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Harmony Of The Law Volume 2 by Jean Calvin

Numbers 5:8

8. But if the man have no kinsman to recompense the trespass unto, let the trespass be recompensed unto the LORD, even to the priest; beside the ram of the atonement, whereby an atonement shall be made for him.

8. Si non fuerit viro redhibitor cui restituat delictum, delictum restituetur Jehovae, sacerdotis erit, procter arietem expiationum quo expiebit eum.

8 But if the man have no kinsman. This passage, which I have inserted from chapter 5 is connected indeed with another subject, and yet, because it directly refers to the right of the priests, it was necessary to remove it to this place, especially since it expresses that kind of sacrifice which Moses has lately adverted to, i.e., when they expiated the crime of theft. God did not indeed desire that the priests should be enriched by others' losses, nor that thieves should go free, if they offered what they had stolen to the priests; but, if there were no one to whom they could restore it, He would have their houses delivered from (the proceeds of) their sin; and with very good reason, since otherwise the very gross offender would have never hesitated to plunder the goods of a dead man, if he were without heirs. First, therefore, He commanded their property to be restored to the lawful owners; and, if they were dead, He substituted their kinsmen, who are called g'lym, goelim, on account of the right of redemption, which God granted in the Law to relatives, as we shall see elsewhere; and because he who was next of kin was commanded to marry the widow of one who had left no seed. It was therefore a very uncommon thing that a person who had defrauded another had to recompense the loss to the priest; for in most cases some successor to the dead man would be found.

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