What is "consecration" in Exodus 13:12?

Hello,

I am trying to understand what God means when Exodus says that “every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord.” Does this mean in the sense of the Levitical priesthood, or something else?

Thanks!

Well… yes and no.

It means they, the firstborn, will be consecrated to the Lord, which means they will be the priests of Israel. Then, because of “Calf-Gate”, the first borns lose their role as priests. This role is handed over to the tribe of Levite, due to their lack of taking part in the “festivities” that were going on around the golden calf.

Hi Not,

It means they, the firstborn, will be consecrated to the Lord, which means they will be the priests of Israel.

Your conclusion that they will be priests is unfounded. The whole context shows that the first born (man or beast) does belong to the Lord, but there is nothing about priesthood. They must be bought back.

When the Levites volunteer to massacre their countrymen in 32,25ff, they don’t single out first borns. They are rewarded for having chosen Yahweh.

Verbum

Excellent answer and it made me laugh when I read “Calf-gate”. Thanks, I needed that.

FSC

This verse may not indicate priesthood, but we know that it was the role of the firstborn in Israel to be priests.

Thanks! What makes me laugh during this incident is, after Moses cries out, "“Whoever is for the LORD, let him come to me!” I can imagine numerous Israelites trying to put their robes and sandals back on trying to act innocent. I can see one guy hopping on one foot, trying to lace up his sandals, saying, “Yeah, I’m with you Moses, just give me a sec.”

And then there’s also the great line of Aaron’s, '"So I told them, ‘Let anyone who has gold jewelry take it off.’ They gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and this calf came out." :wink:

Hi Not,

This verse may not indicate priesthood, but we know that it was the role of the firstborn in Israel to be priests.

It is not clear, but it may have been so in the primitive period of Israel. Later it is clear that only Aaron and his male descendants can be priests, the Levites being of a second order, to assist the priests. (See Exodus 28,1ff and Leviticus 22, 1ff)

The subject is treated excellently in the chapter on The Religion of Israel, sections e and following of A Catholic commentary on Holy Scripture, New York [etc] Thomas Nelson & Sons, Bernard Orchard ed.[copyright 1955]

Verbum

Wow, I couldn’t have said it better. But I tried in post #2. :wink:

Nice discussion!!!
I am so lucky to go over this thread.
:thumbsup:

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