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Bible Commentaries

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments
Leviticus 24

 

 

Verse 1

Leviticus 24:1. After the foregoing particulars relating to the annual festivals and assemblies, and all things prepared for the tabernacle service, he proceeds to remind the Israelites of executing the orders before given, about providing at the public charge all materials for the daily service; and in particular a sufficient quantity of oil for the lamps of the golden candlestick, which were to burn continually in the holy place without the veil, the priests in waiting being obliged to keep this candlestick clean and pure, and to trim and supply the lamps morning and evening.


Verse 2

Leviticus 24:2. To cause the lamps to burn — Hebrew, the lamp: yet, Leviticus 24:4, it is the lamps: the seven lamps made all one lamp. In allusion to which the blessed Spirit is represented (Revelation 4.) by seven lamps of fire before the throne.


Verse 4

Leviticus 24:4. The pure candlestick — So called, either because of its resplendent brightness, or because it was of pure gold; before the Lord — Because it was before the ark and mercy-seat, where God was peculiarly present.


Verse 5

Leviticus 24:5. 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 shall be in one cake — That is, two omers, or two tenth parts of an ephah, consisting of about six quarts of English measure, Exodus 16:36. So that they must have been of a very large size.


Verse 6-7

Leviticus 24:6-7. In two rows — One piled above another; and on the top of each row was set a golden dish, with a handful of the best frankincense therein. On the bread for a memorial — That is, in order to be burned upon the altar at the week’s end, instead of the bread, in honour of God, or to commemorate his name.


Verse 8

Leviticus 24:8. Being taken from the children of Israel — At whose charge they were provided, Nehemiah 10:32; by an everlasting covenant — By a law which they had all agreed to observe, (Exodus 24:3,) and which was to continue as long as that dispensation remained.


Verse 9

Leviticus 24:9. It (the old bread, now to be taken away) shall be Aaron’s — of the offerings made by fire — The frankincense and the bread were but one offering, and the frankincense being burned instead of the bread, hence the bread too is reckoned among the offerings made by fire.


Verse 10

Leviticus 24:10. Whose father was an Egyptian — This circumstance seems noted, partly to show the danger of marriages with persons of wicked principles, 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 go unpunished among his people, whatsoever he was that committed it. Went out — Out of Egypt, being one of that mixed multitude which came out with the Israelites, Exodus 12:32. It is probable this was done when the Israelites were near Sinai.


Verse 11

Leviticus 24:11. The name of the Lord — The words of the Lord, or of Jehovah, are supplied out of Leviticus 24:16, where they are expressed; here they are omitted, perhaps for the aggravation of his crime. He blasphemed the name — So called by way of eminence; 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, or without reverence. And cursed — Not the Israelite only, but his God also, as appears from Leviticus 24:15-16. And they brought him — Either the people who heard him, or the inferior magistrate, to whom he was first brought.


Verse 12

Leviticus 24:12. That the mind of the Lord might be showed — For God had only said in general, that he would not hold such guiltless, that is, he would punish them, but had not declared how he would have them punished by men.


Verse 14

Leviticus 24:14. Lay their hands upon his head — Whereby they gave public testimony that they heard this person speak such words, and did in their own and all the people’s names 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.


Verse 15-16

Leviticus 24:15-16. Whosoever curseth his God — Speaketh of him reproachfully. Shall bear his sin — That is, the punishment of it; shall not go unpunished, He that blasphemeth the name of the Lord — This is a repetition of the same sin in other words, which is common. As this law is laid down in general terms, Leviticus 24:15, so both the sin and the punishment are particularly expressed, Leviticus 24:16. All the congregation — To show their zeal for God, and to beget in them the greater dread and abhorrence of blasphemy.


Verse 17

Leviticus 24:17. He that killeth — This law is repeated here, to prevent the mischievous effects of men’s striving together, which as here it caused blasphemy, so it might in others lead to murder.


Verse 22-23

Leviticus 24:22-23. One law — That is, in matters of common right, but not as to church privileges. Stone him with stones — This blasphemer was the first that died by the law of Moses. Stephen, the first that died for the gospel, died by the abuse of the law. The martyr and the malefactor suffered the same death; but how vast the difference between them!

 


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Bibliography Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Leviticus 24:4". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/leviticus-24.html. 1857.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, November 18th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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