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Bible Commentaries
Leviticus 24

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - UnabridgedCommentary Critical Unabridged

Verse 1

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 2

Command the children of Israel, that they bring unto thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamps to burn continually.

Command the children of Israel. This is the repetition of a law given, Exodus 27:20-21.

Pure oil olive beaten - or cold-drawn, which is always of great purity.

Verse 3

Without the vail of the testimony, in the tabernacle of the congregation, shall Aaron order it from the evening unto the morning before the LORD continually: it shall be a statute for ever in your generations.

Shall Aaron order it from the evening unto the morning. The daily presence of the priests was necessary to superintend the cleaning and trimming.

Verse 4

He shall order the lamps upon the pure candlestick before the LORD continually. Upon the pure candlestick - so called because of pure gold. This was symbolical of the light which ministers are to diffuse through the Church.

Verses 5-9

And thou shalt take fine flour, and bake twelve cakes thereof: two tenth deals shall be in one cake.

Take fine flour, and bake twelve cakes - for the showbread, as previously appointed (Exodus 25:30). Those cakes were baked by the Levites, the flour being furnished by the people (1 Chronicles 9:32; 1 Chronicles 23:29), oil, wine, and salt being the other ingredients (Leviticus 2:13).

Two tenth deals - i:e., of an ephah, 13 1/2 lbs. weight each; and on each row or pile of cakes some frankincense was strewed, which, being burnt, led to the showbread being called "an offering made by fire." Every Sabbath a fresh supply was furnished: hot loaves were placed on the altar instead of the stale ones, which, having lain a week, were removed, and eaten only by the priests, except in cases of necessity (1 Samuel 21:3-6; also Luke 6:3-4).

Verse 10

And the son of an Israelitish woman, whose father was an Egyptian, went out among the children of Israel: and this son of the Israelitish woman and a man of Israel strove together in the camp;

The son of an Israelitish woman ... This passage narrates the enactment of a new law, with a detail of the circumstances which gave rise to it. The "mixed multitude" (cf. Nehemiah 13:3) that accompanied the Israelites in their exodus from Egypt, creates a presumption that marriage connections of the kind described were not infrequent (cf. 1 Chronicles 4:18). And it was most natural, in the relative circumstances of the two people, that the father should be an Egyptian and the mother an Israelite.

Verse 11

And the Israelitish woman's son blasphemed the name of the LORD, and cursed. And they brought him unto Moses: (and his mother's name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan:)

Blasphemed the name of the LORD. A youth of this half-blood, having quarrelled with a native Israelite, vented his rage in some horrid form of impiety. It was a common practice among the Egyptians to curse their idols when disappointed in obtaining the object of their petitions. The Egyptian mind of this youth thought the greatest insult to his opponent was to blaspheme the object of his religious reverence. He spoke disrespectfully of One who sustained the double character of the King as well as the God of the Hebrew people; and as the offence was a new one, he was put in ward until the mind of the Lord was ascertained as to his disposal.

Verses 12-13

And they put him in ward, that the mind of the LORD might be shewed them.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 14

Bring forth him that hath cursed without the camp; and let all that heard him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation stone him.

Bring forth him ... without the camp. All executions took place without the camp; and this arrangement probably originated in the idea that, as the Israelites were to be "a holy people," all flagrant offenders should be thrust out of their society.

Let all that heard him lay ... The imposition of hands formed a public and solemn testimony against the crime, and at the same time made the punishment legal. But this impressive act implied something more. Those who laid their hands on the head of the criminal devolved the guilt which, in consequence of his crime, might attach to them or to the nation, wholly on him-left his blood on his own head, and solemnly acknowledged the justice of the punishment (cf. Leviticus 4:24; Leviticus 4:29; Leviticus 16:21).

Verse 15

And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Whosoever curseth his God shall bear his sin.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 16

And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the LORD, shall be put to death.

As well the stranger, as he that is born in the land. Although strangers were not obliged to be circumcised, yet by joining the Israelite camp they became amenable to the law, especially that which related to blasphemy. From the decision of the oracle in this case, the Jews derived the superstitious practice of not uttering the name of Yahweh.

Verses 17-22

And he that killeth any man shall surely be put to death.

He that killeth any man. These verses contain a repetition of some other laws relating to offences of a social nature, the penalties for which were to be inflicted, not by the hand of private parties, but through the medium of the judges before whom the cause was brought.

Verse 23

And Moses spake to the children of Israel, that they should bring forth him that had cursed out of the camp, and stone him with stones. And the children of Israel did as the LORD commanded Moses.

The children of Israel did as the Lord commanded. The chapter closes with the execution of Shelomith's son; and stoning having afterward become the established punishment in all cases of blasphemy, illustrates the fate of Stephen, who suffered under a false imputation of that crime.

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Leviticus 24". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfu/leviticus-24.html. 1871-8.
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