A Woman’s Worth

"The females were then less esteemed, but not so in Christ; for in Christ Jesus there is neither male nor female" [Matthew Henry's commentary on Gal. 3:28].

Recently a friend of mine was reading through Leviticus in her daily Bible readings. As she finished the book, she came across the valuations in chapter 27:

“Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When a man makes a difficult vow, he shall be valued according to your valuation of persons belonging to the Lord. ‘If your valuation is of the male from twenty years even to sixty years old, then your valuation shall be fifty shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary. Or if it is a female, then your valuation shall be thirty shekels.’” (Lev. 27:2-4, NASB)

She asked me what I thought of the passage. Like me, she is a Reformed Christian woman who affirms inerrancy and the primacy and sufficiency of Scripture. We also both believe that Scripture affirms the value and inherent worth of women. So, what do we make of a passage that seems to suggest women have less monetary value than men?

Sometimes we have to wrestle with difficult passages of Scripture. As the Westminster Confession says, “All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all.” Everything we need to know in order to be saved is clearly taught in the Bible. But some passages are harder to understand than others. This is especially true when dealing with the Old Testament laws.