Arachin 27 - An Acquired Field

One can acquire a field and then consecrate it to the Temple. Since this is an "acquired," not ancestral field, it is redeemed for its market value, not the fifty shekels per measure of barley, and in the Jubilee year it goes back to the ancestral owner, rather than being divided by the Kohanim.

If one bought a field from his father, then his father died, and then he consecrated it, it is treated as an ancestral field, since it could come to him as his inheritance. However, if he consecrated the field first, and afterwards his father died, then it is treated as an acquired field, which is redeemed for its market value.

When the Jubilee year is not in force, the laws are different. All fields are redeemed for their market value. The auction is started by the treasurer telling the owner, who had consecrated the field, "You bid first" since the owner is required to add one-fifth to his redemption price. It once happened that one consecrated an inferior field. He was required to bid first, however, so he offered a small coin. The treasurer told him "The field is yours." The field reverted back to him, and all he accomplished was to loose a small coin.

Art: Ary Scheffer - The Death of Gericault