Verse 43. "All the first-born males-were twenty and two thousand two hundred and threescore and thirteen." - Thus we find there were 273 first-born beyond the number of the Levites. These are ordered, ver. 46, to be redeemed; and the redemption price is to be five shekels each, ver. 47, about 15s. And this money, amounting to 1, 365 shekels, equal to ú204 15s. English, he took of the first-born of Israel, verse 50. But how was this collected among 22, 273 persons? Rabbi Solomon Jarchi says, "to prevent contention, Moses took 22, 000 slips of parchment, and wrote on each a son of Levi, and 273 others, on which he wrote five shekels; then he mixed them in a basket, and each man took out one; those who drew the slips on which five shekels were written, paid the money; the others went free." This is a most stupid and silly tale, for such a mode of settlement never could have been resorted to by an intelligent people. It would have been much more simple to have paid it out of a general fund; and it is very likely that in this way the expense was defrayed. This species of redeeming of men is referred to by St. Peter, 1 Pet. i. 18, 19: "Ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation, received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious (timiw aimati, valuable) blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot," &c. And it is not the first-born only which are thus redeemed, for he, by the grace of God, tasted death for EVERY man; Heb. ii. 9. Reader, give glory to God that such a ransom has been paid for thy soul, and see that, redeemed from thy vain conversation, thy empty, fruitless, and graceless observances, on which thou hast built thy hopes of salvation, thou walk in newness of life, giving thy whole soul with thankfulness unto the Father who hath translated thee from darkness, and placed thee in the kingdom of his beloved Son. To Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever! Amen.