Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, September 21st, 2023
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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Bible Commentaries
Leviticus 24

Poole's English Annotations on the Holy BiblePoole's Annotations



The oil for the lamps, Leviticus 24:1-4.

The shew-bread, Leviticus 24:5-9.

Shelomith’s son blasphemeth, Leviticus 24:10-12.

The law of blasphemy, Leviticus 24:13-16.

Of murder, Leviticus 24:17.

Of damage, Leviticus 24:18-22.

The blasphemer is stoned, Leviticus 24:23.

Verse 2

That they bring, at their common charge, because it was for their common good and service. This command was given before, Exodus 27:20.

Verse 3

The veil of the testimony, i.e. which was before the ark of the testimony.

Shall Aaron order it; either by himself, or by his sons, Exodus 25:37.

Verse 4

So called, partly because it was made of pure gold, partly because it was to be oft dressed and always kept clean.

Verse 5

Thou shalt take; by the priests or Levites, whose work it was to prepare them, 1 Chronicles 9:32.

Twelve cakes, representing the twelve tribes.

Two tenth deals, i.e. two omers. See Leviticus 23:13.

Verse 6

Not one above another, but one beside another, as the frankincense put upon each, Leviticus 24:7, shows. The pure table was so called because it was covered with pure gold, Exodus 25:24, and because it was always to be kept very pure and clean by the care of the priests.

Verse 7

Pure frankincense, unmixed and uncorrupted, or of the best sort.

That it may be on the bread, or to the bread, or for the bread, to wit, to be burnt before the Lord instead of the bread, which could not conveniently be offered to God in that manner. And this was done every time that the bread was changed.

For a memorial; for that part which properly belonged to God, whereas the rest belonged to the priest. See Poole "Leviticus 2:2".

Verse 8

Before the Lord, whence it was called the shew-bread, Heb. the bread of faces, or of presence, i.e. the bread which was put upon the table in the Lord’s presence.

Being taken; such supplements are not unusual. Thus in the floor, 1 Kings 22:10, is put for sitting in the floor, 2 Chronicles 18:9; and burdens, 2 Chronicles 2:18, for carrying burdens, 1 Kings 5:15. And these cakes are said to be received from or offered by

the children of Israel, because they were bought with the money which they contributed, as may be seen Nehemiah 10:32,Nehemiah 10:33; as Judas is said to purchase the field, Acts 1:18, which was purchased by his money, Matthew 27:7. By an everlasting covenant; by virtue of that compact made between me and them, by which they are obliged to keep this amongst other commands, and, they so doing, I am obliged to be their God, and to bless them. And this may be here called

an everlasting covenant, not only because it was to endure as long as the Jewish religion and polity stood, but also because this was to stand there everlastingly, or continually, as is here said, and therefore the new cakes were first brought before the old were taken away.

Verse 9

i.e. The old bread now to be taken away.

Of the offerings, or, as one or being one of the offerings, &c., in regard of the incense which was offered by fire, and that for or instead of the bread, as was said on Leviticus 24:7, and therefore the broad was reputed as if it had been so offered.

Verse 10

Whose father was an Egyptian: this circumstance seems noted, partly to show the danger of marriages with persons of wicked principles or practices, wherein the children, as one wittily and truly observes, like the conclusion, do commonly follow the worse part, and are more easily taught by word or example to do ten things agreeable to their corrupt natures, than one thing contrary to it; and partly by this severity against him who was a stranger by the father, and an Israelite by the mother, to show that God would not have this sin to go unpunished amongst his people, whatsoever he was that committed it.

Went out, to wit, out of Egypt, being one of that mixed multitude which came out with the Israelites, Exodus 12:38. It is probable this was done when the Israelites were near Sinai.

Strove together: this is added to show that provocation to sin is no justification of sin.

Verse 11

The name of the Lord: the words of the Lord, or of Jehovah, are here conveniently supplied out of Leviticus 24:16, where they are expressed, but here they are omitted for the aggravation of his crime. He

blasphemed the name, so called by way of eminency; that name which is above every name; that name which a man should in some sort tremble to mention; which is not to be named without cause and without reverence. For which reason the godly Jews did many times rather understand than express the name of God, as Mark 14:62, the right hand of power, for of the power of God, as it is Luke 22:69; and the Blessed for the blessed God, Matthew 26:63 Mark 14:61. And cursed, not the Israelite only, but his God also, as appears from Leviticus 24:15,Leviticus 24:16.

They brought him; either the people who heard him, or the inferior magistrate, to whom he was first brought.

Unto Moses, according to the order settled by Jethro’s advice, Exodus 18:26.

Verse 12

For God had only said in general, that he would not hold such guiltless, i.e. he would punish them, but had not declared how he would have them punished by men.

Verse 14


laying their hands upon his head they gave public testimony that they heard this person speak such words, and did in their own and in all the people’s names desire and demand justice to be executed upon him, that by this sacrifice God might be appeased, and his judgments turned away from the people, upon whom they would certainly fall if he were unpunished.

Stone him; the same punishment which was before appointed for those who cursed their parents, whereas it deserved a far more grievous death, Thus God in this life mixeth mercy with judgment, and punisheth men less than their iniquities deserve.

Verse 15

i. e. Speaketh of him reproachfully, and with contempt. They therefore are greatly mistaken that understand this of the heathen gods, whom their worshippers are forbidden to reproach or curse. But Moses is not here giving laws to heathens, but to the Israelites; nor would he concern himself so much to vindicate the honour of idols; nor doth this agree either with the design of the holy Scriptures, which is to beget a contempt and detestation of all idols and idolatry, or with the practice of the holy prophets, who used oft to vilify them. See 1 Kings 18:27; Jeremiah 10:11.

Shall bear his sin, i. e. the punishment of it; shall not go unpunished. Some say he was to be beaten with stripes, others say with death, which is described Leviticus 24:16.

Verse 16

He that blasphemeth the name of the Lord: this some make a distinct sin from cursing his God, mentioned Leviticus 24:15, but the difference they make seems arbitrary, and without evidence from reason, or the use of the words. And therefore this may be a repetition of the same sin in other words, which is common. And as this law is laid down in more general terms, Leviticus 24:15, so both the sin and the punishment are more particularly expressed, Leviticus 24:16. Or the first part of Leviticus 24:16 be an application of the former rule to the present case. And as for him that blasphemeth, &c., or is blaspheming, &c. in the present tense, which is fitly used concerning words just now uttered, and scarce yet out of their ears, he shall, &c. And so the following words,

as well the stranger, & c., may be a repetition and amplification of the former law.

All the congregation shall stone him, to show their zeal for God, and to beget in them the greater dread and abhorrency of blasphemy.

Verse 17

This law is repeated here, either to justify this sentence of putting blasphemers to death, from the same severity executed for a less crime; or to prevent the mischievous effects of men’s striving or contending together, which as here it caused blasphemy, so it might in others lead to murder.

Verse 22

One manner of law, to wit, in matters of common right, but not as to church privileges.

Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Leviticus 24". Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/mpc/leviticus-24.html. 1685.
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