19. All that openeth the matrix is mine; and every firstling among thy cattle, whether ox or sheep, that is male.
19. Quicquid aperit vulvam, meum est, et omne pecus tuum quod memorabitur inter primogenita boum et ovium.
20. But the firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb: and if thou redeem him not, then shalt thou break his neck. All the first-born of thy sons thou shalt redeem; and none shall appear before me empty.
20. At primogenitum asini redimes ove: quod si non redemeris, tunc cervicem praecides illi: omne primogenitum filiorum redimes.
19. All that openeth the matrix is mine. He here defines what the offering was to be, viz., that they should redeem their children as well as the unclean animals at a price; but that they should bring into the tabernacle whatsoever could be offered in sacrifice. But God would not have their own sons consecrated to Him, because He had chosen the tribe of Levi, as we shall see elsewhere; they were therefore to remain free and in their own power after a pecuniary compensation. In the same way, unclean animals might be applied to domestic purposes, viz., after God's price had been paid, since to Him they belonged, and He claimed them for Himself. But if any should not put so high a value on an ass or other unclean animal, the Law commanded that its neck should be broken; for otherwise it would have been sacrilege to reap profit from God's property, or, what is the same, to transfer to their private use what God had adjudged to Himself.