(A note to my email subscribers- this is Part I, if you received Part II in your inbox please delete it as I mistakenly hit "send post" rather than "save post." It was a rough draft version. I will post Part II in a few days. Thank you for your patience with my mistake.)
After a Ruby Slippers Retreat, one female leader wrote me with this provocative email:
I have a question: stumbled upon Leviticus 27 tonight and I am troubled by the Lord's disparity between the monetary value of male vs. female. It bothers me that God, when talking to the Israelites, knowing how they valued money, said consistently that the life of a dedicated male had more financial value than that of a female. It doesn’t seem consistent with what we know of Him and his value of us.
Why didn’t God buck the cultural norms and say we’re of equal value? He did lots of other times. It uses the term ‘equivalent values’. That really chides me. The ages of the people change the value, too, though, and we know God’s soul-level opinion of us doesn’t change as we age, and I suppose that is another cultural value he’s confirming. But I don’t like it, either.
What are your thoughts?
In poring over this passage and reading up on it, I figured this passage deserved some public attention.