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favourable to the views of priestcraft, for the concealment of the sciences. The legislator, therefore, who relinquished such an expedient, and at the same time founded his polity on the commandments of a Deity, could be no impostor, but must have been an honest man.”
26. “ Ten women shall bake your bread in one oven.”—In the note to chap. ii. 4, we remarked that in the East it was a general custom for families to bake their own bread in the sort of ovens which we there described. The performance of this duty always falls to the lot of the women. These ovens are, as we have seen, small, and only suited to the use of a family ; but it is by no means impossible to bake at one of them an adequate supply of bread for ten families, although, of course, the process would consume time. We therefore do not, with most expositors, understand scarcity to be implied in the simple fact that ten families baked their bread in an oven for one ; but that ten families, represented by their females, clubbed their dough together, and the produce being no more than an ordinary supply for one family, it was baked in one oven, instead of each family, as usual, making a separate baking. Afterwards, the cakes thus baked were proportioned by weight to the respective contributors—so precious was the bread. This is implied in the words, “shall deliver you your bread again by weight;" which shows that the bread was previously theirs, and had been baked for them, not that it was sold to them by weight.
34. “ The land shall enjoy her sabbaths."-See the note on 2 Chron. xxxvi. 21.
| he shall at all change beast for beast, then I He that maketh a singular vow must be the
it and the exchange thereof shall be holy. Lords. 2 The estimation of the person. 9 Of a
11 And if it be any unclean beast, of beast given by vow. 14 of a house. 16 of a which they do not offer a sacrifice unto the field, and the redemption thereof. 28 No devoted LORD, then he shall present the beast before thing muy be redeemed. 32 The tithe may not be the priest : changed.
| 12 And the priest shall value it, whether And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, it be good or bad: 'as thou valuest it, who · 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and art the priest, so shall it be. say unto them, When a man shall make a 13 But if he will at all redeem it, then singular vow, the persons shall be for the he shall add a fifth part thereof unto thy Lord by thy estimation.
estimation. 3 And thy estimation shall be of the male | 14 | And when a man shall sanctify his from twenty years old even unto sixty years house to be holy unto the LORD, then the old, even thy estimation shall be fifty shekels priest shall estimate it, whether it be good of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary. I or bad: as the priest shall estimate it, so
4 And if it be a female, then thy estima- shall it stand. tion shall be thirty shekels.
15 And if he that sanctified it will redeem 5 And if it be from five years old even his house, then he shall add the fifth part unto twenty years old, then thy estimation of the money of thy estimation unto it, and shall be of the male twenty shekels, and for it shall be his. the female ten shekels.
16 And if a man shall sanctify unto the 6 And if it be from a month old even LORD some part of a field of his possession, unto five years old, then thy estimation shall then thy estimation shall be according to be of the male five shekels of silver, and for the seed thereof: ’an homer of barley sced the female thy estimation shall be three shall be valued at fifty shekels of silver. shekels of silver.
17 If he sanctify his field from the year 7 And if it be from sixty years old and of jubile, according to thy estimation it shall above; if it be a male, then thy estimation stand. shall be fifteen shekels, and for the female | 18 But if he sanctify his field after the ten shekels.
jubile, then the priest shall reckon unto him 8 But if he be poorer than thy estimation, the money according to the years that rethen he shall present himself before the main, even unto the year of the jubile, and priest, and the priest shall value him; ac it shall be abated from thy estimation. cording to his ability that vowed shall the 19 And if he that sanctified the field will priest value him.
in any wise redeem it, then he shall add the 9 And if it be a beast, whereof men bring fifth part of the money of thy estimation an offering unto the LORD, all that any unto it, and it shall be assured to him. man giveth of such unto the LORD shall be 20 And if he will not redeem the field, or holy.
if he have sold the field to another man, it 10 He shall not alter it, nor change it, a shall not be redeemed any more. good for a bad, or a bad for a good : and if I 21 But the field, when it goeth out in the
Heb, according to thy estimation, o priest, &c. ? Or, the land of an homer, &c.
| all that man shalinding no der
: [B.C. 1491. jubile, shall be holy unto the LORD, as al 28 Notwithstanding no devoted thing, field devoted ; the possession thereof shall | that a man shall devote unto the Lord of be the priest's.
all that he hath, both of man and beast, and 22 And if a man sanctify unto the LORD of the field of his possession, shall be sold a field which he hath bought, which is not or redeemed: every devoted thing is most of the fields of his possession;
holy unto the LORD. 23 Then the priest shall reckon unto him | 29 None devoted, which shall be devoted the worth of thy estimation, even unto the of men, shall be redeemed; but shall surely year of the jubile: and he shall give thine be put to death. estimation in that day, as a holy thing unto 30 And all the tithe of the land, whether the LORD.
of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the 24 In the year of the jubile the field shall tree, is the Lord's: it is holy unto the LORD. return unto him of whom it was bought, 31 And if a man will at all redeem ought even to him to whom the possession of the of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth land did belong.
part thereof. 25 And all thy estimations shall be ac- 32 And concerning the tithe of the herd, cording to the shekel of the sanctuary : | or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth otwenty gerahs shall be the shekel.
under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto 26 Only the firstling of the beasts, the LORD. which should be the Lord's firstling, no man 33 He shall not search whether it be shall sanctify it; whether it be ox, or sheep: good or bad, neither shall he change it: and it is the LORD's.
if he change it at all, then both it and the 27 And if it be of an unclean beast, then change thereof shall be holy; it shall not be . he shall redeem it according to thine esti- redeemed. mation, and shall add a fifth part of it 34 These are the commandments, which thereto: or if it be not redeemed, then it the LORD commanded Moses for the chilshall be sold according to thy estimation. | dren of Israel in mount Sinai.
8 Exod. 30. 13. Num. 3. 47. Ezek. 45. 12. 4 Heb. firstborn, &c. 5 Josh. 6. 19.
Verse 2. “ When a man shall make a singular vow."- It is and always has been customary in different countries, and under various systems of religion, for persons in peculiar circumstances of prosperity or dificulty, to vow that they will make certain offerings or devote certain properties to the service of God. To such vows most of this chapter refers. This kind of vow is properly called 77), neller; which it is proper to remark, as the discriminating terms employed in the original enable us in most cases to understand what is intended better than the less marked distinctions of the translation.
“ The persons."- A man might dedicate himself to the service of the sanctuary, and became, as it were, a servant attached thereto. In the same way he might vow his child. Samuel was thus devoted by his mother, and remained in the service of the sanctuary; for that appropriation being apparently satisfactory to all parties, he was not redeemed according to the valuation here fixed for different ages and sexes. The rate of valuation, it will be observed, is low, and might be reduced, at the discretion of the priest, if the person were poor. It would appear that the appropriation of the devoted persons who remained unredeemed was at the discretion of the priest. Their duties were probably of the more servile kind, until after the Gibeonies were enthralled and obliged to do the hard work. We see that Samuel was treated with much consideration by the high-priest.
9. A beast.”—That is, a clean beast, such as was usual for sacrifice or food. This could not be redeemed; and the firstlings, being already consecrated to God, could not be thus devoted.
11. “ Unclean beast.”—Probably an ass, camel, or some other beast of burden ; for it is difficult to understand what other sort of beast a man was likely to devote. This might be redeemed on paying one-fifth more than the estimated value.
16. “ Part of a field.”—This refers to inherited property, which was in ordinary circumstances inalienable. If a man, however, devoted it to the sanctuary, he was at liberty to redeem it on the usual terms-that of giving twenty per cent. beyond the estimated market value of the crops between the time of the transaction and the year of jubilee; but if then it remained unredeemed, it did not revert to the owner, but became the inalienable property of the sanctuary. This singular exception to the general release which the jubilee effected, we do not conceive to have been with any view of accumulating landed property in the hands of the priests, to which the policy of the Mosaical law is evidently averse, but to oblige every man to redeem his property, under the fear of losing it entirely at the jubilee. We must also consider that the nearest kinsman had the right to redeem; and as the Hebrews were strongly averse to let hereditary property go out of the family, it is not likely that the priests could get much land under this law.
22. “ A fielil which he hath bought.”—The view taken in the preceding note seems corroborated by the present direction. Acquired property in land, reverted to the owner at the jubilee in the usual way; while the inherited property, for the perpetuity of which the law is so careful to provide, was then lost. We should have expected the reverse to have been the case, if the object were not to impose on a man a sort of moral obligation to redeem his hereditary land, to prevent its absolute alienation.
28. “ Devoted thing.”—This is not the neder, or common vow, such as we have previously considered, but another and more solemn, called O n , cherem. The difference seems to have depended on the form of the vow, the latter
being accompanied with an anathema or execration, by the devotee, either on himself or others, if that was not done which he declared. We are most familiar with the operation of this bann in the case of cities and persons being, in time of war, devoted to utter destruction ; and it is thought by many, that the 29th verse alludes to such persons devoted solemnly to death. Others, however, understand that remarkable passage to mean no more than that persons devoted by the cherem to the service of the sanctuary were to remain till de ath in that condition, without being redeemed. It is certain that nothing could, as in the former class of vows, be redeemed that was placed under the operation of the cherem, but it is difficult to ascertain how persons were in all cases affected by it. We are inclined to combine both alternatives, and to say, that persons were either put to death, or else inalienably consecrated to the service of the sanctuary, according to the specific object of the vow. Perhaps the obscurity of this law arises from its allusions to consuetudinary practices, which were well known at the time, but of which we are ignorant. It is to be observed that Moses does not enjoin the vow to which this chapter relates, but only regulates the consequences of the act, or rather, perhaps, assigns certain consequences to it.
32. “ Whatsoever passeth under the rod.”—This is understood to be an allusion to the process which, according to the Jewish writers, was followed in taking the tithe. The cattle were placed in an enclosure, with a narrow entrance, through which one only could pass at a time. At this entrance, on the outside, stood a man with a rod marked with ochre, or other colouring matter; and as the animals passed out one by one, he counted them, and let his rod fall on every tenth without distinction; and whatever animal bore the mark thus impressed was taken for the tithe, whether it were male or female, sound or unsound.
NU M B E R S.
12 Of Dan; Ahiezer the son of Ammi
shaddai. 1 God commandeth Moses to number the people. 5 The princes of the tribes. 17 The number of
13 Of Asher ; Pagiel the son of Ocran. every tribe. 47 The Levites are exempted for the
14 Of Gad; Eliasaph the son of Deuel. service of the Lord.
15 Of Naphtali; Ahira the son of Enan.
16 These were the renowned of the conTND the LORD gregation, princes of the tribes of their fa
spake unto thers, heads of thousands in Israel.
were come out he numbered them in the wilderness of of the land of Egypt, saying,
Sinai. 2 "Take ye the sum of all the congrega 20 And the children of Reuben, Israel's tion of the children of Israel, after their fa- | eldest son, by their generations, after their milies, by the house of their fathers, with | families, by the house of their fathers, acthe number of their names, every male by cording to the number of the names, by their their polls;
polls, every male from twenty years old and 3 From twenty years old and upward, all upward, all that were able to go forth to that are able to go forth to war in Israel: war; thou and Aaron shall number them by their 21 Those that were numbered of them, armies.
even of the tribe of Reuben, were forty and 4 And with you there shall be a man of six thousand and five hundred. every tribe; every one head of the house of 22 Of the children of Simeon, by their his fathers.
generations, after their families, by the house 5 T And these are the names of the men of their fathers, those that were numbered that shall stand with you: of the tribe of of them, according to the number of the Reuben; Elizur the son of Shedeur.
names, by their polls, every male from twenty 6 Of Simeon; Shelumiel the son of Zu- / years old and upward, all that were able to rishaddai.
go forth to war; 7 Of Judah; Nahshon the son of Ammi- 23 Those that were numbered of them, nadab.:
even of the tribe of Simeon, were fifty and 8 Of Issachar; Nethaneel the son of nine thousand and three hundred. Zuar.
24 TOf the children of Gad, by their 9 Of Zebulun; Eliab the son of Helon. generations, after their families, by the
10 Of the children of Joseph: of Ephraim; house of their fathers, according to the Elishama the son of Ammihud: of Manas-number of the names, from twenty years seh; Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur.
old and upward, all that were able to go 11 Of Benjamin; Abidan the son of Gi-| forth to war; deoni.
25 Those that were numbered of them,
even of the tribe of Gad, were forty and five and upward, all that were able to go forth thousand six hundred and fifty.
to war; 26 [-Of the children of Judah, by their 39 Those that were numbered of them, generations, after their families, by the house even of the tribe of Dan, were threescore and of their fathers, according to the number of two thousand and seven hundred. the names, from twenty years old and up- 40 Of the children of Asher, by their ward, all that were able to go forth to war; generations, after their families, by the house
27 Those that were numbered of them, of their fathers, according to the number of even of the tribe of Judah, were threescore the names, from twenty years old and upand fourteen thousand and six hundred. ward, all that were able to go forth to
28 Of the children of Issachar, by their war; generations, after their families, by the house 41 Those that were numbered of them, of their fathers, according to the number of even of the tribe of Asher, were forty and the names, from twenty years old and up- one thousand and five hundred. ward, all that were able to go forth to war; 42 Of the children of Naphtali, through
29 Those that were numbered of them, out their generations, after their families, by even of the tribe of Issachar, were fifty and the house of their fathers, according to the four thousand and four hundred.
number of the names, from twenty years old 30 Of the children of Zebulun, by their and upward, all that were able to go forth generations, after their families, by the house to war; of their fathers, according to the number of 43 Those that were numbered of them, the names, from twenty years old and up- even of the tribe of Naphtali, were fifty and vard, all that were able to go forth to war; three thousand and four hundred.
31 Those that were numbered of them, 44 These are those that were numbered, even of the tribe of Zebulun, were fifty and which Moses and Aaron numbered, and the seven thousand and four hundred.
princes of Israel, being twelve men : each 32 Of the children of Joseph, namely, one was for the house of his fathers.., of the children of Ephraim, by their genera- 45 So were all those that were numbered tions, after their families, by the house of of the children of Israel, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of their fathers, from twenty years old and upthe names, from twenty years old and up- ward, all that were able to go forth to war ward, all that were able to go forth to war; in Israel;
33 Those that were numbered of them, 46 Even all they that were numbered een of the tribe of Ephraim, were forty were six hundred thousand and three thouthousand and five hundred.
sand and five hundred and fifty. 34 1 Of the children of Manassch, by 47 9 But the Levites after the tribe of their generations, after their families, by the their fathers were not numbered among house of their fathers, according to the them. number of the names, from twenty years old 48 For the Lord had spoken unto Moses, and upward, all that were able to go forth saying, to war;
49 Only thou shalt not number the tribe 35 Those that were numbered of them, of Levi, neither take the sum of them even of the tribe of Manasseh, were thirty among the children of Israel: and two thousand and two hundred.
50 But thou shalt appoint the Levites 36 9 Of the children of Benjamin, by over the tabernacle of testimony, and over their generations, after their families, by the all the vessels thereof, and over all things house of their fathers, according to the that belong to it: they shall bear the tabcrnumber of the names, from twenty years old nacle, and all the vessels thereof; and they and upward, all that were able to go forth shall minister unto it, and shall encamp to war;
round about the tabernacle. 37 Those that were numbered of them, 51 And when the tabernacle setteth foreven of the tribe of Benjamin, were thirty ward, the Levites shall take it down : and and five thousand and four hundred. when the tabernacle is to be pitched, the
38 Of the children of Dan, by their Levites shall set it up: and the stranger generations, after their families, by the that cometh nigh shall be put to death. house of their fathers, according to the 52 And the children of Israel shall pitch number of the names, from twenty years old | their tents, every man by his own camp, and