Text: Leviticus 27
When a man or woman makes a difficult vow, he or she shall be valued at a set rate depending on their age and sex; however, if they are poor, the priest sets their value. Animals that can be presented as an offering were not to be redeemed, but if it is an animal that could not be used as an offering, the priest sets the value. The value of houses consecrated to the Lord are set by the priest. Fields dedicated to the Lord were to be valued proportionate to the seed required to plant the field, multiplied by the number of years until the jubilee. First born animals could not be redeemed because they are the Lords, unless it is an unclean animal which could be redeemed. Everything set apart to the Lord, is holy to the Lord. All the tithe of the land belongs to the Lord. Anything dedicated to the Lord that a man wants to redeem, one-fifth is added to the value, the price for redemption. Thus concluded the Lord’s commandments given to Moses from Mount Sinai.
All human beings have intrinsic value; therefore, if a man makes a vow to the Lord he must pay the price based on the intrinsic value. Men, women, children and the elderly all had different values but it should be noted, all have an intrinsic value. No human being is without value. All animals and property have value but these are valued by man. The priest is the one who set the price for these.
This might be a difficult text to understand in a twenty-first century context. However, what we should take out of this text is that every single human being has intrinsic value. We should also consider other peoples property and positions as valuable to them. All human life, no matter the sex or age is more valuable than an animal or property. However, we must respect what belongs to other people. The apostle Paul wrote, “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law...Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” (Rom. 13:8, 10)