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Bible Commentaries

Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical
Leviticus 24

 

 

Verses 1-9

SECOND SECTION

Of the Holy Lamps, and the Shew Bread

Leviticus 24:1-9

1And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 2Command the children of Israel, that they bring unto thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamps to burn continually 3 Without the vail of the testimony, in the tabernacle of the [omit the] congregation, shall Aaron[FN1] order it from the evening unto the morning before the Lord continually: it shall be a statute for ever in your generations 4 He shall order the lamps upon the pure candlestick before the Lord continually.

5And thou shalt take fine flour, and bake twelve cakes thereof: two tenth deals shall be in one cake 6 And thou shalt set them in two rows [piles[FN2]], six on a row7[pile], upon the pure table before the Lord. And thou shalt put pure frankincense[FN3] upon each row [pile2], that it may be on[FN4] the bread for a memorial, even an offering made by fire unto the Lord 8 Every sabbath he shall set it in order before the Lord continually, being taken from the children of Israel by an everlasting covenant 9 And it shall be Aaron’s and his sons’; and they shall eat it[FN5] in the holy place: for it is most holy unto him of the offerings of the Lord made by fire by a perpetual statute.

TEXTUAL AND GRAMMATICAL

Leviticus 24:3. The Sam. and LXX. here insert and his sons from Exodus 27:21.

Leviticus 24:6-7. The Heb. מַעֲרֶכֶת, referring etymologically to an orderly arrangement, means either a row or pile, and is used in both senses. The size of the loaves, however, containing each about six pounds and a quarter of flour, as compared with the size, of the table, two cubits long by one broad, makes it more probable that pile was intended here. Josephus (Ant. III:6, 6; 10, 7) expressly says, that this was the arrangement.

Leviticus 24:7. The LXX. adds and salt, which is probably to be understood in accordance with Leviticus 2:13, or the salt may have been used in making up the loaves.

Leviticus 24:7. לַלֶּחֶם. The force of the preposition is questioned. Both the senses on and for are true in themselves. The incense was placed upon the piles, according to Josephus (ubi sup.) in golden cups, and it was also burned for the bread as a memorial. The latter sense, however, is sufficiently expressed by the words for a memorial.

Leviticus 24:9. The pronoun, wanting in the Hebrews, is supplied in the Sam. and in8 MSS.

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

The commands for the holy lights and the shewbread here follow in a special communication, to complete the provisions for the typical holiness of the Hebrew cultus. The former has already been given, almost verbatim in Exodus 27:20-21, prospectively in connection with the provisions for the whole service of the sanctuary. Now the command is actually given, and in Numbers 8:3 its fulfillment is recorded. The phraseology of Leviticus 24:2, Command the children of Israel that they bring, with that in Leviticus 24:8, taken from the children of Israel, shows that both the oil and the flour for the shewbread were of the nature of oblations, gifts to the Lord from the people continually. Leviticus 24:2-4 relate to the oil and the lamps; Leviticus 24:5-9 to the shewbread.

Leviticus 24:2. Pure oil olive beaten—pure in being freed before the berries were crushed from all leaves, twigs, dust, etc.; and beaten in contradistinction to pressed in the oil-presses. By this beating the oil of the best quality flowed out nearly colorless. Continually, Leviticus 24:3, refers to the perpetuity of the ordinance, not to the uninterrupted burning of the lamps; for according to the previous part of the verse, Aaron was to order it from the evening unto the morning, and according to Exodus 30:7-8, he was to dress the lamps in the morning and to light them at even. The pure candlestick of Leviticus 24:4, like the pure table of Leviticus 24:6, refers to the pure gold with which they were made, and which was of course kept free from all stain.

Leviticus 24:5-9. Fine flour always means of wheat. The frankincense, as a gift from the people, must necessarily be the natural gum, and is to be distinguished from the compound incense which was burnt daily upon the altar of incense. Lange (see below) is inclined to admit the opinion of Knobel that the loaves of shewbread were leavened; Josephus, however (Ant. III:66; 10, 7), distinctly asserts the contrary and nearly all Jewish and other authorities agree with him. “Since the bread was brought into the Holy place (which was not the case with the Pentecostal bread) it almost certainly came under the general law of the meat offerings, which excluded the use of leaven ( Leviticus 2:11).” Clark. It may be added that the shewbread was changed only once a week, and leavened bread, exposed to the air, could hardly have been kept in condition for eating so long. The loaves were twelve in accordance with the number of the tribes of Israel. They were most holy, so that when removed from the table they might be eaten only by the priests in a holy place. The action of Abimelech therefore in giving them to David ( 1 Samuel 21:4-6) was a clear violation of the law, and is justified by our Lord ( Matthew 12:4) on the principle that there are cases of urgency which override the technical provisions of the statute.

Lange: “The holy candlestick, with the shewbread, here makes the tabernacle the inner centre of all consecrations, the holy place κατ’ ἐξοχήν, which moves forth and spreads far into the holy land; and the innermost principle of this centre is the name of Jehovah which comes to be spoken farther on.

“On the holy candlestick see the particular directions, Exodus 25:30; Exodus 37:17, and Numbers 8:2; comp. Zechariah 4:2. But it is mentioned here the second time, not because according to the first command only Aaron was fitted for the function; but because it here forms the soul of the cultus, as farther on, in Numbers, it becomes the very climax of the theocratic political life, the light of the nation. Even less here than before can one speak of the lamp of good works. There is a strange propensity to place human attributes in place of Divine in the very house of God, even as far as to the Cherubim in the holy of holies.[FN6] The candlestick is the sevenfold figure of the revelation of Jehovah, the type of the Seven Spirits, Revelation 1. But it must be noticed that the congregation had to furnish the anointing oil” [Salböl, i. e, the oil for this sacred use, not the oil for anointing the priests,—F. G.], “for the congregation was to be the substratum of all illuminations, not the priesthood alone. In like manner is the command significant that the lamps were to be lit forever and ever.

“The shewbread is called ‘bread of the presence,’ ‘of my presence’ ( Exodus 25:30) in that they lay before the presence of Jehovah, who, in a symbolical sense, here holds a meal with His priests (see Revelation 3:20) as they in the first place represent the twelve tribes of the holy people. On this account, then, the loaves were twelve, and since they were arranged in two ordered rows of six opposite six loaves (differing from the twelve precious stones of the breast-plate) they were called also the loaves of the ranging together, the table of the succession and similarly. Keil, p158.” [Trans, p452. Keil thinks that the loaves were placed in rows, but does not mention these names. On the arrangement, see Textual Note 2 on Leviticus 24:6.—F. G.]. “And since it is known that leaven in itself contains nothing evil, although like honey it might not be placed upon the altar, the supposition of Knobel (Keil to the contrary) has nothing hazardous, that the shewbread was leavened. Undoubtedly it is to be considered that among the later Jews they were unleavened; but against this must be weighed the fact that they formed an important constituent of the food of the officiating priests who ate them as a most holy thing, after they were carried out, and that these loaves were never actually offered, but only hallowed to Jehovah, while their offering was signified by the incense which went with them as a memorial ( Leviticus 24:7, Azkara). The view that the incense was not strewed upon the bread, but placed beside it in golden shells, is certainly strengthened by the purpose of incense, which was burned as an offering made by fire unto Jehovah. It is the sacrifice of prayer which is especially associated with the priestly communion, a “Grace” said before the Lord in the highest sense.

“The supposition of Knobel and others that the table, with shewbread and kindred things, represented the house of God as an imitation of a human house, is a flat travesty of the holy house into that which is common; it rests upon a misunderstanding of the religious symbolism of the house of God, and in it the sleeping chamber, e.g, the bed, and similar things must be missed.” [To define the exact boundaries between anthropomorphic language and representations on the one hand, and pure statements of truth and pure symbolism on the other, is extremely difficult, and will probably always remain impossible, while man is still compelled to use so much of anthropomorphic terms even in the most abstract and philosophical discussion of Divine things. Undoubtedly the Hebrew mind was gradually led up to the conception of Divine realities by the exaltation of human expressions, and hence occur such forms as “the food,” “the table,” “the house of the Lord;” in grosser minds these would have been associated with grosser ideas, while for those of higher spiritual elevation, there was just enough of symbolism in these terms to enable them, by their means, to rise above them to more spiritual and exalted conceptions. To this it was essential that the human imagery should be imperfect and wanting in many particulars.—F. G.].

DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL

I. The symbolism of the seven-branched candlestick is applied in the Apocalypse to the Holy Spirit. Meantime in its perpetual burning during the night there is also the subordinate teaching that from the worship of God all darkness and obscurity are to be banished by the influence of that Spirit. To this the people are themselves to contribute by bringing the purest oil for the feeding of the lamps. The Holy Spirit ever works upon man through that which is in Prayer of Manasseh, and man may receive the Divine Guest in his heart, or may grieve Him and quench His holy influence.

II. In the shewbread, as the culmination of all oblations, is expressed on the one hand the consecration to God of all that belongs to man by placing bread, the staff of human life, continually before His presence; and on the other, the condescension of God to communion with man in making these loaves the food of His priests. The incense, burned as a memorial, represented the Divine acceptance of the gift, and, as Lange has suggested, symbolized the prayer with which the priests must draw near to this communion. It is further to be noted that this was not the sacred incense of the sanctuary, but the frankincense of the people’s offering. As the loaves represented the twelve tribes, so this frankincense represented the people’s prayers; and in this symbolic act of communion, the priests on God’s behalf pratook of the food, as in the case of the sin offering.

HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL

Lange: “The proper maintenance for the candlestick in the house of God. The table of the Lord in the Old Testament and in the New Testament forms. The Lord at His table: 1) as the Bread of heaven; 2) as the Host; 3) as the Guest.”

In the worship of God light and clearness are ever to take the place of darkness and obscurity. The clear shining of the Holy Spirit’s direction is always to be sought in all approach to God, and to this end the pure oil is to be furnished by the people for the lamps; an honest and good heart is to be prepared for the Spirit’s dwelling.

Through the grace of God man becomes a partaker of the table of the Lord. This must be accompanied with the incense of prayer. It was to be a statute for ever, a perpetually recurring act of communion with God.

Origen: The light of the Jews grew dim as the oil of their piety failed; the foolish virgins were excluded from the marriage when their lamps were gone out for the want of oil; so Christians must furnish the oil of earnest effort after holiness, that the flame of the Spirit may burn in their hearts, so that men may see their good works, and that their lamps may be burning when the Master comes.


Verses 10-23

THIRD SECTION

Historical.—The Punishment of a Blasphemer

“The keeping holy of the Theocratic Religion, and of the Name of Jehovah, by means of an explicit example.”

Leviticus 24:10-16.

“The keeping holy of punishment, and of the distinction of punishment, whose culmination is stoning.” Leviticus 24:17-23.—Lange.

Leviticus 24:10-23

10And 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; 11and the Israelitish woman’s son blasphemed[FN7] the name of the LORD [omit of the LORD[FN8]], and cursed. And they brought him unto Moses: (and his mother’s name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan:) 12and they put him in ward, that the mind of the Lord might be shewed them.

13And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 14Bring 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 15 And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Whosoever curseth his God shall bear his sin 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 1 the name of the LORD [omit of the LORD2] shall be put to death.

17And he that killeth[FN9] any man shall surely be put to death 18 And he that killeth 3 a beast shall make it good; beast 3 for beast 319 And if a man cause a blemish in his neighbour; as he bath done, so shall it be done to him; 20breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth: as he hath caused a blemish in a Prayer of Manasseh, so shall it be done to him again. 21And he that killeth3 a beast, he shall restore it: and he that 22 killeth3 a Prayer of Manasseh, he shall be put to death. Ye[FN10] shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger as for one of your own country: for I am the Lord your God.

23And 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.

TEXTUAL AND GRAMMATICAL

Leviticus 24:11; Leviticus 24:16. נָקַב according to all the best critical authorities, means to revile, to blaspheme; the LXX. and Targums, however, interpret it as meaning to utter distinctly, thus embodying the Jewish tradition of the unlawfulness of uttering the name of Jehovah. See the Exeg.

Leviticus 24:11; Leviticus 24:16. The words in italics are better omitted, allowing the sense to stand exactly as in the Heb. and all the Ancient Versions, where the Name evidently means the Name κατ έξοχήν, the name of Jehovah. In Leviticus 24:16 the article is omitted in the Hebrews, but supplied in the Sam.

Leviticus 24:17-18; Leviticus 24:21. The Heb. here uses the word נֶפֶשׁ very freely, as is in part indicated in the marginal readings of the A. V. Translating נֶפֶשׁ soul, Leviticus 24:17-18 will read literally, And he that smiteth the soul of any man shall die the death, and he that smiteth the soul of a beast shall make it good; soul for soul. Similarly in Leviticus 24:21. A few MSS. omit the נֶפֶשׁ before beast in Leviticus 24:18; Leviticus 24:21.

Leviticus 24:22. The Sam. has the sing. Seven MSS. of that version, however, follow the plural form of the Heb.

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

The whole of Lange’s Exegetical is here given. “According to Knobel the foregoing section stands disconnectedly in this place. But certainly in this place ought to stand the principle of all consecrations, the name of Jehovah, and it fits in with the high importance of keeping this Name holy that the law, in its Genesis, should be introduced with a fearful example. Similarly the history of the Sabbath-breaker is introduced. Numbers 15:32.” [Of course the immediate reason for the introduction of the narrative is that the event actually occurred just at this point in the communication of this legislation to the people, and it thus constitutes one of the strong incidental marks of the time when that legislation was given. Lange shows that its mention was the very reverse of inopportune. It is noticeable that the patronymic Israelite is found elsewhere only in 2 Samuel 17:25; and the adjective Israelitish occurs only here. It is used in opposition to Egyptian as the two terms are likely to have been used at the time in the camp. So in 2 Samuel 17:25 it is used of a man of the ten tribes in opposition to the two.—F. G.].

“The son of an Israelitish woman and an Egyptian man went out into the midst of the Israelites, i.e., he betook himself to the camp of the latter. He belonged to the strangers who journeyed with Israel ( Exodus 12:38). As an Egyptian, he dwelt certainly somewhat removed, since he was not a member of the congregation of Jehovah; for only in the third generation was an Egyptian to be taken in ( Deuteronomy 23:8).” [Although this law had not yet been announced, Lange’s supposition is altogether probable, and the man doubtless formed one of the “mixed multitude” who lived on the outskirts of the camp, comp. Numbers 11:1; Numbers 11:4.—F. G.]. “The Israelites encamped according to the houses of their tribes” ( Numbers 2:2). In the camp a strife arose; “a quarrel sprang up between him and the Israelitish Prayer of Manasseh, that Isaiah, between him and the men of Israel” (Knobel). Against the very appropriate view that אִישׁ stands collectively, see the grammatical note of Keil, p158.

“The history certainly tells us how the Egyptian offended in an ascending scale, even up to the blaspheming Jehovah. The text, Leviticus 24:10, shows that the Egyptian man had come in with a certain degree of impudence into the midst of the camp of Israel, where he did not belong. From this it is also to be concluded that he excited here a religious quarrel, and it could only have been with one, as the issue proves.” [In the entire absence of reliable knowledge of the cause of this quarrel the tradition embodied in the Targs. of Jerus. and Jon. may be noted. According to these the Egyptian was the son of an Egyptian who had slain an Israelite in the land of Egypt and then had gone in to his wife. She had borne the child among the Israelites, being herself of the tribe of Dan. In the desert this man claimed the right to pitch his tent with the tribe of Daniel, and the right being resisted by a man of that tribe, they took the case before the Judges, where it was decided against the Egyptian. On coming out under this adverse judgment, he committed his offense.—F. G.]. “Thus his insolence rose to blaspheming “The Name.” This expression: the Name, absolutely, raises the name of Jehovah above all names, and blasphemy against it was not only blasphemy against the God of Israel, but also against the religion of His Revelation, against the covenant with Jehovah, and thus against the holy Source of all consecrations. So he was led before Moses. That he was put in ward shows that the measure of punishment for this unheard of transgression had not yet been made clear. And it had not been settled for the reason that he did not belong to the commonwealth of Israel in the stricter sense. Hence the punishment was made known to Moses by an especial revelation from Jehovah. The greatness of the crime is shown by the following particulars:

“1. The punishment of stoning was to be solemnly performed by the whole congregation, because the blasphemy rested, like a curse, upon the whole congregation.

“2. All who had heard the blasphemy must lay their hands on the head of the criminal before the execution. Until this expiation they are contaminated with a complicity in guilt (see Leviticus 5:1), which they must discharge from themselves upon the guilty head.” [Keil refers to the washing of hands in Deuteronomy 21:6 as analogous. Knobel, however, considers that the command is connected with Deuteronomy 17:7, requiring the witnesses to throw the first stones. They were in either case thus to make themselves responsible for the truth of the accusation.—F. G.].

“3. The greatness of the guilt is in the first place to be compared with the lesser guilt of a man’s cursing his God, i.e., his Elohim in His peculiar relation to him, wherein he might mean, e.g. that this Elohim had done him wrong. This קלל may have very different degrees, even to speaking evil; therefore he shall bear his sin: in the first place, his evil conscience; then his sentence according to the judgment of the theocratic tribunal.” [As this particular offender was an Egyptian, and as the law ( Leviticus 24:16) includes the stranger generally, many commentators have understood the expression his God to mean the Deity whom he is accustomed to worship. In confirmation of this it is urged that penalty for him that curseth his God in Leviticus 24:15 is only that he shall bear his sin; while in Leviticus 24:16 he that blasphemeth (or revileth, a feebler expression than curseth) the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death. For the last reason, others have maintained that אֱלֹהִים does not here signify God at all, but human magistrates. The reason, however, is of little weight. In Leviticus 24:15 is given the general law with the indefinite penalty; in Leviticus 24:16 it is repeated for the sake of emphasis, with definiteness in regard to every particular, the sin, the punishment, the executioners, and the application of the law to the stranger as well as the native. The reference of Leviticus 24:15 to the gods of the strangers is peculiarly unfortunate. It cannot be imagined that the law of Jehovah should thus provide for the honor of those false gods whom it aims to bring into contempt.—F. G.].

“4. This punishment of stoning should apply to the stranger as well as to the Israelite, because in the first place, he entered the congregation of Israel as a blasphemer of its name; and in the second place, proved thereby that he did not do it unconsciously, but had an idea of the signification of this name.

“5. If then the object of the ordinances for punishment next following was that the penal law of the Israelites should also apply to the stranger who sojourned in their community; yet the immediately following degrees of punishment form a scale which gives one a clear idea of the greatness of the blasphemer’s crime against Majesty. The death penalty for the murderer forms a basis. Behind this follow the various degrees, severe according to the law of compensation ( Exodus 21:23), but yet the blasphemer stands pre-eminent, far above the murderer. The principal reason for this arrangement lies indeed in this: that the capital punishment of the Egyptian might easily excite a fanatical contempt and misusage of the stranger; therefore it is here most fittingly made prominent that the Jews [Israelites] and strangers, stand under the same law, and that the murdering of the stranger must also be punished with death. With the elevation and hallowing of the punishment here appointed above all partisan fanaticism, it became self-evident that the same punishment must fall upon the Jews [Israelites]. How proper is it that the name of Jehovah should be again inserted for the purpose that the stranger might have equal administration of justice with the Jew [Israelite]. Manifold misunderstanding has attached itself to this legislation. The Jewish misinterpretation of נָקַב (in the sense of toname, instead of to revile, to blaspheme) has had for its consequence the Jewish superstition that man may not pronounce the name of Jehovah, and the after effect no less that in the LXX. the name κὐριος is in the place of Jehovah, and also the placing of the name Lord in the German Bible” [and in the English, but here distinguished by small capital letters—F. G.], “also indirectly that the name Jehovah is now translated with the Jews: the Eternal.

“The Mediæval misinterpretation drew over into the New Testament time the penal justice touching it, and the reflection thereof still shows itself in the history of the Church of Geneva. The mention of the mother of the blasphemer, Shelomith (the peaceable), daughter of Dibri (my word), of the tribe of Dan appears to be only a mark of definite remembrance. A community which suffers the reviling of the principle of their community without reaction, is morally fallen to pieces. This holds good also of the religious community. The reaction of the theocracy could not and should not transplant itself into the Church; but since it was outstripped by the middle ages, there has come in more recent time, over against this extreme, a fearful relaxation, which misses the dynamic reaction against the impudent and the blasphemers of the principle of the community.”

This chapter is founded upon the fact that among the Hebrews the child followed the condition of the father and not of the mother. It is probably only one of a multitude of instances of children born in Egypt of parentage of different nations, and many of the “mixed multitude” who followed the Israelites may have had Israelitish mothers. The doubt arising as to the punishment of a blasphemer who was not one of the covenant people, led to Moses’ asking for Divine direction. In answer, not only this particular case is settled, but the Hebrew law generally is made applicable to the sojourner. In connection with the penalty for killing cattle is announced in express terms ( Leviticus 24:18; Leviticus 24:21), that which had only been implied before ( Exodus 21:33-36). The law for the punishment of blasphemy in Leviticus 24:16 is perfectly clear; it was from a wrong conception of the fact, not of the law, that the Jews stoned St. Stephen, and would gladly have stoned our Lord Himself. The capital punishment of the murderer in Leviticus 24:17; Leviticus 24:21, is not to be considered as a part simply of the lex talionis, but rather as a positive Divine command given in accordance with Genesis 9:6. The lex talionis on the other hand, of Leviticus 24:19-20, is permissive and restrictive, like so much else in the Mosaic legislation. The fundamental principle which should govern man’s conduct towards his neighbor is given in Leviticus 19:18; but as the people were so little able to bear this, the ancient indulgence of unlimited revenge is restricted at least to the equivalent of the injury suffered. After the announcement of these general laws, the people carried into execution the sentence pronounced upon the Egyptian blasphemer.

DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL

I. The fundamental moral laws apply equally to all mankind. No one can be exempted from them on the ground that he is not in covenant relation with their author, or does not acknowledge himself to be bound by them.

II. Blasphemy against God is a crime of the deepest character, and demands the severest punishment.

III. Exact justice demands the restoration to one’s neighbor of the precise equivalent of any harm done to him, and in case this is a personal injury, of a corresponding injury to the offender. The law of love comes in to forbid the exaction of this penalty on the part of him who is injured; but the same law should lead the offender to restore in more ample measure.

HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL

Lange: “Blasphemy against the name of Jehovah as the great mortal offence in Israel. Culmination of the revelation of salvation in Christianity; wherefore here especially the death penalty must fall away. The accusation of Christ, that He blasphemed God. The blasphemy in the New Testament era, above all others, a blasphemy against the grace of God in Christ. The name of Jehovah is the witness of His covenant truth.—The fearful decree of death which lies in this blasphemy itself.”

The evil of marriages with the ungodly is here apparent; also the influence of an ungodly father upon the life and character of his child. The law requires every accusation to be substantiated by the most solemn act of the accuser; no one has the right to bring a charge against another to the truth of which he cannot positively testify, and which he is not prepared to support in such wise that, if untrue, guilt must recoil on his own head. The equality of all men before the law of God is here, as every. where in the law, made very prominent. In the sufferance of the law of revenge, we see that God’s will is not always to be known by what He may permit to sinful man; He suffers many things “for the hardness of their hearts.” All these commands, and all commands given to man rest upon the ultimate ground I am the LORD your God.

But little is said in the New Testament of blasphemy, God’s displeasure at this sin having been expressed so plainly in the Old, and His will remaining always unalterably the same.

Footnotes:

FN#1 - Leviticus 24:3. The Sam. and LXX. here insert and his sons from Exodus 27:21.

FN#2 - Leviticus 24:6-7. The Heb. מַעֲרֶכֶת, referring etymologically to an orderly arrangement, means either a row or pile, and is used in both senses. The size of the loaves, however, containing each about six pounds and a quarter of flour, as compared with the size, of the table, two cubits long by one broad, makes it more probable that pile was intended here. Josephus (Ant. III:6, 6; 10, 7) expressly says, that this was the arrangement.

FN#3 - Leviticus 24:7. The LXX. adds and salt, which is probably to be understood in accordance with Leviticus 2:13, or the salt may have been used in making up the loaves.

FN#4 - Leviticus 24:7. לַלֶּחֶם. The force of the preposition is questioned. Both the senses on and for are true in themselves. The incense was placed upon the piles, according to Josephus (ubi sup.) in golden cups, and it was also burned for the bread as a memorial. The latter sense, however, is sufficiently expressed by the words for a memorial.

FN#5 - Leviticus 24:9. The pronoun, wanting in the Hebrews, is supplied in the Sam. and in8 MSS.

FN#6 - Keil: “This service consisted in the fact, that in the oil of the lamps of the seven branched candlestick, which burned before Jehovah, the nation of Israel manifested itself as a congregation which caused its light to shine in the darkness of this world; and that in the shewbread it offered the fruits of its labor in the field of the kingdom of God, as a spiritual sacrifice to Jehovah.” [Trans. p451].

FN#7 - Leviticus 24:11; Leviticus 24:16. נָקַב according to all the best critical authorities, means to revile, to blaspheme; the LXX. and Targums, however, interpret it as meaning to utter distinctly, thus embodying the Jewish tradition of the unlawfulness of uttering the name of Jehovah. See the Exeg.

FN#8 - Leviticus 24:11; Leviticus 24:16. The words in italics are better omitted, allowing the sense to stand exactly as in the Heb. and all the Ancient Versions, where the Name evidently means the Name κατ έξοχήν, the name of Jehovah. In Leviticus 24:16 the article is omitted in the Hebrews, but supplied in the Sam.

FN#9 - Leviticus 24:17-18; Leviticus 24:21. The Heb. here uses the word נֶפֶשׁ very freely, as is in part indicated in the marginal readings of the A. V. Translating נֶפֶשׁ soul, Leviticus 24:17-18 will read literally, And he that smiteth the soul of any man shall die the death, and he that smiteth the soul of a beast shall make it good; soul for soul. Similarly in Leviticus 24:21. A few MSS. omit the נֶפֶשׁ before beast in Leviticus 24:18; Leviticus 24:21.

FN#10 - Leviticus 24:22. The Sam. has the sing. Seven MSS. of that version, however, follow the plural form of the Heb.

 


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Bibliography Information
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on Leviticus 24:4". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lcc/leviticus-24.html. 1857-84.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, November 19th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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