanctifies his house to be holy to the Lord, then the priest shall set a value for it, whether good or bad; as the priest values it, so it shall stand. 15 If he who sanctified his house wants to redeem it, he must add one-fifth of the silver of its valuation, and it shall be his.Leviticus 27:14-15 OSB
Value of Land
16 Now if a man sanctifies part of the field of his possession to the Lord, then the valuation shall be according to the seed required for it: a cor of barley for fifty didrachm of silver. 17 If he sanctifies part of his field from the Year of Remission, according to his valuation it shall stand. 18 But if he sanctifies his field subsequently after the Jubilee, the priest shall reckon to him the silver due according to the years that remain till the Year of Remission, and it shall be deducted from his valuation. 19 And if he who sanctifies the field ever wishes to redeem it, he must add one-fifth of the silver to his valuation, and it shall belong to him. 20 But if he does not want to redeem the field, or if he has sold the field to another man, it shall not be redeemed anymore; 21 but the field, when it is released in theLeviticus 27:16-25 OSB
Remission, shall be holy to the Lord, as a field set apart; it shall be the possession of the priest. 22 But if a man sanctifies to the Lord part of a field he bought which is not the field of his possession, 23 then the priest shall reckon to him its full assessment from the Year of Remission, and he shall pay its valuation on that day as holy to the Lord. 24 Then in the Year of Remission, the field shall return to the man from whom he bought it, to the one who owned the land as a possession. 25 Now all your valuations shall be according to the pure measures: twenty obols to the didrachm.
GOD clarified that these dedications could not conflict with those things He had previously instructed to be dedicated to Him, such as the firstborn son and livestock.
No Vow of First Things
26 But the firstborn of your cattle, which shall be the Lord’s firstborn, no man shall sanctify, whether a young calf or sheep; it is the Lord’s. 27 Now if it is an unclean four-footed animal, he shall change it according to his valuation; and he shall add one-fifth to it, and it will be his. But if it is not redeemed, it shall be sold according to his valuation.Leviticus 27:26-27 OSB
No Vow of Devoted Things
28 Nevertheless, any devoted thing a man may devote to the Lord of anything he has, man or animal, or part of the field of his possession, shall not be sold or redeemed; every devoted thing is most holy to the Lord. 29 Furthermore, people devoted to the Lord shall not be redeemed, but shall surely be put to death.Leviticus 27:28-29 OSB
No Vow of Tithes
30 Now all the tithe of the land, whether seed of the land or fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s. It is holy to the Lord. 31 If a man wants at all to redeem his tithe, he shall add one-fifth to it, and it will be his. 32 Now concerning the tithe of the oxen or the sheep, of whatever passes in the numbering under the rod, the tenth one shall be holy to the Lord. 33 You shall not change good for bad; but if he changes it at all, both it and that which is changed shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.’”
34 These are the commandments the Lord commanded Moses for the children of Israel on Mount Sinai.Leviticus 27:30-34 OSB