Leviticus 27:29


King James Version (KJV)

None devoted, which shall be devoted of men, shall be redeemed; but shall surely be put to death.

American King James Version (AKJV)

None devoted, which shall be devoted of men, shall be redeemed; but shall surely be put to death.

American Standard Version (ASV)

No one devoted, that shall be devoted from among men, shall be ransomed; he shall surely be put to death.

Basic English Translation (BBE)

Any man given completely to the Lord may not be got back: he is certainly to be put to death.

Webster's Revision

None devoted, which shall be devoted by men, shall be redeemed: but shall surely be put to death.

World English Bible

"'No one devoted, who shall be devoted from among men, shall be ransomed; he shall surely be put to death.

English Revised Version (ERV)

None devoted, which shall be devoted of men, shall be ransomed; he shall surely be put to death.

Clarke's Leviticus 27:29 Bible Commentary

Which shall be devoted of men - Every man who is devoted shall surely be put to death; or, as some understand it, be the Lord's property, or be employed in his service, till death. The law mentioned in these two verses has been appealed to by the enemies of Divine revelation as a proof, that under the Mosaic dispensation human sacrifices were offered to God; but this can never be conceded. Had there been such a law, it certainly would have been more explicitly revealed, and not left in the compass of a few words only, where the meaning is very difficult to be ascertained; and the words themselves differently translated by most interpreters. That there were persons, devoted to destruction under the Mosaic dispensation, is sufficiently evident, for the whole Canaanitish nations were thus devoted by the Supreme Being himself, because the cup of their iniquity was full; but that they were not sacrificed to God, the whole history sufficiently declares. Houbigant understands the passage as speaking of these alone; and says, Non alios licebat anathemate voveri, quam Chananaeos, quos jusserat Deus ad internecionem deleri. "It was not lawful to devote any persons to death but the Canaanites, whom God had commanded to be entirely extirpated." This is perfectly correct; but he might have added that it was because they were the most impure idolaters, and because the cup of their iniquity was full. These God commanded to be put to death; and who can doubt his right to do so, who is the Maker of man, and the Fountain of justice? But what has this to do with human sacrifices? Just nothing. No more than the execution of an ordinary criminal, or a traitor, in the common course of justice, has to do with a sacrifice to God. In the destruction of such idolaters, no religious formality whatever was observed; nor any thing that could give the transaction even the most distant semblance of a sacrifice. In this way Jericho was commanded to be destroyed, Joshua 6:17, and the Amalekites, Deuteronomy 25:19; 1 Samuel 15:3 : but in all these cases the people commanded to be destroyed were such sinners as God's justice did not think proper to spare longer. And has not every system of law the same power? And do we not concede such power to the civil magistrate, for the welfare of the state? God, who is the sovereign arbiter of life and death, acts here in his juridical and legislative capacity; but these are victims to justice, not religious sacrifices. It may be necessary just farther to note that two kinds of vows are mentioned in this chapter: -

1. The נדר neder, (see on Leviticus 7 (note))., which comprehends all those things which, when once devoted, might be redeemed at a certain price, according to the valuation of the priest.

2. The חרם cherem, those things vowed to God of which there remained no power of redemption; they were most holy, i. e., so absolutely devoted to God that they could neither be changed, alienated, nor redeemed: probably because no mental reservation had been made, as in the above case may be supposed. On this ground the word was afterward applied to the most solemn and awful kind of excommunication, meaning a person so entirely devoted to the stroke of vindictive justice, as never to be capable of receiving pardon; and hence the word may be well applied in this sense to the Canaanites, the cup of whose iniquity was full, and who were consigned, without reprieve, to final extermination.

Wesley's Leviticus 27:29 Bible Commentary

27:29 Devoted of men — Not by men, as some would elude It; but of men, for it is manifest both from this and the foregoing verses, that men are here not the persons devoting, but devoted to destruction, either by God's sentence, as idolaters, Exodus 22:20; Deuteronomy 23:15, the Canaanites, Deuteronomy 20:17, the Amalekites, Deuteronomy 25:19, and 1 Samuel 15:3,26, Benhaded, 1 Kings 20:42, or by men, in pursuance of such a sentence of God, as Numbers 21:2; 3, or for any crime of an high nature, as Judges 21:5; Joshua 17:15. But this is not to be generally understood, as some have taken it, as if a Jew might by virtue of this Text, devote his child or his servant to the Lord, and thereby oblige himself to put them to death. For this is expressly limited to all that a man hath, or which is his, that is, which he hath a power over. But the Jews had no power over the lives of their children or servants, but were directly forbidden to take them away, by that great command, thou shalt do no murder. And seeing he that killed his servant casually by a blow with a rod was surely to be punished, as is said, Exodus 21:20, it could not be lawful wilfully to take away his life upon pretence of any such vow as this. But for the Canaanites, Amalekites, etc. God the undoubted Lord of all men's lives, gave to the Israelites a power over their persons and lives, and a command to put them to death. And this verse may have a special respect to them or such as them.

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