Leviticus 27 Commentary


The practice of redemption as presented here is difficult to read and actually understand. Many Bible translations offer very little help. GNT and its modern approach is a good resource for understanding chapter 27.

Many saints have gone to God offering to dedicate their lives to the LORD. What isn’t clear to them is that there is a cost when you dedicate your life to the LORD. Chapter 27 is like a cost sheet for dedication or consecration. It’s a fee chart.

There is a different fee depending on age and gender. Females generally get lower fees than their male counterparts. This may reflect men’s role as family heads. We may also suspect that a man’s given role in prosperity (fruitfulness) renders them liable to hefty fees. Some may even be tempted to think of man’s counter-blessing of ‘sweat’ for the difference in fees. He shouldn’t get anything easily.

Fees. Yes, fees but only in name. The system had the poor in mind. A fee was meant to fit the budget for the very poorest of God’s people. It reminds us of the LORD Jesus who invites all to the party, regardless. Importantly the chapter highlights the need to appreciate that there is a cost attached to the Christian walk.

Those who do not carry their own cross and come after me cannot be my disciples.
Luke 14 verse 27. According to Good News Translation.

Many physical items could be dedicated to the LORD: land, property and animals, among many other things. Different fees are defined for different items. Even in the immediate context the system resembled a tax system for various certifications. Presenting this view makes this chapter less attractive, indeed much of Leviticus is like that. But in truth the system represented value in the worship system. There is a cost to following Christ. You don’t just dedicate your life to Christ without losing something of human value. Today the calling may make you lose friends, popularity, and family closeness, among many other things. You may have to give up certain desires, opportunities and certain appetites.  

Leviticus ends here.

The book has been a long instruction book for the priest. The saint as the priest of today has been instructed on means of worship. The symbols we find here are a constant reminder of the need for holiness before the LORD.

Chapter 26 seems to summarize the effort of the book in its reference to fruitfulness and increase as a result of obedience. It is the repeat of the history-long blessing that the LORD has faithfully maintained. It is the adamic blessing of Genesis 1 verse 28, the noahic blessing of Genesis 9 verse 1 and the abrahamic blessing of Genesis 12. The LORD had repeated the blessing to Isaac, then to Jacob and his 12 sons and now the nation in transit to the Promised Land hears it.

Leviticus closes with rules on dedication. Israel will follow the LORD but it will be at a cost. They have to give up something. In the closing lines of Leviticus we hear the LORD Jesus calling out: Those who do not carry their own cross and come after me cannot be my disciples. Luke 14 verse 27. If we decided to select one word to describe Leviticus, then the word ‘sacrifice’ would be the best. It would make the last chapter of Leviticus the highlight of the book as it talks about dedication and the cost or sacrifice required for a close and intimate relationship with the LORD.

Stay blessed.

Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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