Scriptures

Leviticus 24

Introduction

‘The LORD said to Moses, ‘Command the Israelites to bring you clear oil of pressed olives for the light so that the lamps may be kept burning continually. Outside the curtain that shields the ark of the covenant law in the tent of meeting, Aaron is to tend the lamps before the LORD from evening till morning, continually. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. The lamps on the pure gold lampstand before the LORD must be tended continually. ‘Take the finest flour and bake twelve loaves of bread, using two-tenths of an ephah for each loaf. Arrange them in two stacks, six in each stack, on the table of pure gold before the LORD. By each stack put some pure incense as a memorial portion to represent the bread and to be a food offering presented to the LORD. This bread is to be set out before the LORD regularly, Sabbath after Sabbath, on behalf of the Israelites, as a lasting covenant. It belongs to Aaron and his sons, who are to eat it in the sanctuary area, because it is a most holy part of their perpetual share of the food offerings presented to the LORD.’ Leviticus 24:1-9

Ordinances Of Light And Bread

These were the lamps which gave light for the tabernacle, Exodus 25:31-40 / Exodus 27:20-21. It was always to be burning, which signified that God’s work never ceased, Zechariah 4 / Revelation 1:12-20.

Twelve cakes of bread are to be set upon the table within the tabernacle, Exodus 25:23-30, this was food for the priests. Pure frankincense is to be sprinkled upon these loaves, which signified a memorial before the Lord.

‘Now the son of an Israelite mother and an Egyptian father went out among the Israelites, and a fight broke out in the camp between him and an Israelite. The son of the Israelite woman blasphemed the Name with a curse; so, they brought him to Moses. (His mother’s name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri the Danite.) They put him in custody until the will of the LORD should be made clear to them. Then the LORD said to Moses: ‘Take the blasphemer outside the camp. All those who heard him are to lay their hands on his head, and the entire assembly is to stone him. Say to the Israelites: ‘Anyone who curses their God will be held responsible; anyone who blasphemes the name of the LORD is to be put to death. The entire assembly must stone them. Whether foreigner or native-born, when they blaspheme the Name they are to be put to death. ‘Anyone who takes the life of a human being is to be put to death. Anyone who takes the life of someone’s animal must make restitution—life for life. Anyone who injures their neighbour is to be injured in the same manner: fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. The one who has inflicted the injury must suffer the same injury. Whoever kills an animal must make restitution, but whoever kills a human being is to be put to death. You are to have the same law for the foreigner and the native-born. I am the LORD your God.’ Then Moses spoke to the Israelites, and they took the blasphemer outside the camp and stoned him. The Israelites did as the LORD commanded Moses.’ Leviticus 24:10-23

The Holiness Of God’s Name

The son of an Israelite woman, whose father was an Egyptian, Exodus 12:38, went out among the sons of Israel and the Israelite woman’s son and a man of Israel struggled with each other in the camp. The son of the Israelite woman blasphemed the Name and cursed. So, they brought him to Moses.

The trouble started with a mixed marriage, which was later forbidden in Deuteronomy 7:3-4 / Nehemiah 13:25. This was not to be the last time that the ‘mixed multitude’ would be the cause of trouble in the camp, Numbers 11.

An altercation took place between this young man and an Israelite. The source of the altercation is not important but what is important is that it resulted in the sin of blasphemy against the name of the Lord. This sin called for death on the part of the guilty.

Since this was the first time this kind of incident happened, the man was placed in custody until Moses could go before the Lord for advice. God says that any verbal sin against Him and His laws for Israel, was punishable by stoning. It was the responsibility of the entire congregation to carry out the sentence so that no one person would be the executioner.

The seriousness of the punishment demonstrates the seriousness of the sin which applied to both Israel as a nation and any stranger. Notice the mention of ‘fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’

In other words, the punishment must fit the crime, Matthew 5:38-42. The death penalty wouldn’t be given for anyone who told a lie but the death penalty would be given to anyone who voluntarily murdered someone. If someone voluntarily took the life of someone, they had their right to life taken from them.

Back To Leviticus 23

Go To Leviticus 25

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Romans 5:8

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