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honey, and of all the increase of the field, and laid them up in heaps. In the third month they began to lay the foundation of the heaps, and finished them in the seventh month."
A third item of Jewish stipend, was that of every thing devoted to the Lord. This depended, indeed, on the will of the people, but throughout all Judea it must have been considerable. The following was the manner in which these vows were redeemed :—When a male or female of the human species was devoted to the Lord, the estimation was, for a male, between a month old and five years, five shekels, and a female of the same age, three shekels; between five years old and twenty, the male was to be valued at twenty shekels, and the female at ten shekels; between the years of twenty and sixty, a male was to be fifty shekels, and a female thirty shekels; and from sixty years old and upward, the male was to be fifteen shekels, and the female ten shekels." Such was the estimation as to persons in general; but if those who vowed were poor, the priest had the power of lowering the estimation. With regard to beasts accounted clean, when any person vowed one of these to the Lord, it could not be exchanged, even for a better; and if it was exchanged, both the devoted beast and the exchanged became the Lord's. And with respect to beasts accounted unclean, when one of these was vowed, it was valued by the priest, and either redeemed by the owner with a fifth part more than the valuation, or sold to any who chose to buy it at the valuation. In the case of houses that were vowed to the Lord, they were appointed to be valued by the priest, and either redeemed by the proprietor by giving a fifth part more
c Ib, xxvii. 8.
a Num, xvii. 14.
lb, xxviii. 9, 10.
b Lev. xxvii. 1-7.
than the valuation, or considered the property of the priesthood. And as for those who vowed a part of the family inheritance, the estimation of the priest was fixed at fifty shekels for an homer of all the barley-seed required for sowing the land; taking that as the maximum between jubilee and jubilee; but less in proportion to the number of years that had elapsed between these two periods. And if the proprietor wished to redeem his vow, he added a fifth part to the priest's estimation: but if it was either not redeemed at the above price, or was sold to another, it became at the jubilee the property of the priesthood. And when any person vowed land that had been purchased from another, but returnable to the proprietor at the year of jubilee, the priest was to value it, and the intermediate proprietor to pay according to his valuation, but not to add a fifth, because he was not the perpetual proprietor. Such were the regulations concerning things devoted, whether redeemable or not; and every one must see, that they must have considerably augmented the funds of the priesthood.
A fourth item of stipend among the Jews was the firstlings of cattle, or the first calf, lamb, kid, &c. which every cow, ewe, or goat should bring forth;d on account of their having been preserved when those of the Egyptians were destroyed. These must have been a fruitful source of support. They could not be redeemed with money; when eight days old they were delivered in kind:f the blood and fat were offered to Jehovah, and the carcasses were the priests'.s Asses, as being improper for food, were redeemed by a lamb, or else slain."
1 Lev, xxvii, 14, 15.
Ib. xxvii. 16-21.
c Ib. xxvii. 22, 23, 24.
And all the firstlings of unclean beasts were to be redeemed and given to the priests.*
A fifth item was the first fleece of all the sheep;' which, in a pastoral country must have produced much.
A sixth item was the first-born of man, on account of their having been preserved when the first-born of the Egyptians were destroyed;* every male child, that arrived at a month old, was appointed to be redeemed with five shekels, or about 12s. 6d. of our money. And how much this would come to may be ascertained from Num. ïïi. 43, where the first-born males of all Israel, from a month old and upward, are stated to be 22,273. But these are the first-born of a whole generation ; let us therefore divide them by thirty-three, the commonlyassigned length of a generation, and we have six hundred and seventy-three as the average of the first-born males for one year, which at five shekels each, makes 4211. 17s. 6d. Calmet tells us, that the ceremony of redemption among the modern Jews is as follows :-If the first-born be a girl, there is no redemption, let the children afterwards be ever so many; but, if a boy, then, when he is thirty days old, a descendant of Aaron is sent for, who is most agreeable to the father, and the company being met, the father brings gold or silver in a cup or basin, to the value of five shekels at least. Then the child is put into the priest's hands, who asks the mother aloud, whether the boy be her's? And if she had any other male, or female, or untimely birth ? To all of which, when satisfactory answers are given, the priest declares that the child, as first-born, belongs to him, but that he is willing to restore him to his lawful parent, on receiving the money which the law enjoins. The money in the cup is accordingly delivered, being more or less, according to the ability of the parent, and the day is concluded with rejoicing. But if the father or mother be of the family of Aaron, they do not redeem their first-born. Buxtorff adds several other circnmstances to those of Calmet; for their usages are different in different countries.
e Num, viii. 17.
Lev. xxviii, 27.
b Deut. xviii. 4.
A seventh item of Jewish stipend was, the tenth of the tithes, which the Levites collected as their right, throughout the tribes. They were commanded to devote that part as a heave-offering to Jehovah; which, like all the other heave-offerings, belonged to the priests. What the value of this tenth of the whole tithes of Israel might be, it is impossible to say: but in a district of two hundred miles long, by above one hundred broad, taking in both the sides of Jordan, it could not be trifling
An eighth item was, the fifth part that was added to every estimation of trespass, in the things of the Lord.
Lastly, the fruit was unclean for the first three years, of all the trees that were planted; but, in the fourth year, all the fruit was the Lord's; and, consequently, the property of the priesthood."
Such were the funds allotted to the priests; and if the consideration of their amount should create a suspicion, that part of them was intended for the use of the Temple, it may be remarked, that the half shekel, which was enjoined in Exod. xxx. 11–16, to be paid by every male of twenty years old and upwards, for the service of the sanctuary, when they were numbered, and whose value and application at that time are particularly mentioned in Exod. xxxviji. 25—28, became afterwards a
Synag. Juda. cap. 6. c Lev. v. 15, 16.
b Num, xviii. 26-31.
Ib, vix. 23, 24.
yearly tax, and was regularly collected by the proper persons, before and at the feast of the passover. Now, what would have been the use of these half shekels, if the ordinary expenses had been defrayed out of the funds appropriated to the priesthood ? Must it not be obvious to every one, that so large a sum, rigidly exacted, was fully equal to the annual ordinary expenses? Nor are we to suppose
that these half shekels were confined to Judea, for they were paid by every proselyte; and, in Josephus, we have the decrees of Augustus to the Roman empire; of Agrippa to the Ephesians and people of Cyrene; of Flaccus, the proconsul, to the Sardinians, and of Antonius, the proconsul, to the Ephesians, forbidding any to prevent the sacred money from being sent to Jerusalem. And we are further told, that the Jews in Babylon, depending on the strength of the cities Neerda and Nisibis, “ deposited in them that half shekel, which every one, by the custom of their country, offered to God; as well as the other things they had devoted to him; for they made use of these cities as a treasury, whence, at a proper time, they were transmitted to Jerusalem ; and many thousand men,” adds Josephus, “ undertook the carriage of these donations, out of fear of the ravages of the Parthians, to whom the Babylonians were then subject."
On the festivals, the priests were supplied in the following way :-From those nine parts, which remained to the proprietors of Judea, after the tithe was paid to the Levites, they took another tenth part, which was either carried to Jerusalem in kind, or if that they were too far, they sent the value of it in money, adding thereto a fifth from the whole, as the rabbins inform us;d in
a Ps. lxviii. 30.
b Antiq. xvi. 6.