|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
24:10-23 This offender was the son of an Egyptian father, and an Israelitish mother. The notice of his parents shows the common ill effect of mixed marriages. A standing law for the stoning of blasphemers was made upon this occasion. Great stress is laid upon this law. It extends to the strangers among them, as well as to those born in the land. Strangers, as well as native Israelites, should be entitled to the benefit of the law, so as not to suffer wrong; and should be liable to the penalty of this law, in case they did wrong. If those who profane the name of God escape punishment from men, yet the Lord our God will not suffer them to escape his righteous judgments. What enmity against God must be in the heart of man, when blasphemies against God proceed out of his mouth. If he that despised Moses' law, died without mercy, of what punishment will they be worthy, who despise and abuse the gospel of the Son of God! Let us watch against anger, do no evil, avoid all connexions with wicked people, and reverence that holy name which sinners blaspheme.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Bring forth him that hath cursed without the camp,.... To show that he had no part nor lot in Israel, and that he was unworthy to be a member of their civil community, or of their church state; and, besides, the place of stoning, or where malefactors suffered any kind of death, was without the camp, as afterwards without the city, see Hebrews 13:12,
let all that heard him lay their hands upon his head; the Targum of Jonathan adds,"and the judges;''so Jarchi remarks, that they that "heard him" are the witnesses, and the word "all" comprehends the judges: Maimonides says (e) the same, and observes that hands were laid on no malefactor but the blasphemer; and this was done to show that the one had bore a faithful testimony, and the other had pronounced a righteous sentence on him; and that he had brought this guilt and punishment upon himself by his sin; wherefore it was usual for them to say, as the same writers observe,"thy blood be upon thine own head, and we not punished for thy death, which thou hast been the cause of to thyself:"
and let all the congregation stone him; which Aben Ezra interprets of the great men of Israel; nor can it be thought that every individual of the people could cast a stone at him, but it was to be done by some of them, in the presence of them all, or as many as could conveniently get together to behold it; and this was done to show their detestation of the sin, and to deter from the commission of it: it was the same kind of punishment that was ordered to be inflicted on him that cursed his father or mother, Leviticus 20:9; God, the God of mercy, requiring no sorer punishment, though it deterred a greater, for such a sin against himself, than against a common parent.
(e) Hilchot Obede Cochabim, c. 2. sect. 10.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
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.
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