|First-born, Redemption of |
From the beginning the office of the priesthood in each family belonged to the eldest son. But when the extensive plan of sacrificial worship was introduced, requiring a company of men to be exclusively devoted to this ministry, the primitive office of the first-born was superseded by that of the Levites (Numbers 3:11-13), and it was ordained that the first-born of man and of unclean animals should henceforth be redeemed (18:15).
The laws concerning this redemption of the first-born of man are recorded in Exodus 13:12-15; 22:29; 34:20; Numbers 3:45; 8:17; 18:16; Leviticus 12:2,4.
The first-born male of every clean animal was to be given up to the priest for sacrifice (Deuteronomy 12:6; Exodus 13:12; 34:20; Numbers 18:15-17).
But the first-born of unclean animals was either to be redeemed or sold and the price given to the priest (Leviticus 27:11-13,27). The first-born of an ass, if not redeemed, was to be put to death (Exodus 13:13; 34:20).
These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.
Easton, Matthew George. "Entry for 'First-born, Redemption of'". "Easton's Bible Dictionary".