corner graphic

Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Leviticus 24

 

 

Verses 1-4

Leviticus 24. Four Additional Ordinances.

Leviticus 24:1-4. The Holy Lamp (P).

Leviticus 24:2 f. is partially identical with Exodus 27:20*—a section which may not be in its right place. The candlestick with seven lights (cf. "lamps," Leviticus 24:4) is represented on the Arch of Titus; 1 Kings 7:49 mentions ten candlesticks; Leviticus 24:2 f. probably represents the earlier custom of one lamp (cf. 1 Samuel 3:3).


Verses 5-9

Leviticus 24:5-9. The Shewbread (P).—First mentioned in 1 Samuel 21:1-7 (cf. Mark 2:25 ff.), also 1 Kings 7:48 (cf. Exodus 25:30*, Numbers 4:7). Putting food before the gods (as distinct from offerings) is a not infrequent element in pagan rites; cf. the Roman "lectisternia"; twelve cakes of bread are offered in a Babylonian ritual (cf. Isaiah 65:11, Jeremiah 7:18). Each of the twelve cakes is to be one-fifth of an ephah (cf. Leviticus 23:17). By the later regulation the bread was to be unleavened (leaven coming to be looked on as a symbol of corruption, cf. Leviticus 2:4, Leviticus 6:9, Leviticus 7:12, etc.); the incense placed by the bread (Leviticus 24:7) is then burnt on the altar. The bread is offered on the Sabbath and then eaten by the priests.


Verses 10-16

Leviticus 24:10-16; Leviticus 24:23. The punishment for blasphemy connected, as in Leviticus 10:1-7 and Sabbath breaking, with an actual example. Language and literary manner suggest that the section is later than H, as also the new beginning in Leviticus 24:15 and the position of Leviticus 24:23. The guilty man, the offspring of a mixed marriage (forbidden in Deuteronomy 7:3, Exodus 34:16), is a proselyte or "stranger" (Leviticus 24:16). "The Name" (for the name of Yahweh) does not occur elsewhere in OT, though frequent in later Jewish writings. The man is to be brought "outside the camp" as being unholy and polluting the community. The sin is more than the careless invocation of the Name in a moment of passion (Exodus 20:7). The "stranger" renounces his allegiance to Yahweh altogether (cf. Job 1:11, where the word is different though the meaning is probably the same). For the laying on of hands, see on Leviticus 1:4 : the sinner, like the sacrificial victim, purges the whole community by his death. For the stoning, cf. Deuteronomy 17:7. The whole ceremony is purgative, not judicial.


Verses 17-22

Leviticus 24:17-22. The "Lex Talionis" (cf. Exodus 21:23, Matthew 5:38). An early and simple form of the assessment and administration of judicial penalties. For Leviticus 24:17, cf. Genesis 9:5 : in Exodus 21:20, the principle is not yet allowed full scope. Another early system was that of fines (assessed in a sort of tariff) for crimes (cf. Anglo-Saxon law and Code of Hammurabi; cf. also Exodus 21:18). A middle course is taken in the "guilt offering" when an extra one-fifth is to be restored; but this is, of course, impossible in the case of bodily injuries contemplated here. For Leviticus 24:22, cf. Leviticus 24:16; Leviticus 19:34. The whole code is markedly stronger in humanitarian than in judicial reform (but note the significant distinction in Leviticus 25:46).


Verse 23

Leviticus 24:10-16; Leviticus 24:23. The punishment for blasphemy connected, as in Leviticus 10:1-7 and Sabbath breaking, with an actual example. Language and literary manner suggest that the section is later than H, as also the new beginning in Leviticus 24:15 and the position of Leviticus 24:23. The guilty man, the offspring of a mixed marriage (forbidden in Deuteronomy 7:3, Exodus 34:16), is a proselyte or "stranger" (Leviticus 24:16). "The Name" (for the name of Yahweh) does not occur elsewhere in OT, though frequent in later Jewish writings. The man is to be brought "outside the camp" as being unholy and polluting the community. The sin is more than the careless invocation of the Name in a moment of passion (Exodus 20:7). The "stranger" renounces his allegiance to Yahweh altogether (cf. Job 1:11, where the word is different though the meaning is probably the same). For the laying on of hands, see on Leviticus 1:4 : the sinner, like the sacrificial victim, purges the whole community by his death. For the stoning, cf. Deuteronomy 17:7. The whole ceremony is purgative, not judicial.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Leviticus 24:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/leviticus-24.html. 1919.

Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology