Regulations for the Lampstand and Table of Bread1 The Lord spoke to Moses: 2 “Command the Israelites to bring ▼
▼ Heb “and let them take.” The simple vav (ו) on the imperfect/jussive form of the verb לָקַח (laqakh, “to take”) following the imperative (“Command”) indicates a purpose clause (“to bring…”).to you pure oil of beaten olives for the light, to make a lamp burn continually. ▼
▼ Heb “to cause to ascend a lamp continually.”3 Outside the veil-canopy ▼
▼ The Hebrew term פָּרֹכֶת (parokhet) is usually translated “veil” or “curtain,” but it seems to have stretched not only in front of but also over the top of the ark of the covenant which stood behind and under it inside the most holy place (see R. E. Averbeck, NIDOTTE 3:687–89).of the congregation in the Meeting Tent Aaron ▼
▼ Several medieval Hebrew mss, Smr, and the LXX add “and his sons.”must arrange it from evening until morning before the Lord continually. This is a perpetual statute throughout your generations. ▼
▼ Heb “for your generations.”4 On the ceremonially pure lampstand ▼
▼ Alternatively, “pure [gold] lampstand,” based on Exod 25:31, etc., where the term for “gold” actually appears (see NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT, and the remarks in J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 395, etc.). However, in Lev 24:4 the adjective “pure” is feminine, corresponding to “lampstand,” not an assumed noun “gold” (contrast Exod 25:31), and the “table” in v. 6 was overlaid with gold, but was not made of pure gold. Therefore, it is probably better to translate “[ceremonially] pure lampstand” (v. 4) and “[ceremonially] pure table” (v. 6); see NEB; cf. KJV, ASV; B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 164–65; and G. J. Wenham, Leviticus [NICOT], 307.he must arrange the lamps before the Lord continually.
5 “You must take choice wheat flour ▼ and bake twelve loaves; ▼
▼ Heb “and bake it twelve loaves”; KJV, NAB, NASB “cakes.”there must be two tenths of an ephah of flour in ▼
▼ The words “of flour” are supplied in the translation for clarity.▼ each loaf, 6 and you must set them in two rows, six in a row, ▼
▼ Heb “six of the row.”on the ceremonially pure table before the Lord. 7 You must put pure frankincense ▼
▼ This is not just any “incense” (קְטֹרֶת, qetoret; R. E. Averbeck, NIDOTTE 3:913–16), but specifically “frankincense” (לְבֹנָה, levonah; R. E. Averbeck, NIDOTTE 2:756–57).on each row, ▼
▼ Heb “on [עַל, ’al] the row,” probably used distributively, “on each row” (J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 395-96). Perhaps the frankincense was placed “with” or “along side of” each row, not actually on the bread itself, and was actually burned as incense to the Lord (cf. NIV “Along [Alongside CEV] each row”; NRSV “with each row”; NLT “near each row”; B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 165). This particular preposition can have such a meaning.and it will become a memorial portion ▼ for the bread, a gift ▼ to the Lord. 8 Each Sabbath day ▼
▼ Heb “In the day of the Sabbath, in the day of the Sabbath.” The repetition is distributive. A few medieval Hebrew mss, the LXX, and the Syriac delete the second occurrence of the expression.Aaron ▼
▼ Heb “he”; the referent (Aaron) has been specified in the translation for clarity.must arrange it before the Lord continually; this portion ▼
▼ The word “portion” is supplied in the translation here for clarity, to specify what “this” refers to.is from the Israelites as a perpetual covenant. 9 It will belong to Aaron and his sons, and they must eat it in a holy place because it is most holy to him, a perpetual allotted portion ▼
▼ Or “a perpetual regulation”; NRSV “a perpetual due.”from the gifts of the Lord.”
A Case of Blaspheming the Name10 Now ▼
▼ Heb “And.”an Israelite woman’s son whose father was an Egyptian went out among the Israelites, and the Israelite woman’s son and an Israelite man ▼
▼ Heb “the Israelite man,” but Smr has no article, and the point is that there was a conflict between the man of mixed background and a man of full Israelite descent.had a fight in the camp. 11 The Israelite woman’s son misused the Name and cursed, ▼
▼ The verb rendered “misused” means literally “to bore through, to pierce” (HALOT 719 s.v. נקב qal); it is from נָקַב (naqav), not קָבַב (qavav; see the participial form in v. 16a). Its exact meaning here is uncertain. The two verbs together may form a hendiadys, “he pronounced by cursing blasphemously” (B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 166), the idea being one of the following: (1) he pronounced the name “Yahweh” in a way or with words that amounted to “some sort of verbal aggression against Yahweh himself” (E. S. Gerstenberger, Leviticus [OTL], 362), (2) he pronounced a curse against the man using the name “Yahweh” (N. H. Snaith, Leviticus and Numbers [NCBC], 110; G. J. Wenham, Leviticus [NICOT], 311), or (3) he pronounced the name “Yahweh” and thereby blasphemed, since the “Name” was never to be pronounced (a standard Jewish explanation). In one way or another, the offense surely violated Exod 20:7, one of the ten commandments, and the same verb for cursing is used explicitly in Exod 22:28 (27 HT) prohibition against “cursing” God. For a full discussion of these and related options for interpreting this verse see P. J. Budd, Leviticus (NCBC), 335–36; J. E. Hartley, Leviticus (WBC), 408-9; and Levine, 166.so they brought him to Moses. (Now his mother’s name was Shelomith daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan.) 12 So they placed him in custody until they were able ▼
▼ The words “until they were able” are not in the Hebrew text, but are implied.to make a clear legal decision for themselves based on words from the mouth of the Lord. ▼
▼ The Hebrew here is awkward. A literal reading would be something like the following: “And they placed him in custody to give a clear decision [HALOT 976 s.v. פרשׁ qal] for themselves on the mouth of the Lord.” In any case, they were apparently waiting for a direct word from the Lord regarding this matter (see vv. 13ff).
13 Then the Lord spoke to Moses: 14 “Bring the one who cursed outside the camp, and all who heard him are to lay their hands on his head, and the whole congregation is to stone him to death. ▼ 15 Moreover, ▼
▼ Heb “And.”you are to tell the Israelites, ‘If any man curses his God ▼ he will bear responsibility for his sin, 16 and one who misuses ▼ the name of the Lord must surely be put to death. The whole congregation must surely stone him, whether he is a foreigner or a native citizen; when he misuses the Name he must be put to death.
17 “‘If a man beats any person to death, ▼
▼ Heb “And if a man strikes any soul [נֶפֶשׁ, nefesh] of mankind.” The idiom seems to derive from the idea of striking a fatal blow to the very “life” (literally, “soul”) of a human being, not just landing a blow on their body (HALOT 698 s.v. נכה hif.2). On the difficult of the meaning and significance of the term נֶפֶשׁ see the notes on Lev 17:10–11.he must be put to death. 18 One who beats an animal to death ▼
▼ Heb “And one who strikes a soul of an animal.”must make restitution for it, life for life. ▼
▼ Heb “soul under soul.” Cf. KJV “beast for beast”; NCV “must give…another animal to take its place.”19 If a man inflicts an injury on ▼
▼ Heb “gives a flaw in”; KJV, ASV “cause a blemish in.”his fellow citizen, ▼
▼ Or “neighbor” (so NAB, NASB, NIV); TEV, NLT “another person.”just as he has done it must be done to him – 20 fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth – just as he inflicts an injury on another person ▼
▼ Heb “in the man [אָדָם, ’adam].”that same injury ▼
▼ Heb “just as he inflicts an injury…it must be inflicted on him.” The referent (“that same injury”) has been specified in the translation for clarity.must be inflicted on him. 21 One who beats an animal to death ▼ must make restitution for it, but ▼
▼ Heb “and,” but here the Hebrew conjunction ו (vav, “and”) is adversative, contrasting the consequences of beating an animal to death with those of beating a person to death.one who beats a person to death must be put to death. 22 There will be one regulation ▼
▼ Heb “a regulation of one”; KJV, ASV “one manner of law”; NASB “one standard.”for you, whether a foreigner or a native citizen, for I am the Lord your God.’”
23 Then Moses spoke to the Israelites and they brought the one who cursed outside the camp and stoned him with stones. So the Israelites did just as the Lord had commanded Moses.
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