Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Le 24:1-23. Oil for the Lamps.
Command the children of Israel, that they bring unto thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamps to burn continually.
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.
Without the vail of the testimony, in the tabernacle of the congregation, shall Aaron order it from the evening unto the morning before the LORD continually: it shall be a statute for ever in your generations.
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.
He shall order the lamps upon the pure candlestick before the LORD continually.
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.
And thou shalt take fine flour, and bake twelve cakes thereof: two tenth deals shall be in one cake.
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).
And thou shalt set them in two rows, six on a row, upon the pure table before the LORD.
And thou shalt put pure frankincense upon each row, that it may be on the bread for a memorial, even an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
Every sabbath he shall set it in order before the LORD continually, being taken from the children of Israel by an everlasting covenant.
And it shall be Aaron's and his sons'; and they shall eat it in the holy place: for it is most holy unto him of the offerings of the LORD made by fire by a perpetual statute.
And 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;
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.
And the Israelitish woman's son blasphemed the name of the LORD, and cursed. And they brought him unto Moses: (and his mother's name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan:)
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.
And they put him in ward, that the mind of the LORD might be shewed them.
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Bring 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.
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.
And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Whosoever curseth his God shall bear his sin.
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 the name of the LORD, shall be put to death.
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.
And he that killeth any man shall surely be put to death.
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.
And he that killeth a beast shall make it good; beast for beast.
And if a man cause a blemish in his neighbour; as he hath done, so shall it be done to him;
Breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth: as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again.
And he that killeth a beast, he shall restore it: and he that killeth a man, he shall be put to death.
Ye 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.
And 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.
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].