Leviticus 24:14
Bring forth him that has cursed without the camp; and let all that heard him lay their hands on his head, and let all the congregation stone him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14) Bring forth him that hath cursed.—The sentence which God now passes upon the blasphemer is that he should be conducted from prison outside the camp, where all unclean persons had to abide (Numbers 5:2-3), and where malefactors were executed (Hebrews 13:12-13).

Let all that heard him lay their hands upon his head.—That is, the witnesses who heard him blaspheme, and upon whose evidence he was convicted, and the judges who found him guilty, are to lay their hands upon the criminal’s head. Hence the Chaldee version translates it, “Let the witnesses who heard his blasphemy and the judges lay their hands upon his head.” This imposition of hands upon a criminal was peculiar to the blasphemer who was sentenced to death, and according to the Jewish canonists, the witnesses and the judges thereby declared that the testimony and the sentence were faithful and righteous, and at the same time uttered the solemn words, “Let thy blood be upon thine own head; thou hast brought this upon thyself.”

Let all the congregation stone him.—The witnesses, who are the representatives of the people, cast the first stone, and then all the people who stood by covered the convict with stones. (See Leviticus 20:2.)

Leviticus 24:14. Lay their hands upon his head — Whereby they gave public testimony that they heard this person speak such words, and did in their own and all the people’s names demand justice to be executed upon him, that by this sacrifice God might be appeased, and his judgments turned away from the people, upon whom they would certainly fall if he were unpunished. Stone him — The same punishment which was before appointed for those who cursed their parents.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.Lay their hands upon his head - As a protest against the impiety of the criminal, symbolically laying the guilt upon his head. Compare the washing of hands, Deuteronomy 21:6; Matthew 27:24.

Let all the congregation stone him - See Leviticus 20:2 note.

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.

By

laying their hands upon his head they gave public testimony that they heard this person speak such words, and did in their own and in all the people’s names desire and demand justice to be executed upon him, that by this sacrifice God might be appeased, and his judgments turned away from the people, upon whom they would certainly fall if he were unpunished.

Stone him; the same punishment which was before appointed for those who cursed their parents, whereas it deserved a far more grievous death, Thus God in this life mixeth mercy with judgment, and punisheth men less than their iniquities deserve. 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.

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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
14. let all that heard him lay their hands upon his head] Cp. the inclusion of the witnesses in the account of the stoning of St Stephen (Acts 7:58).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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