But the soul that does ought presumptuously, whether he be born in the land, or a stranger, the same reproaches the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)That doeth ought presumptuously.—Literally, with a high hand.Numbers 15:30. The soul that doeth aught presumptuously — Hebrew, With a high hand, or, with violence. It is meant to express the action or conduct of a man who knowingly and wilfully broke the law, and when admonished, despised the admonition, and set the law at naught. Maimonides and other rabbis think this law is to be restrained to sins of idolatry, which certainly are most properly a reproaching of Jehovah, and a despising of his word, and therefore were commanded, in the law of Moses, to be punished with greater severity than other crimes, as being high treason against their state, subversive of the essential form of their government, and an implicit rejecting of Jehovah for their God and King, and yielding their allegiance to the idols of the nations. The same reproacheth the Lord — He sets God at defiance, and exposeth him to contempt, as if he were unable to punish transgressors. But every wilful sin is, in the nature of things, a reproach or dishonour to the Lord, Romans 2:23. It is saying, in effect, that his commandments are not wise, just, and good, and that we know better what is fit for ourselves than he can judge for us. But acts of idolatry, or whatever tended to favour it, whether in a Jew or proselyte, were especially reproachful to God, for the reasons just mentioned. That soul shall be cut off — Here this phrase signifies put to death, though in many other places it seems to denote only exclusion from the privileges of the Jewish community. Persons sinning thus presumptuously could have no benefit by the expiatory sacrifices of the law, for they blasphemed the Lawgiver, and disowned the authority of the law. Thus, (Hebrews 10:29,) He that despised Moses’s law died without mercy, under two or three witnesses.Exodus 14:8) imports something done willfully and openly; in the case of a sin against God it implies that the act is committed ostentatiously and in bravado.
Reproacheth the Lord - Rather, revileth or blasphemeth the Lord: compare Ezekiel 20:27.
the same reproacheth the Lord—sets Him at open defiance and dishonors His majesty.Ought; understand such things as ought not to be done and things relating to the worship of God;
presumptously, Heb. with a high or lifted hand i. e. knowingly willfully, boldly, resolvedly, deliberately, designedly. So this phrase is elsewhere used. See Exodus 14:8 Leviticus 26:21 Numbers 33:3 Job 15:26 Psalm 19:13.
Reproacheth the Lord, i.e. he sets God at defiance, and exposeth him to contempt, as if he were unworthy of any regard, and unable to punish transgressors.
whether he be born in the land, or a stranger; here a stranger as well signifies a proselyte of the gate as a proselyte of righteousness; seeing this presumptuous sinning may respect idolatry and blasphemy, which sins were punishable in proselytes of the gate by the magistrates of Israel as well as by the immediate hand of God:
the same reproacheth the Lord; by denying him to be the true Jehovah, by worshipping other gods, and by speaking in a blaspheming manner of him the true God; and indeed every presumptuous sin, which is committed in a bold and audacious manner, in contempt of God and defiance of his law, is a reproaching him the lawgiver, and a trampling upon his legislative power and authority:
and that soul shall be cut off from among his people, either by the hand of the civil magistrate, upon conviction of him, or by the immediate hand of God; no sacrifice was to be offered for such, no atonement to be made or forgiveness to be had; see Matthew 12:31.But the soul that doeth ought presumptuously, whether he be born in the land, or a stranger, the same reproacheth the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)30. with an high hand] with deliberate defiance. In Numbers 33:3, Exodus 14:8 it is used of the bold defiance with which the Israelites marched out of Egypt.
the same blasphemeth the Lord] Jehovah doth he revile. The emphatic position of ‘Jehovah’ lays stress on the enormity of the crime. The ‘reviling’ was not necessarily in speech; actions speak louder than words.Verse 30. - The soul that doeth... presumptuously. Literally, "with a high hand," i.e., defiantly. A similar phrase is used of God himself (Exodus 13:9). The same reproacheth the Lord, מְגַדֵּפ, revileth. Septuagint, παροξυνεῖ In Ezekiel 20:27 it is translated "blasphemeth." Perhaps "affronteth" would be better. He that deliberately broke the commandment of the Lord avowed him. self his open enemy, and, as it were, challenged him to single combat. Cut off. See Genesis 17:14.
A second law (Numbers 15:17-21) appoints, on the ground of the general regulations in Exodus 22:28 and Exodus 23:19, the presentation of a heave-offering from the bread which they would eat in the land of Canaan, viz., a first-fruit of groat-meal (עריסת ראשׁית) baked as cake (חלּה). Arisoth, which is only used in connection with the gift of first-fruits, in Ezekiel 44:30; Nehemiah 10:38, and the passage before us, signifies most probably groats, or meal coarsely bruised, like the talmudical ערסן, contusum, mola, far, and indeed far hordei. This cake of the groats of first-fruits they were to offer "as a heave-offering of the threshing-floor," i.e., as a heave-offering of the bruised corn, in the same manner as this (therefore, in addition to it, and along with it); and that "according to your generations" (see Exodus 12:14), that is to say, for all time, to consecrate a gift of first-fruits to the Lord, not only of the grains of corn, but also of the bread made from the corn, and "to cause a blessing to rest upon his house" (Ezekiel 44:30). Like all the gifts of first-fruits, this cake also fell to the portion of the priests (see Ezek. and Neh. ut sup.).
To these there are added, in Numbers 15:22, Numbers 15:31, laws relating to sin-offerings, the first of which, in Numbers 15:22-26, is distinguished from the case referred to in Leviticus 4:13-21, by the fact that the sin is not described here, as it is there, as "doing one of the commandments of Jehovah which ought not to be done," but as "not doing all that Jehovah had spoken through Moses." Consequently, the allusion here is not to sins of commission, but to sins of omission, not following the law of God, "even (as is afterwards explained in Numbers 15:23) all that the Lord hath commanded you by the hand of Moses from the day that the Lord hath commanded, and thenceforward according to your generations," i.e., since the first beginning of the giving of the law, and during the whole of the time following (Knobel). These words apparently point to a complete falling away of the congregation from the whole of the law. Only the further stipulation in Numbers 15:24, "if it occur away from the eyes of the congregation through error" (in oversight), cannot be easily reconciled with this, as it seems hardly conceivable that an apostasy from the entire law should have remained hidden from the congregation. This "not doing all the commandments of Jehovah," of which the congregation is supposed to incur the guilt without perceiving it, might consist either in the fact that, in particular instances, whether from oversight or negligence, the whole congregation omitted to fulfil the commandments of God, i.e., certain precepts of the law, sc., in the fact that they neglected the true and proper fulfilment of the whole law, either, as Outram supposes, "by retaining to a certain extent the national rites, and following the worship of the true God, and yet at the same time acting unconsciously in opposition to the law, through having been led astray by some common errors;" or by allowing the evil example of godless rulers to seduce them to neglect their religious duties, or to adopt and join in certain customs and usages of the heathen, which appeared to be reconcilable with the law of Jehovah, though they really led to contempt and neglect of the commandments of the Lord.
(Note: Maimonides (see Outram, ex veterum sententia) understands this law as relating to extraneous worship; and Outram himself refers to the times of the wicked kings, "when the people neglected their hereditary rites, and, forgetting the sacred laws, fell by a common sin into the observance of the religious rites of other nations." Undoubtedly, we have historical ground in 2 Chronicles 29:21., and Ezra 8:35, for this interpretation of our law, but further allusions are not excluded in consequence. We cannot agree with Baumgarten, therefore, in restricting the difference between Leviticus 4:13. and the passage before us to the fact, that the former supposes the transgression of one particular commandment on the part of the whole congregation, whilst the latter (Numbers 15:22, Numbers 15:23) refers to a continued lawless condition on the part of Israel.)
But as a disregard or neglect of the commandments of God had to be expiated, a burnt-offering was to be added to the sin-offering, that the separation of the congregation from the Lord, which had arisen from the sin of omission, might be entirely removed. The apodosis commences with והיה in Numbers 15:24, but is interrupted by מעי אם, and resumed again with ועשׂוּ, "it shall be, if...the whole congregation shall prepare," etc. The burnt-offering, being the principal sacrifice, is mentioned as usual before the sin-offering, although, when presented, it followed the latter, on account of its being necessary that the sin should be expiated before the congregation could sanctify its life and efforts afresh to the Lord in the burnt-offering. "One kid of the goats:" see Leviticus 4:23. כּמּשׂפּט (as in Leviticus 5:10; Leviticus 9:16, etc.) refers to the right established in Numbers 15:8, Numbers 15:9, concerning the combination of the meat and drink-offering with the burnt-offering. The sin-offering was to be treated according to the rule laid down in Leviticus 4:14.
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