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The Lamp

24

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2Command the people of Israel to bring you pure oil of beaten olives for the lamp, that a light may be kept burning regularly. 3Aaron shall set it up in the tent of meeting, outside the curtain of the covenant, to burn from evening to morning before the Lord regularly; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations. 4He shall set up the lamps on the lampstand of pure gold before the Lord regularly.

The Bread for the Tabernacle

5 You shall take choice flour, and bake twelve loaves of it; two-tenths of an ephah shall be in each loaf. 6You shall place them in two rows, six in a row, on the table of pure gold. 7You shall put pure frankincense with each row, to be a token offering for the bread, as an offering by fire to the Lord. 8Every sabbath day Aaron shall set them in order before the Lord regularly as a commitment of the people of Israel, as a covenant forever. 9They shall be for Aaron and his descendants, who shall eat them in a holy place, for they are most holy portions for him from the offerings by fire to the Lord, a perpetual due.

Blasphemy and Its Punishment

10 A man whose mother was an Israelite and whose father was an Egyptian came out among the people of Israel; and the Israelite woman’s son and a certain Israelite began fighting in the camp. 11The Israelite woman’s son blasphemed the Name in a curse. And they brought him to Moses—now his mother’s name was Shelomith, daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan— 12and they put him in custody, until the decision of the Lord should be made clear to them.

13 The Lord said to Moses, saying: 14Take the blasphemer outside the camp; and let all who were within hearing lay their hands on his head, and let the whole congregation stone him. 15And speak to the people of Israel, saying: Anyone who curses God shall bear the sin. 16One who blasphemes the name of the Lord shall be put to death; the whole congregation shall stone the blasphemer. Aliens as well as citizens, when they blaspheme the Name, shall be put to death. 17Anyone who kills a human being shall be put to death. 18Anyone who kills an animal shall make restitution for it, life for life. 19Anyone who maims another shall suffer the same injury in return: 20fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; the injury inflicted is the injury to be suffered. 21One who kills an animal shall make restitution for it; but one who kills a human being shall be put to death. 22You shall have one law for the alien and for the citizen: for I am the Lord your God. 23Moses spoke thus to the people of Israel; and they took the blasphemer outside the camp, and stoned him to death. The people of Israel did as the Lord had commanded Moses.


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Le 24:1-23. Oil for the Lamps.

2. Command the children of Israel—This is the repetition of a law previously given (Ex 27:20, 21).

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

3, 4. Aaron shall order it from the evening unto the morning—The daily presence of the priests was necessary to superintend the cleaning and trimming.

4. upon the pure candlestick—so called because of pure gold. This was symbolical of the light which ministers are to diffuse through the Church.

5-9. take fine flour, and bake twelve cakes—for the showbread, as previously appointed (Ex 25:30). Those cakes were baked by the Levites, the flour being furnished by the people (1Ch 9:32; 23:29), oil, wine, and salt being the other ingredients (Le 2:13).

two tenth deals—that is, of an ephah—thirteen and a half pounds 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 (1Sa 21:3-6; also Lu 6:3, 4).

10. the son of an Israelitish woman, &c.—This passage narrates the enactment of a new law, with a detail of the circumstances which gave rise to it. The "mixed multitude" [Ex 12:38] that accompanied the Israelites in their exodus from Egypt creates a presumption that marriage connections of the kind described were not infrequent. 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.

11. And the Israelitish woman's son blasphemed the name of the Lord—A youth of this half-blood, having quarrelled with an Israelite [Le 24:10], 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; as the offense was a new one, he was put in ward till the mind of the Lord was ascertained as to his disposal.

14. Bring forth him that hath cursed 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" [De 7:6; 14:2, 21; 26:19; 28:9], all flagrant offenders should be thrust out of their society.

let all that heard him lay their hands upon his head, &c.—The imposition of hands formed a public and solemn testimony against the crime, and at the same time made the punishment legal.

16. 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—Although strangers were not obliged to be circumcised, yet by joining the Israelitish camp, they became amenable to the law, especially that which related to blasphemy.

17-22. he that killeth any man shall surely be put to death—These verses contain a repetition of some other laws, relating to offenses 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.

23. the children of Israel did as the Lord's commanded—The chapter closes with the execution of Shelomith's son [Le 24:14]—and stoning having afterwards become the established punishment in all cases of blasphemy, it illustrates the fate of Stephen, who suffered under a false imputation of that crime [Ac 7:58, 59].




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