[b-hebrew] Ex 13:15 "Firstborn of my sons"

Kevin Graham kevlds at hotmail.com
Tue Aug 30 20:51:09 EDT 2005


Thanks Harold. The last sentence in the verse just seems to be 
self-contradictory. It says the firstborn males of every womb was to be 
"sacrificed" with the firstborn animals (suggesting sacrificed in the same 
manner) and then in the same breath it says the firstborn were "redeemed."

It is hard to figure out if child sacrifice was actually condoned or 
commanded, originally. I know it was later stated (unambiguously) that the 
Levites were to take the place of firstborn sacrifices.


>From: "Harold R. Holmyard III" <hholmyard at ont.com>
>To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
>Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Ex 13:15 "Firstborn of my sons"
>Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2005 19:40:20 -0500
>
>Dear Kevin,
>
> >Ex 13:15 "It came about, when Pharaoh was stubborn about letting us go, 
>that
> >the LORD killed every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn 
>of
> >man and the firstborn of beast. Therefore, I sacrifice to the LORD the
> >males, the first offspring of every womb, but every firstborn of my sons 
>I
> >redeem."
> >
> >This seems to imply that by sacrificing his firstborn, that Moses redeems
> >(delivers, saves, rescues) his future firstborn grandsons. Now I've been
> >told that the Hebrew phrase translated "firstborn of my sons" simply 
>means
> >"my firstborn sons."
> >
> >Is this true? If so, I wonder why most Bible translations retain the
> >ambiguity - as far as I can tell only the NIV and NLT have changed it.
>
>HH: You are just expected to understand that that's what it means, I
>guess. The law was to deal with one's own firstborn, not those of his
>children. This is not Moses talking about himself but about the
>Israelite who will enter into Canaan.
>
>				Yours,
>				Harold Holmyard
>
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