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Question: The Firstborn DonkeyWritten by Jacob Prasch
A reader submitted the following question:
Can you explain why the firstborn donkey should be redeemed with a lamb, or its neck broken?
"But every first offspring of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, but if you do not redeem it, then you shall break its neck; and every firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem. (Exodus 13:13)
As we know, the lamb is a picture of Christ. The firstborn of each kept species belonged to the Lord according to the Torah but would not have to die if redeemed. For humans it was 1/2 shekel of silver (as Christ was betrayed/sold for silver) as the price of redemption prefiguring the salvation by Christ who was sold for silver. Other animals were figures of people. A donkey ("hamor" in Hebrew) in biblical typology is a picture of stubborn thick headed people (God calls the stubborn "stiff necked"). It either gets redeemed by the lamb or its neck is broken and killed. So stubborn people either get saved by Jesus or their stubborness damns them.
There is more to it than this but I really hate trying to explain typologies and complex subjects by email. This is the short "nutshell" version.
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