Chapter 27 is a type of tagline after the conclusion found in chapter 26. God features these guidelines for personal vows and offerings after the conclusion as a reminder that these offerings are not given from command, but of the people’s free will.
What does this tell me about God:
- God expresses his value for freewill offerings.
God could have viewed the people’s personal vow offerings as insignificant gifts. After all, God is the creator and owner of all things, so what is a personal gift from a human worth to Him? But God’s perspective is different. He expresses his appreciation for the people’s gifts by giving guidelines and weight to them. These guidelines ensured the people to also see their vows as significant, and to not approach these offerings with a willy-nilly attitude.
How can I live in light of this:
- No thoughts: these parameters are specific to the Israelite freewill offering.
Other thoughts or questions:
- I was confused about the idea of consecrating a gift for God, then redeeming it back.
The Bible Knowledge Commentary helped me unpack this concept. A person could make a vow to God, dedicating themselves, their property, or other people to be set apart for His use (as Hannah did regarding the birth of her long-awaited child in 1 Samuel 1). They could then offer a monetary payment in exchange for the dedicated item/person. In this way, they could redeem the item/person back, as each circumstance allowed, but still fulfill their personal gift to God. A redemption payment, or assessment, for an adult male equaled 50 month’s earnings. My commentary notes that this kind of equivalent kept people from making reckless offerings.
- Verse 34 serves as a definitive marker, signifying the end of God’s list of expectations for His nation.