Leviticus 24:12
And they put him in ward, that the mind of the LORD might be showed them.
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(12) And they put him in ward.—That is, to keep him in safe custody till he had been tried. In the Mosaic legislation confinement in a prison for a certain period as a punishment for an offence is nowhere enacted.

That the mind of the Lord might be shewed them.—Better, that he might direct them according to the command of the Lord, as the Authorised Version renders this phrase in Exodus 17:1, Numbers 4:37; Numbers 4:41; Numbers 4:49, &c. Though this was a transgression of the third commandment, and though it was ordained that he who cursed his earthly parent should be put to death (see Leviticus 20:9), yet no law existed as to the exact punishment which was to be inflicted upon him who cursed his heavenly Father (see Exodus 22:28); nor was it known whether such an offender should be left to God Himself to execute the sentence. For this reason the criminal was detained till Moses had appealed to the Lord for instruction, in order that he might direct the people accordingly. Similar instances of Moses appealing direct to the Lord for guidance in matters of law and judgment we have in Numbers 15:34; Numbers 28:1-5.

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.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.The offender may already have been pronounced guilty by the rulers (see Exodus 18:21-22), and the case was referred to Moses in order that the punishment might be awarded by the divine decree. No law had as yet been enacted against blasphemy except by implication. See Exodus 21:17; Exodus 22:28. 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. For God had only said in general, that he would not hold such guiltless, i.e. he would punish them, but had not declared how he would have them punished by men. And they put him in ward,.... In some prison, a place known in the camp, as Aben Ezra observes:

that the mind of the Lord might be shewed them; for, though this was a breach of the third command, in which God declares he would not hold such an one guiltless, Exodus 20:7; yet no particular punishment being expressed, it was not a clear case whether the Lord would punish for it himself, by an immediate stroke of his hand, or whether by the civil magistrate; and if by the latter, in what manner; for though it might be concluded, without any hesitation, that he was worthy of death, since cursing father or mother was death, Exodus 21:17; and much more blaspheming God, yet what death to put him to they might be at a loss about; or if that was understood of stoning, they might think this deserved a sorer punishment, and therefore consulted God about it.

And they put him in ward, that the mind of the LORD might be showed them.
12. that it might be declared unto them at the mouth of the Lord] more exact than the A.V. ‘that the mind of the Lord might be shewn them.’Verse 12. - And they put him in ward. The same course was followed in the case of the man found gathering sticks upon the sabbath day: "And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him" (Numbers 15:34). The same penalty was awarded in both cases. The preparation of the shew-bread and the use to be made of it are described here for the first time; though it had already been offered by the congregation at the consecration of the tabernacle, and placed by Moses upon the table (Exodus 39:36; Exodus 40:23). Twelve cakes (challoth, Leviticus 2:4) were to be made of fine flour, of two-tenths of an ephah each, and placed in two rows, six in each row, upon the golden table before Jehovah (Exodus 25:23.). Pure incense was then to be added to each row, which was to be (to serve) as a memorial (Azcarah, see Leviticus 2:2), as a firing for Jehovah. על נתן to give upon, to add to, does not force us to the conclusion that the incense was to be spread upon the cakes; but is easily reconcilable with the Jewish tradition (Josephus, Ant. iii. 10, 7; Mishnah, Menach. xi. 7, 8), that the incense was placed in golden saucers with each row of bread. The number twelve corresponded to the number of the twelve tribes of Israel. The arrangement of the loaves in rows of six each was in accordance with the shape of the table, just like the division of the names of the twelve tribes upon the two precious stones on Aaron's shoulder-dress (Exodus 28:10). By the presentation or preparation of them from the fine flour presented by the congregation, and still more by the addition of incense, which was burned upon the altar every Sabbath on the removal of the loaves as azcarah, i.e., as a practical memento of the congregation before God, the laying out of these loaves assumed the form of a bloodless sacrifice, in which the congregation brought the fruit of its life and labour before the face of the Lord, and presented itself to its God as a nation diligent in sanctification to good works. If the shew-bread was a minchah, or meat-offering, and even a most holy one, which only the priests were allowed to eat in the holy place (Leviticus 24:9, cf. Leviticus 2:3 and Leviticus 6:9-10), it must naturally have been unleavened, as the unanimous testimony of the Jewish tradition affirms it to have been. And if as a rule no meat-offering could be leavened, and of the loaves of first-fruits prepared for the feast of Pentecost, which were actually leavened, none was allowed to be placed upon the altar (Leviticus 2:11-12; Leviticus 6:10); still less could leavened bread be brought into the sanctuary before Jehovah. The only ground, therefore, on which Knobel can maintain that those loaves were leavened, is on the supposition that they were intended to represent the daily bread, which could no more fail in the house of Jehovah than in any other well-appointed house (see Bhr, Symbolik i. p. 410). The process of laying these loaves before Jehovah continually was to be "an everlasting covenant" (Leviticus 24:8), i.e., a pledge or sign of the everlasting covenant, just as circumcision, as the covenant in the flesh, was to be an everlasting covenant (Genesis 17:13).
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