And a son of an Israelitish woman goeth out (and he is son of an Egyptian man), in the midst of the sons of Israel, and strive in the camp do the son of the Israelitish woman and a man of Israel,
Leviticus 24:10 Additional TranslationsClarke's Commentary on the Bible
The son of an Israelitish woman, whose father was an Egyptian, etc. - This is a very obscure account, and is encumbered with many difficulties.
1. It seems strange that a person proceeding from such an illegal mixture should have been incorporated with the Israelites.
2. What the cause of the strife between this mongrel person and the Israelitish man was is not even hinted at. The rabbins, it is true, supply in their way this deficiency; they say he was the son of the Egyptian whom Moses slew, and that attempting to pitch his tent among those of the tribe of Dan, to which he belonged by his mother's side, Leviticus 24:11, he was prevented by a person of that tribe as having no right to a station among them who were true Israelites both by father and mother. In consequence of this they say he blasphemed the name of the Lord. But,
3. The sacred text does not tell us what name he blasphemed; it is simply said ויקב את השם vaiyihkob eth hashshem, he pierced through, distinguished, explained, or expressed the name. (See below, article 10). As the Jews hold it impious to pronounce the name יהוה Yehovah, they always put either אדני Adonai, Lord, or השם hashshem, The Name, in the place of it; but in this sense hashshem was never used prior to the days of rabbinical superstition, and therefore it cannot be put here for the word Jehovah.
4. Blaspheming the name of the Lord is mentioned in Leviticus 24:16, and there the proper Hebrew term is used שם יהוה shem Yehovah, and not the rabbinical השם hashshem, as in Leviticus 24:11.
5. Of all the manuscripts collated both by Kennicott and De Rossi, not one, either of the Hebrew or Samaritan, has the word Jehovah in this place.
6. Not one of the ancient Versions, Targum of Onkelos, Hebraeo-Samaritan, Samaritan version, Syriac, Arabic, Septuagint, or Vulgate Latin, has even attempted to supply the sacred name.
7. Houbigant supposes that the Egypto-Israelitish man did not use the name of the true God at all, but had been swearing by one of his country gods; and if this was the case the mention of the name of a strange god in the camp of Israel would constitute a very high crime, and certainly expose to the punishment mentioned in Leviticus 24:14.
8. Probably the word השם hashshem was the proper name of some Egyptian deity.
9. The fifteenth verse seems to countenance the supposition that the god whose name was produced on this occasion was not the true God, for it is there said, whosoever curseth his god, אלהיו elohaiv, shall bear his sin - shall have the punishment due to him as an idolater; but he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, שם יהוה shem Yehovah, shall surely be put to death - when he blasphemeth the name (שם shem) he shall die, Leviticus 24:16.
10. The verb נקב nakab, which we translate blaspheme, signifies to pierce, bore, make hollow; also to Express or Distinguish by Name; see Isaiah 62:2; Numbers 1:17; 1 Chronicles 12:31; 1 Chronicles 16:41; 1 Chronicles 28:15; or, as the Persian translator has it, sherah kerd, mir an nam, he expounded or interpreted the name. Hence all that we term blasphemy here may only signify the particularizing some false god, i. e., naming him by his name, or imploring his aid as a helper, and when spoken of the true God it may signify using that sacred name as the idolaters did the names of their idols. On blaspheming God, and the nature of blasphemy, see the notes on Matthew 9:3. In whatever point of view we consider the relation which has been the subject of this long note, one thing is sufficiently plain, that he who speaks irreverently of God, of his works, his perfections, his providence, etc., is destitute of every moral feeling and of every religious principle, and consequently so dangerous to society that it would be criminal to suffer him to be at large, though the longsuffering of God may lead him to repentance, and therefore it may be consistent with mercy to preserve his life.
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