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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Leviticus 24

Verses 1-4

Leviticus 24. Four Additional Ordinances.

Leviticus 24:1-Numbers : . The Holy Lamp (P).

Leviticus 24:2 f. is partially identical with Exodus 27:20 *— a section which may not be in its right place. The candlestick with seven lights ( cf. “ lamps,” Leviticus 24:4) is represented on the Arch of Titus; 1 Kings 7:49 mentions ten candlesticks; Leviticus 24:2 f. probably represents the earlier custom of one lamp ( cf. 1 Samuel 3:3).

Verses 5-9

Leviticus 24:5-1 Samuel : . The Shewbread (P).— First mentioned in 1 Samuel 21:1-Judges : ( cf. Mark 2:25 ff.), also 1 Kings 7:48 ( cf. Exodus 25:30 *, Numbers 4:7). Putting food before the gods (as distinct from offerings) is a not infrequent element in pagan rites; cf. the Roman “ lectisternia” ; twelve cakes of bread are offered in a Babylonian ritual ( cf. Isaiah 65:11, Jeremiah 7:18). Each of the twelve cakes is to be one-fifth of an ephah ( cf. Leviticus 23:17). By the later regulation the bread was to be unleavened (leaven coming to be looked on as a symbol of corruption, cf. Leviticus 2:4, Leviticus 6:9, Leviticus 7:12, etc.); the incense placed by the bread ( Leviticus 24:7) is then burnt on the altar. The bread is offered on the Sabbath and then eaten by the priests.

Verses 10-16

Leviticus 24:10-Nehemiah : ; Leviticus 24:23 . The punishment for blasphemy connected, as in Leviticus 10:1-Judges : and Sabbath breaking, with an actual example. Language and literary manner suggest that the section is later than H, as also the new beginning in Leviticus 24:15 and the position of Leviticus 24:23. The guilty man, the offspring of a mixed marriage (forbidden in Deuteronomy 7:3, Exodus 34:16), is a proselyte or “ stranger” ( Leviticus 24:16). “ The Name” (for the name of Yahweh) does not occur elsewhere in OT, though frequent in later Jewish writings. The man is to be brought “ outside the camp” as being unholy and polluting the community. The sin is more than the careless invocation of the Name in a moment of passion ( Exodus 20:7). The “ stranger” renounces his allegiance to Yahweh altogether ( cf. Job 1:11, where the word is different though the meaning is probably the same). For the laying on of hands, see on Leviticus 1:4: the sinner, like the sacrificial victim, purges the whole community by his death. For the stoning, cf. Deuteronomy 17:7 . The whole ceremony is purgative, not judicial.

Verses 17-22

Leviticus 24:17-Song of Solomon : . The “ Lex Talionis” ( cf. Exodus 21:23, Matthew 5:38). An early and simple form of the assessment and administration of judicial penalties. For Leviticus 24:17, cf. Genesis 9:5: in Exodus 21:20, the principle is not yet allowed full scope. Another early system was that of fines (assessed in a sort of tariff) for crimes ( cf. Anglo-Saxon law and Code of Hammurabi; cf. also Exodus 21:18). A middle course is taken in the “ guilt offering” when an extra one-fifth is to be restored; but this is, of course, impossible in the case of bodily injuries contemplated here. For Leviticus 24:22, cf. Leviticus 24:16 ; Leviticus 19:34. The whole code is markedly stronger in humanitarian than in judicial reform (but note the significant distinction in Leviticus 25:46) .

Verse 23

Leviticus 24:10-Nehemiah : ; Leviticus 24:23 . The punishment for blasphemy connected, as in Leviticus 10:1-Judges : and Sabbath breaking, with an actual example. Language and literary manner suggest that the section is later than H, as also the new beginning in Leviticus 24:15 and the position of Leviticus 24:23. The guilty man, the offspring of a mixed marriage (forbidden in Deuteronomy 7:3, Exodus 34:16), is a proselyte or “ stranger” ( Leviticus 24:16). “ The Name” (for the name of Yahweh) does not occur elsewhere in OT, though frequent in later Jewish writings. The man is to be brought “ outside the camp” as being unholy and polluting the community. The sin is more than the careless invocation of the Name in a moment of passion ( Exodus 20:7). The “ stranger” renounces his allegiance to Yahweh altogether ( cf. Job 1:11, where the word is different though the meaning is probably the same). For the laying on of hands, see on Leviticus 1:4: the sinner, like the sacrificial victim, purges the whole community by his death. For the stoning, cf. Deuteronomy 17:7 . The whole ceremony is purgative, not judicial.

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Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Leviticus 24". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pfc/leviticus-24.html. 1919.