Redemption – Part 1 – Redemption of the firstborn – Pidyon ha’ben

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The five silver shekels for the redemption of the firstborn sonRedemption is quite a complex concept, but we need to understand this in order to comprehend what Y’shua did for us when He redeemed us and to see the future redemption of Israel.

This is the first of a few posts focusing on different aspects of redemption. We shall start off with a study on the redemption of the firstborn, then the Kinsman Redeemer in Part 2. After that, in Part 3,we shall study about what it means to be redeemed. We shall conclude the series with Israel’s future redemption. You can subscribe underneath to ensure that you get to read all four studies in the series.

What is redemption?

In order to fully understand redemption, we need to search the Scriptures, but let us start off with a definition. This does make the study longer, but bear with us, as it does give you a clearer understanding of redemption.

re•deem \ri-ˈdēm\ verb transitive
[Middle English redemen, from Anglo-French redemer, modification of Latin redimere, from re-, red- re- + emere to take, buy; akin to Lithuanian imti to take] 15th century
1 a : to buy back: REPURCHASE
b : to get or win back
2 : to free from what distresses or harms: as
a : to free from captivity by payment of ransom
b : to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental
c : to release from blame or debt : CLEAR
d : to free from the consequences of sin
3 : to change for the better : REFORM
4 : REPAIR, RESTORE
5 a : to free from alien by payment of an amount secured thereby
b (1) : to remove the obligation of by payment 〈the U.S. Treasury redeems savings bonds on demand〉
(2) : to exchange for something of value 〈redeem trading stamps〉
c : to make good : FULFILL
6 a : to atone for : EXPIATE 〈redeem an error〉
b (1) : to offset the bad effect of
(2) : to make worthwhile : RETRIEVE synonym see RESCUE — re•deem•able \-ˈdē-mə-bəl\ adjective 1

We can now go one step further and look at the Hebrew and later the Greek words that were translated as redeem.

Different Hebrew words were translated as redemption; but mainly two: “padah” and “geulim.” “Padah” is meant to be understood as the causation of freedom from bondage or ownership through payment of a price or an equivalent substitute, whereas “geulim” denotes the act of releasing or setting free for a price but in family situations.

“Both roots have to do with redemption by the payment of ransom though it is suggested that gāʾal basically is associated with family situations; hence, the idea of acting as kinsman. 2

 

Redemption in the Apostolic Scriptures

Three different Greek words are used to describe the concept of redemption in the Apostolic Scriptures.

  • Agorazo - which means to buy in a market place. Kind of like a trade center. In Bible days a person could go to a slave market and purchase a slave. http://www.av-1611.com/05Redemp.htm

59 ἀγοράζω [agorazo /ag·or·ad·zo/] v. From 58; TDNT 1:124; TDNTA 19; GK 60; 31 occurrences; AV translates as “buy” 28 times, and “redeem” three times.
1 to be in the market place, to attend it.
2 to do business there, buy or sell.
3 of idle people: to haunt the market place, lounge there.3

Matthew 13:44
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

  • Exagorazo – which means to buy out of the market place. For one reason or another a slave could be purchased out of the marketplace, never to be put up for sale again. http://www.av-1611.com/05Redemp.htm

1805 ἐξαγοράζω [exagorazo /ex·ag·or·ad·zo/] v. From 1537 and 59; TDNT 1:124; TDNTA 19; GK 1973; Four occurrences; AV translates as “redeem” four times.
1 to redeem.
1A by payment of a price to recover from the power of another, to ransom, buy off.
2 to buy up, to buy up for one’s self, for one’s use.
2A to make wise and sacred use of every opportunity for doing good, so that zeal and well doing are as it were the purchase money by which we make the time our own.3

Galatians 3:13
13 Messiah redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”—

  • Lutroo - which means to set free by paying the price. The price of the slave’s freedom is called the ransom price. According to this type of purchase, the ransom price of the slave is paid in his behalf allowing him to be set free, liberated, delivered from bondage. http://www.av-1611.com/05Redemp.htm

3084 λυτρόω [lutroo /loo·tro·o/] v. From 3083; TDNT 4:349; TDNTA 543; GK 3390; Three occurrences; AV translates as “redeem” three times.
1 to release on receipt of ransom.
2 to redeem, liberate by payment of ransom.
2A to liberate.
2B to cause to be released to one’s self by payment of a ransom.
2C to redeem.
2D to deliver: from evils of every kind, internal and external. 3

1 Peter 1:17–19
17 If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Messiah.

What have we learned so far?

We have learned that redemption is the buying back or setting free of a person, animals or land by paying a redemption price.

Now that we understand the concept of redemption, we need to study the context of redemption. In order to understand redemption fully, we need to know who or what was redeemed and what the circumstances surrounding the redemption was.

Who or what can or needs to be redeemed?

The coins for the redmeption serviceThere are many references in the Scripture of redemption.

  • The redemption of the firstborn man and animal (Ex 22:29; Ex 34:20),
  • Slaves can be redeemed (Ex 6:6)
  • Land or property could be redeemed (Lev 25:24-32)
  • A countryman who becomes poor and sells himself, to be a slave, could be redeemed (Lev 25:47-49),
  • Persons and property given in a vow could be redeemed (Lev 27:1-34)
  • A tithe could be redeemed by adding one fifth to the value of it (Lev 25:31-32)
  • Most important for us, we need to be redeemed!

Redemption of the firstborn

With what we learned from the definitions of the words, as background, we can continue with our study of the redemption of the firstborn.

We have redeemed our firstborn son many years ago without really understanding the reason for this commandment. We did it out of obedience and for years we have been wondering what the significance could be. The commandment to redeem the firstborn is not well understood and therefor not often observed in our day. We will endeavor to bring you some understanding with YHVH’s help. We have also included for you the notes from our redemption of the firstborn service. You can just click on the link at the bottom and it will be availble for you to print out as a PDF.

The Hebrew word “padah” is used when it is referred to the redemption of the firstborn.

1734 פָּדָה (pādâ) ransom, rescue, deliver.
Derivatives
1734a פְּדוּיִם (pĕdûyim) ransom (Num 3:49).
1734b פְּדוּת (pĕdût) ransom.
1734c פִּדְיוֹם (pidyôm) ransom.
1734d פִּדְיוֹן (pidyôn) ransom money.
The basic meaning of the Hebrew root is to achieve the transfer of ownership from one to another through payment of a price or an equivalent substitute. The root occurs in Assyrian with the meaning “to spare,” and in Ugaritic it is used in the sense “to ransom” 2

Redemption of the firstborn is referred to in Hebrew as Pidyon Ha’ben whereas the word ” pidyom” is the actual ransom paid.

7017 פִּדְיוֹם (piḏ∙yôm): n.masc.; ≡ Str 6306; TWOT 1734c—LN 37.127–37.138 redemption, ransom, i.e., the paying of an amount or price for the release of someone or something from captivity (Nu 3:49a+), see also 7012 4

 

The firstborn belongs to YHVH

Now that we understand the meaning of the word, we can delve into the rest of the study. For clarification we have to point out to you that the firstborn son need not be the first child, it is the eldest son.

The key to understanding the command to redeem our firstborn is in the book of Exodus and is repeated in the book of Numbers. The firstborn belongs to YHVH, they are His.

Exodus 13:2
2 “Sanctify to Me every firstborn, the first offspring of every womb among the sons of Israel, both of man and beast; it belongs to Me.”

Exodus 22:29
29 “You shall not delay the offering from your harvest and your vintage. The firstborn of your sons you shall give to Me.

Why did YHVH say this? The answer is in Numbers 8:17.

Numbers 8:17
17 “For every firstborn among the sons of Israel is Mine, among the men and among the animals; on the day that I struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I sanctified them for Myself.

The firstborn of the Egyptians, both man and animal, were killed, but Israel’s firstborn sons and animals were spared. Henceforth, they belonged to YHVH.

Why did YHVH specifically choose to judge Egypt in their firstborn? Have you ever considered this?

Israel, YHVH’s firstborn

  • Is was because they, the Egyptians would not let His firstborn go. YHVH has chosen Israel as His firstborn. He called them “ My son, My firstborn.

Exodus 4:22–23
22 “Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says YHVH, “Israel is My son, My firstborn. 23 “So I said to you, ‘Let My son go that he may serve Me’; but you have refused to let him go. Behold, I will kill your son, your firstborn.” ’ ”

Deuteronomy 7:6
6 “For you are a holy people to YHVH your Elohim; YHVH your Elohim has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.

  • The other reason YHVH killed the firstborn of Egypt was to judge their false gods. Pharaoh was considered by himself and his people as a god. They also believed in other gods for the protection of their children. This last plague proved that not Pharoah or their gods had any power.

Exodus 12:12
12 ‘For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments—I am YHVH.

Child sacrifice, abortion and redemption

After Israel left Egypt, they would come into contact with many other nations; pagan nations. Child sacrifice was rampant throughout these nations in ancient times. Their firstborn children were offered in order to appease their gods.

The firstborn of man belongs to YHVH however, He does not require human sacrifice, He hates it! We find many references in Scripture where YHVH condemns this practice.

Leviticus 18:21
21 ‘You shall not give any of your offspring to offer them to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your Elohim; I am YHVH.

Leviticus 20:1–5
1 Then YHVH spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “You shall also say to the sons of Israel: ‘Any man from the sons of Israel or from the aliens sojourning in Israel who gives any of his offspring to Molech, shall surely be put to death; the people of the land shall stone him with stones. 3 ‘I will also set My face against that man and will cut him off from among his people, because he has given some of his offspring to Molech, so as to defile My sanctuary and to profane My holy name. 4 ‘If the people of the land, however, should ever disregard that man when he gives any of his offspring to Molech, so as not to put him to death, 5 then I Myself will set My face against that man and against his family, and I will cut off from among their people both him and all those who play the harlot after him, by playing the harlot after Molech.

This act of sacrificing children to a pagan deities profanes YHVH’s name, remember this as we shall get back to this later.

Deuteronomy 12:31
31 “You shall not behave thus toward YHVH your Elohim, for every abominable act which YHVH hates they have done for their gods; for they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.

In Ezekiel we find another reference to child sacrifice, here YHVH reiterated that theyslaughtered HIS childrenandHe said the children were borne to HIM.

Ezekiel 16:20–21
20 “Moreover, you took your sons and daughters whom you had borne to Me and sacrificed them to idols to be devoured. Were your harlotries so small a matter? 21You slaughtered My children and offered them up to idols by causing them to pass through the fire.

Are we not doing the very same thing in our time? When aborting children, are we not sacrificing children to the god of “money, career or convenience”. Every child that is aborted is a child sacrificed on the altar of one of these idols. Isn’t it ironic that most aborted children would have been firstborns?

The worst part is that we may even be doing it without realizing it. When does life begin according to your understanding?

Jeremiah 1:5
5Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Psalm 139:13–16
13 For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; 16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.

When does life begin? A careful reading of these two verses reveals the truth! Even before a person is formed, YHVH knows him. That is a new life, from the moment conception takes place! However, the definition of when life begins was changed to suit peoples’ conscience.

Did you know that some contraceptive pills and devices cause abortion? Here is a link to an article explaining how a baby dies of starvation when his mother takes a contraceptive pill: http://www.facebook.com/AboveRubiesUS/posts/552758454751335

I was shocked when I read this! Most people don’t know this, I didn’t. I am just as guilty, I never considered this before, have you?

We are sharing this with you because we are all part of the restoration process of the body of Y’shua. We have to deal with and repent of our sins and then do what we are required to do. All of us were once part of Babylon, partaking in her sins, but we have been given a golden opportunity to come out of Babylon and repent of her sins. After that we need to know and follow His way. His way is redemption (in more than one level) and obedience to His Word.

Child sacrifice profanes YHVH’s name

Leviticus 20:3
3 ‘I will also set My face against that man and will cut him off from among his people, because he has given some of his offspring to Molech, so as to defile My sanctuary and to profane My holy name.

YHVH knew people would sacrifice their children, that may be one of the reasons for giving this commandment: to teach people His way. We shall see later how important a commandment the redemption of the firstborn is and how it lifts up His name. He wants us to lift up His name not profane it.

Pass over and redeem

It was fascinating to see that the word that was translated as “devote” means to “pass over”. What does it tell us? It tells us that YHVH wants us to pass our firstborn over and redeem them, just like He passed the firstborn of the Israelites over and redeemed them. This also points to a future redemption, when YHVH will once again pass over and redeem His people.

Exodus 13:12-13
12 you shall devote to YHVH the first offspring of every womb, and the first offspring of every beast that you own; the males belong to YHVH. 13 “But every first offspring of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, but if you do not redeem it, then you shall break its neck; and every firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem.

The word ” devote” is ” abar” and means to pass over

6296 I. עָבַר (ʿā∙ḇǎr): v.; ≡ Str 5674; TWOT 1556—1. LN 15.27–15.33 (qal) pass. over, cross over, travel through, i.e., make linear motion often along a particular route or path (Dt 34:4); 4

The firstborn has always had a very important place within the family. We shall now look at the meaning of the word ” firstborn” in the Hebrew and cultural context.

The firstborn in the Bible

The Hebrew word for firstborn “bekor” share a verbal root with the word “bikkurim” which means first fruits. Knowing this already adds a little to our understanding, but more about this later.

The word “bekor” is a masculine word and, according to Hebrew grammar rules, can be both male or female. However, there is a word for the firstborn female, it is “bekira” as used in Gen 19:31 – the firstborn daughter of Lot; also Gen 29:26 – Laban’s firstborn daughter.

244a בְּכוֹר (bĕkôr) firstborn.
244b בִּכְרָה (bikrâ) young camel.
244c בְּכֹרָה (bĕkōrâ) birthright.
244d בְּכִירָה (bĕkîrâ) firstborn (of women).
244e בִּכּוּרִים (bikkûrîm) firstfruits.
244f בִּכּוּרָה (bikkûrâ) firstfruits.

In the Arabic, the root bakara means “to arise, to be first, to come early” and this is probably the root idea from which the Hebrew connotation has sprung.

In Israel, as in much of the rest of the ancient near east, the firstborn son, Reuben, enjoyed a position of honor and favor. He is called “the first of the (procreative) strength” of the father (Gen 49:3). So noteworthy were departures from this rule, that they became, in C. H. Gordon’s words, “worthy of saga.” As such these departures constitute a literary theme in the Bible (Gen 25:23; etc.) and elsewhere (cf. Ug. Text 128: III:16). The Lord’s choice of Abel over Cain, of Jacob over Esau, of Joseph and Judah over Reuben, of Ephraim over Manasseh, of Moses over Aaron, of David over his brothers, of Solomon over Adonijah, show that he is the Lord of sacred history and that he transcends cultural norms.

Many of the occurrences of bĕkôr simply delineate a particular son as the firstborn, indicating the importance attached to this position (esp. in I Chr, but frequently elsewhere). Among other rights, the firstborn was entitled to a double portion of the inheritance (Deut 21:17), to the father’s blessing (Gen 27; cf. also 48:17–19), and to preferential treatment (Gen 43:33). If there were two sons, the firstborn would receive two-thirds of the inheritance, if three, two-fourths, etc. The firstborn could sell this inheritance (as in Nuzi law—cf. Gen 25:31–34). 2

 

From the above quote, we see the cultural importance of a firstborn son. The firstborn had a special position within the family which entitled him to a double portion inheritance, his father’s blessing, a position of honor and leadership over his brothers. We also see throughout the Scriptures how YHVH departs from this tradition, choosing who He favors as firstborn. This was and still is the same with Israel. We have seen earlier on how He has also chosen Israel to be His firstborn. We may explore this further in a future post…

Redemption of the first born son, A SIGN!

What is the significance of this redemption? It is a sign! Let us show you why we say this.

Exodus 13:2
2 “Sanctify to Me every firstborn, the first offspring of every womb among the sons of Israel, both of man and beast; it belongs to Me.”

Exodus 13 starts off with the instructions for the redemption of the firstborn, then the instructions to keep the feast of Unleavened bread is given. Next, it continues with more detailed instructions on the redemption of the firstborn.

Exodus 13:13–16
13 “But every first offspring of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, but if you do not redeem it, then you shall break its neck; and every firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem. 14 “And it shall be when your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What is this?’ then you shall say to him, ‘With a powerful hand YHVH brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery. 15 ‘It came about, when Pharaoh was stubborn about letting us go, that YHVH killed every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of beast. Therefore, I sacrifice to YHVH the males, the first offspring of every womb, but every firstborn of my sons I redeem.’ 16So it shall serve as a sign on your hand and as phylacteries on your forehead, for with a powerful hand YHVH brought us out of Egypt.”

The redemption of the firstborn is very significant as it is a visible sign or a symbol of YHVH’s deliverance of Israel. This phrase “so it shall serve as a sign on your hand and as phylacteries on your forehead” is used only four times in Scripture. The first time it is used, is just after the instructions for the Feast of Unleavened Bread were given; the second time after the instructions for the redemption of the firstborn son. These instructions for the redemption are neatly tucked in between the two phrases “So it shall serve as a sign on your hand and as phylacteries on your forehead, for with a powerful hand YHVH brought us out of Egypt.

Interesting…

Exodus 13:6–16
6 “For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a feast to YHVH. 7 “Unleavened bread shall be eaten throughout the seven days; and nothing leavened shall be seen among you, nor shall any leaven be seen among you in all your borders. 8 “You shall tell your son on that day, saying, ‘It is because of what YHVH did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ 9And it shall serve as a sign to you on your hand, and as a reminder on your forehead, that the law of YHVH may be in your mouth; for with a powerful hand YHVH brought you out of Egypt. 10 “Therefore, you shall keep this ordinance at its appointed time from year to year. 11 “Now when YHVH brings you to the land of the Canaanite, as He swore to you and to your fathers, and gives it to you, 12 you shall devote to YHVH the first offspring of every womb, and the first offspring of every beast that you own; the males belong to YHVH. 13 “But every first offspring of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, but if you do not redeem it, then you shall break its neck; and every firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem. 14 “And it shall be when your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What is this?’ then you shall say to him, ‘With a powerful hand YHVH brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery. 15 ‘It came about, when Pharaoh was stubborn about letting us go, that YHVH killed every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of beast. Therefore, I sacrifice to YHVH the males, the first offspring of every womb, but every firstborn of my sons I redeem.’ 16“So it shall serve as a sign on your hand and as phylacteries on your forehead, for with a powerful hand YHVH brought us out of Egypt.”

The other two times this phrase is used are both in relation to the keeping of the commandments (Deut 6:8 and Deut 11:18.) The redemption of the firstborn is of great importance as it is a sign of YHVH’s deliverance. Every living, walking, talking Israelite firstborn son is a living testimony of YHVH’s deliverance to this day. Redeeming your firstborn son lifts up YHVH’s name; contrary to child sacrifice that profanes His name.

This commandment is later repeated in Ex 22:29 and Ex 34:20.

The firstborn and the Levites

After this commandment was given in the book of Exodus, the golden calf incident took place and the sons of Levi were faithful to purge evil from among themselves. They were for that reason chosen for service instead of every firstborn son. The following two passages describes this. It is also in this passage in Numbers where the redemption price was given for the first time.

Numbers 3:12–15
12 “Now, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the sons of Israel instead of every firstborn, the first issue of the womb among the sons of Israel. So the Levites shall be Mine. 13 “For all the firstborn are Mine; on the day that I struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, I sanctified to Myself all the firstborn in Israel, from man to beast. They shall be Mine; I am YHVH.” 14 Then YHVH spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, saying, 15 “Number the sons of Levi by their fathers’ households, by their families; every male from a month old and upward you shall number.”

Numbers 3:40–51
40 Then YHVH said to Moses, “Number every firstborn male of the sons of Israel from a month old and upward, and make a list of their names. 41 “You shall take the Levites for Me, I am YHVH, instead of all the firstborn among the sons of Israel, and the cattle of the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the cattle of the sons of Israel.” 42 So Moses numbered all the firstborn among the sons of Israel, just as YHVH had commanded him; 43 and all the firstborn males by the number of names from a month old and upward, for their numbered men were 22,273. 44 Then YHVH spoke to Moses, saying, 45 “Take the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the sons of Israel and the cattle of the Levites. And the Levites shall be Mine; I am YHVH. 46 “For the ransom of the 273 of the firstborn of the sons of Israel who are in excess beyond the Levites, 47 you shall take five shekels apiece, per head; you shall take them in terms of the shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel is twenty gerahs), 48 and give the money, the ransom of those who are in excess among them, to Aaron and to his sons.” 49 So Moses took the ransom money from those who were in excess, beyond those ransomed by the Levites; 50 from the firstborn of the sons of Israel he took the money in terms of the shekel of the sanctuary, 1,365. 51 Then Moses gave the ransom money to Aaron and to his sons, at the command of YHVH, just as YHVH had commanded Moses.

Numbers 8:16–19
16 for they are wholly given to Me from among the sons of Israel. I have taken them for Myself instead of every first issue of the womb, the firstborn of all the sons of Israel. 17 “For every firstborn among the sons of Israel is Mine, among the men and among the animals; on the day that I struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I sanctified them for Myself. 18 “But I have taken the Levites instead of every firstborn among the sons of Israel. 19I have given the Levites as a gift to Aaron and to his sons from among the sons of Israel, to perform the service of the sons of Israel at the tent of meeting and to make atonement on behalf of the sons of Israel, so that there will be no plague among the sons of Israel by their coming near to the sanctuary.”

There is a natural progression in Numbers 18. The exchange of the firstborn for Levites took place as described in Numbers 8. This passage in Numbers 18 describes the duties of the Levites and their portion. The firstborn were part of this portion.

Numbers 18:8
8 Then YHVH spoke to Aaron, “Now behold, I Myself have given you charge of My offerings, even all the holy gifts of the sons of Israel I have given them to you as a portion and to your sons as a perpetual allotment.

The firstborn now belonged to Aaron and his sons and were therefor to be redeemed. Some say that the redemption of the firstborn was not necessary after this but that is not in line with Scripture. The redemption of the firstborn is still valid today!

The redemption price

The redemption of the firstborn was continued after this exchange took place. The passage in Numbers 18 confirms that, and it also confirms that the redemption price remains as five shekels a head.

Numbers 18:14–17
14 “Every devoted thing in Israel shall be yours. 15 “Every first issue of the womb of all flesh, whether man or animal, which they offer to YHVH, shall be yours; nevertheless the firstborn of man you shall surely redeem, and the firstborn of unclean animals you shall redeem. 16As to their redemption price, from a month old you shall redeem them, by your valuation, five shekels in silver, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, which is twenty gerahs. 17 “But the firstborn of an ox or the firstborn of a sheep or the firstborn of a goat, you shall not redeem; they are holy. You shall sprinkle their blood on the altar and shall offer up their fat in smoke as an offering by fire, for a soothing aroma to YHVH.

Some say that the passage in Leviticus 27 is related to the redemption of the firstborn, but we strongly disagree with that view because the context in Leviticus 27 is redemption of people given in a vow.

For a good explanation on Lev 27, you can read this document http://tomhogsed.com/bible-explanation/leviticus-271-34/

Do we still have to redeem our firstborn?

We have seen that the redemption of the firstborn was still to take place after the firstborn was exchanged for the Levites in Numbers 18:14-17. Another confirmation that the redemption of the firstborn was continued is in the book of Nehemiah.

Nehemiah 10:36
36 and bring to the house of our Elohim the firstborn of our sons and of our cattle, and the firstborn of our herds and our flocks as it is written in the law, for the priests who are ministering in the house of our Elohim.

Y’shua as YHVH’s first born was also redeemed

Luke 2:22–2322 And when the days for their purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to YHVH 23 (as it is written in the Law of YHVH, “Every firstborn male that opens the womb shall be called holy to YHVH”),

Why was it necessary for Y’shua to be redeemed?

The answer is simple, it is to show us that He kept YHVH’s instructions perfectly. The Torah commands that a firstborn be redeemed and therfor Joseph and Mary (Miriam) took Him to the Temple to be redeemed.

These two passages, the one in Nehemiah and this one in Luke, makes it quite clear that we are also to observe this commandment. We shall in a future article focus on Y’shua’s redemption of us and how it relates to the redemption of the firstborn.

Conclusion

We have seen through this study how the commandment to redeem our firstborn is:

  • Commanded – it reads “your sons you shall redeem” (Ex 13:13)
  • it is a sign of YHVH’s deliverance
  • it only pertains to firstborn sons
  • the redemption price is five shekels
  • there is a strong contradiction between child sacrifice and redemption – it may even be the extreme opposite of each other.
  • If we were to study the Apostolic Scriptures, we see that Y’Shua was also redeemed on the day after the time of purification was completed.

May you all be blessed as you study and learn more about this commandment!

The Pidyon haBen Service –> here you will find the document that we used.

References

  1. Merriam-Webster, I. (2003). Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary. (Eleventh ed.). Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc.
  2. Coker, W. B. (1999). 1734 פָּדָה. In R. L. Harris, G. L. Archer, Jr. & B. K. Waltke (Eds.), Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (R. L. Harris, G. L. Archer, Jr. & B. K. Waltke, Ed.) (electronic ed.) (716). Chicago: Moody Press.
  3. Strong, J. (2001). Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
  4. Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
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Comments (6)

  • Schalk

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    The Pidyon haben ceremony was earlier known as the Y’shua haben ceremony. We have found a story in the Talmud about the redemption of the firstborn referring to it as the Y’shua haben. Here is the quote from the Talmud and the explanation by Rashi:

    “Rav, Shmuel and Rav Asi met outside the house of a brit mila feast (literally: house of the week of the son). Others say: outside the house of the ‘yeshua haben – saving of the son’”. (Bava Kamma 80a) There seems to be no dispute over the fact that “week of the son” refers to “brit milah” (circumcision) but what is meant by “yeshua haben”?

    Rashi contends that it refers to the feast held for pidyon haben – the redemption of the first born son from a cohen (priest) on the thirtieth day after the son’s birth since the word “yeshua” is translated into Aramaic as “purkan” which is also used for the Hebrew word “pidyon – redemption”. Rabbeinu Tam (Rashi’s grandson) rejects this interpretation. He asserts that “yeshua” refers to a meal marking the “escape” (neemlat) of the child from his mother’s womb. He learned this from the verse quoted above. (Tosafot Bava Kamma 80a s.v. levei yeshua)

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