This practice came about because of what happened when the Israelites left Egypt. One of the first things the Israelites did to commemorate this first step to the Promised Land was to sacrifice an animal. God told the people: “Dedicate to me all the firstborn sons of Israel and every firstborn male animal. They are mine.” (NLT, Exodus 13:1) The Israelites did not have to sacrifice their firstborn children. Instead, the children were redeemed. Redemption was accomplished when the child’s parents paid a price to the priest.