According to Roland de Vaux, there is no evidence that the Israelites took this imperative literally. While the first-born may have been “dedicated” to Yahweh, they were not necessarily sacrificed to him as the animals were. See R. de Vaux, Ancient Israel, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1965, pp. 443–44; P. G. Mosca, Child Sacrifice in Canaanite and Israelite Religion, pp. 237–38.