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Leviticus - Chapter 24

Bible Study Notes

Leviticus 24:1-4 Lampstand The Lord instructed the children of Israel to bring their oils made from beaten olives to contribute to the Lamp in the tabernacle so it will burn continuously, that is outside the veil. Aaron shall attend to the lamps on the lampstand as a statute forever.

Leviticus 24:5-9 Bread for Tabernacle 12 loaves of bread made from fine flour and two tenths of an ephah (measurement = 22 liters or 4 quarts) shall be baked for the Tabernacle separated into 2 piles on the table of pure gold. Frankincense shall be poured onto the bread as a food offering to the Lord. Aaron shall attend to this and replace the bread with new loaves every Sabbath. Aaron and his sons shall eat this bread.

Notes: The twelve loaves symbolize the 12 tribes of Israel as they stand in the presence of God. New loaves are to be set out on each Sabbath without exception. This is important because it is a sign of the covenant between the 12 tribes of Israel and God.

Leviticus 24:10-16 Punishment for Blasphemy An Israelite woman (Shelomith of the tribe of Dan) in the camp had married an Egyptian (previously in Egypt?). Their son fought with a fellow Israelite man and the son cursed the name of God and used God’s name in a vain way, dishonoring God. They brought the son before Moses and put him custody as the sought the Lord’s will in the matter. The Lord instructed Moses to bring out the son who cursed the Lord’s name and have everyone who heard him cursed lay their hands on his head and then have him stoned to death by the congregation. The Lord told Moses to tell all the people of Israel that all who curses God shall bear their sin and be put to death. This includes the sojourner and the native.

Notes: Blasphemy is the act or offense of speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things; profane talk. There were no jails in Israel since incarceration was not a penalty for crime. They had merely restrained him, probably in a pit of some sort, until they could establish his punishment. Punishments were corporal, punishment, or, in severe cases, death. Those who lived through the punishment worked to secure restitution for those they had violated.

Examples of Blasphemy could be:

1)    Cursing God’s name.

2)    Stating the God is unkind, unjust, or cruel. (Say anything about God that is not true).

3)    Creating artwork that depicts God in anyway other than in Holiness and truth.

4)    Attributing anything of the Holy Spirit (His power and works) to the devil.

5)    God does not exist.

6)    Worshipping other Gods other than the true God of the Bible.

7)    Saying anything or doing anything that tarnishes the reputation of God’s name.

Leviticus 24:17-23 Eye for an Eye If you murder another human, you shall be put to death. If you murder a fellow Israelite’s animal, your animal shall be put to death. If you purposely injure your neighbor, retribution shall be made the fits the crime by the judges, not by the individual injured. In other words, if your neighbor pokes your eye out, you don’t go and poke his eye out. The case is brought before the judges and they decide the punishment that fits the crime usually a monetary fine. This applies to the sojourner and the native.

Notes: This law of retaliation established the principle that the punishment should fit the crime, but not go beyond it. It is unlikely that fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth actually implies mutilation as the punishment for the offender; rather, the value of the injured member will be the imposed fine (cf. Ex. 21:18–19). This law, when properly applied, guides the judges in assessing damages and sets a limit on the thirst for revenge. Since this is a rule for judges to follow, it should not be invoked in ordinary daily relationships.

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