Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
OIL FOR THE
2. Command the children of Israel--This is the repetition of a
law previously given
(Ex 27:20, 21).
pure oil olive beaten--or cold-drawn, which is always of great
3, 4. Aaron shall order it from the evening unto the
morning--The daily presence of the priests was necessary to
superintend the cleaning and trimming.
4. upon the pure candlestick--so called because of pure gold.
This was symbolical of the light which ministers are to diffuse through
5-9. take fine flour, and bake twelve cakes--for the showbread,
as previously appointed
Those cakes were baked by the Levites, the flour being furnished by the
(1Ch 9:32; 23:29),
oil, wine, and salt being the other ingredients
two tenth deals--that is, of an ephah--thirteen and a half
pounds weight each; and on each row or pile of cakes some frankincense
was strewed, which, being burnt, led to the showbread being called "an
offering made by fire." Every Sabbath a fresh supply was furnished; hot
loaves were placed on the altar instead of the stale ones, which,
having lain a week, were removed, and eaten only by the priests, except
in cases of necessity
Lu 6:3, 4).
10. the son of an Israelitish woman, &c.--This passage narrates
the enactment of a new law, with a detail of the circumstances which
gave rise to it. The "mixed multitude"
that accompanied the Israelites in their exodus from Egypt creates a
presumption that marriage connections of the kind described were not
infrequent. And it was most natural, in the relative circumstances of
the two people, that the father should be an Egyptian and the mother an
11. And the Israelitish woman's son blasphemed the name of the
Lord--A youth of this half-blood, having quarrelled with an
vented his rage in some horrid form of impiety. It was a common
practice among the Egyptians to curse their idols when disappointed in
obtaining the object of their petitions. The Egyptian mind of this
youth thought the greatest insult to his opponent was to blaspheme the
object of his religious reverence. He spoke disrespectfully of One who
sustained the double character of the King as well as the God of the
Hebrew people; as the offense was a new one, he was put in ward till
the mind of the Lord was ascertained as to his disposal.
14. Bring forth him that hath cursed without the camp--All
executions took place without the camp; and this arrangement probably
originated in the idea that, as the Israelites were to be "a holy
[De 7:6; 14:2, 21; 26:19; 28:9],
all flagrant offenders should be thrust out of their society.
let all that heard him lay their hands upon his head, &c.--The
imposition of hands formed a public and solemn testimony against the
crime, and at the same time made the punishment legal.
16. as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he
blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall be put to death--Although
strangers were not obliged to be circumcised, yet by joining the
Israelitish camp, they became amenable to the law, especially that
which related to blasphemy.
17-22. he that killeth any man shall surely be put to
death--These verses contain a repetition of some other laws,
relating to offenses of a social nature, the penalties for which were
to be inflicted, not by the hand of private parties, but through the
medium of the judges before whom the cause was brought.
23. the children of Israel did as the Lord's commanded--The
chapter closes with the execution of Shelomith's son
--and stoning having afterwards become the established punishment in
all cases of blasphemy, it illustrates the fate of Stephen, who
suffered under a false imputation of that crime
[Ac 7:58, 59].