“If the animal is an unclean one, such as may not be used in an offering to Adonai, he must set it before the cohen; and the cohen is to set a value on it in relation to its good and bad points; the value set by you the cohen will stand. But if the person making the vow wishes to redeem the animal, he must add one-fifth to your valuation.”-Leviticus 27:11-13
In my last post, I discussed how ritually CLEAN animals used for vow offerings could NOT be redeemed or purchased back because they had become God’s HOLY property.
However, verse 11 talks about a ritually UNCLEAN animal being used for the vow offerings.
A ritually UNCLEAN animal CAN be redeemed (bought back with money) since it can’t be used for sacrifice and the priests don’t eat ritually unclean animals.
Understand when I use the terms “ritually clean” and “ritually unclean”, I’m not talking about the difference between kosher and un-kosher animals like the difference between a cow and a pig for instance.
When I say “ritually clean”, I’m referring to a kosher animal that was suitable for altar sacrifice and “ritually unclean” is an animal NOT suitable for altar sacrifice.
We are told that when a ritually unclean animal is redeemed “one-fifth to the valuation” or a 20% surcharge must be added.
Verse 14 transitions from talking about animate life (humans and animals) to inanimate things (property, homes etcetera).
From verse 14, a new word used to refer to the inanimate things given with the vows made is introduced.
This new word is “consecrate” or “consecrations“.
Based on the meaning of the word “consecrate” (which means to set apart), these things are set apart for God but not necessarily as part of a vow.
They were more sort of like freewill gifts.
And just the same as when someone wanted to redeem a ritually UNCLEAN animal, if someone who had consecrated his house wanted to get it back, he had to cough up the cash equivalent of 120% of the market value.
Next we are presented with the situation of someone consecrating his land.
In this case, the value of the land was determined by the crop value.
Recall we studied this when we were dealing with the Jubilee in chapter 25.
All the laws of Jubilee still apply in this case.
The redemption price is based on the number of years worth of crops and when the year of Jubilee comes around, the original owner will get his land back.