273By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz
After tallying the Levites, G-d told Moshe to take a census of the first-born males of the other Tribes from the age of one month and up. There were 22,273. 22,000 were “exchanged” for Levites, but that left 273 who had to be redeemed from service. They had to give 5 shekels a head for the 273 to the kohanim, the same way we give a kohein 5 silver shekels as part of a pidyon haben. Moshe collected 1,365 and turned it over to the kohanim.