In Bible days you could pledge a “vow-offering”, of the value of a person, to the Temple. This would be a set amount of money. Here’s the price list:
· A man between ages 20 and 60 – fifty shekels
· A woman between ages 20 and 60 – thirty shekels.
· A boy from 5 to 20 years old – twenty shekels.
· A girl from 5 to 20 years old – ten shekels.
· A little one from one month to 5 years old – five shekels for boys, three shekels for girls.
· A man over 60 – fifteen shekels.
· A woman over 60 – ten shekels.
Now here’s the interesting thing: If you sank into poverty after you made the vow, you could go before the priest and have the priest make a cut rate assessment of your worth. And that assessment amount wass what you would have to pay (with 20% tacked on.)
Food for Thought
Why do you think people made these pledges of large value to the Temple? What do you think of the different values placed on old and young, male and female?