Other Translations of Exodus 30:12
King James Version
12 When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, their number: Heb. them that are to be numbered then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the Lord, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them.
English Standard Version
12 "When you take the census of the people of Israel, then each shall give a ransom for his life to the Lord when you number them, that there be no plague among them when you number them.
12 "When you take a head count of the Israelites to keep track of them, all must pay an atonement-tax to God for their life at the time of being registered so that nothing bad will happen because of the registration.
New King James Version
12 "When you take the census of the children of Israel for their number, then every man shall give a ransom for himself to the Lord, when you number them, that there may be no plague among them when you number them.
New Living Translation
12 "Whenever you take a census of the people of Israel, each man who is counted must pay a ransom for himself to the Lord . Then no plague will strike the people as you count them.
Matthew Henry's Commentary on Exodus 30:12
Commentary on Exodus 30:11-16
(Read Exodus 30:11-16)
The tribute was half a shekel, about fifteen pence of our money. The rich were not to give more, nor the poor less; the souls of the rich and poor are alike precious, and God is no respecter of persons, Acts 10:34; Job 34:19. In other offerings men were to give according to their wordly ability; but this, which was the ransom of the soul, must be alike for all. The souls of all are of equal value, equally in danger, and all equally need a ransom. The money raised was to be used in the service of the tabernacle. Those who have the benefit, must not grudge the necessary charges of God's public worship. Money cannot make atonement for the soul, but it may be used for the honour of Him who has made the atonement, and for the maintenance of the gospel by which the atonement is applied.