Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 2. Command. It is probable that this order was given while Beseleel was working at the tabernacle. (Calmet) — The people were to furnish the necessary sacrifices, &c., by the half sicle, Exodus xxx. 13, and by voluntary contributions on the three great festivals, on which no one was to appear empty-handed, Exodus xxiii. 15. Some chose to put their contributions towards the temple in the treasury, Luke xxi. 1. — Oil: Hebrew, “pure oil of the olive beaten, for light to,” &c.
Ver. 5. Bake. The family of Caath had to perform this office, 1 Paralipomenon ix. 32, and xxiii. 29. (Menochius) — [Ver. 7.] Incense. Septuagint add, “salt.” Villalpend also places wine on the table. (B. iv. 57.) — Memorial for the Lord to bless his people, and for them to make their oblations to him as to the living God, from whom all blessings are derived. (Haydock) — The incense was burnt instead of the bread, when fresh loaves were placed there. (Calmet)
Ver. 8. Of the, &c. The Israelites gave a sufficient maintenance to the ministers of religion, out of which these provided the loaves; as St. Jerome testifies, Malachias i.
Ver. 10. Egyptian. Many of these came out along with the Hebrews, Exodus xii. 38.
Ver. 11. The Name. Some Latin copies add, “of God;” but the best omit it, with the Hebrew, &c. This is, however, the meaning. (Calmet) — The son of Salumith being in a rage, cursed that sacred name; (ver. 15,) and, as he perhaps had attempted to vent his fury upon whatever came in his way, God here reiterates the laws against murder, &c., ver. 17. The Jews are so much afraid of taking the name of God (Yehovah) in vain, that they have for a long time abstained from pronouncing it at all; (Haydock) and here they have probably omitted it on purpose. (Houbigant) But this seems to border upon superstition, is contrary to the design of God, who revealed that august name, and inserted it very frequently in the holy Bible, and in the very prayer, which the senators have to recite; (Deuteronomy xxi. 8,) and, can any one suppose, that he would not have them pronounce it, even in their solemn devotions? Many of the Rabbins suppose, that blasphemy is not to be punished with death, if any other name of God be used: but others are more reasonable. Our Saviour was not accused by the Jews of transgressing, in this respect, when they condemned him as guilty of blasphemy, Matthew xxvi. 64. The name of God, is often used in the same sense as we use the words majesty, lordship, &c., as being more emphatical, and dignified. (Calmet)
Ver. 14. Head. To testify, that if they witness falsehood, they are willing to suffer the same punishment; and to beg that God would accept this victim, and not afflict all his people. (Tirinus)
Ver. 15. His God. Hebrew Elohaiv. Philo explains this of idols, as if it were unlawful to speak ill of them, lest we should proceed to do so with respect to the true God. But the prophets, and the most holy personages, had no scruple in speaking contemptuously of the pagan divinities. — His sin, and the punishment of it. (Calmet)
Ver. 19. Blemish. Hebrew mum, denotes any thing by which the body is disfigured or hurt. (Menochius)
Ver. 20. Breach, or fracture: if he break a bone, the like detriment shall he receive.
Ver. 21. Striketh, so as to kill or render useless, percusserit, (Haydock) ver. 18. — Punished. Septuagint, “slain.” They omit the first part of this verse.
Ver. 22. Stranger. The Jews improperly restrain this law to those nations only which have embraced their religion. God requires that the judges shall not shew more favour to their countrymen, than to others who may dwell among them. (Calmet)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
The oil for the lamps. The loaves of proposition. The punishment of blasphemy.
1 And the Lord spoke to Moses, *saying:
2 Command the children of Israel, that they bring unto thee the finest and clearest oil of olives, to furnish the lamps continually,
3 Without the veil of the testimony in the tabernacle of the covenant. And Aaron shall set them from evening until morning before the Lord, by a perpetual service, and rite in your generations.
4 They shall be set upon the most pure candlestick before the Lord continually.
5 Thou shalt take also fine flour, and shalt bake twelve loaves thereof, two tenths shall be in every loaf :
6 And thou shalt set them six and six, one against another, upon the most clean table before the Lord:
7 And thou shalt put upon them the clearest frankincense, that the bread may be for a memorial of the oblation of the Lord.
8 Every sabbath they shall be changed before the Lord, being received of the children of Israel by an everlasting covenant:
9 And they shall be Aaron’s and his sons’, that they may eat them in the holy place: because it is most holy of the sacrifices of the Lord, by a perpetual rite.
10 And behold there went out the son of a woman of Israel, whom she had of an Egyptian, among the children of Israel, and fell at words in the camp with a man of Israel.
11 And when he had blasphemed the Name, and had cursed it, he was brought to Moses: (now his mother was called Salumith, the daughter of Dabri, of the tribe of Dan:)
12 And they put him into prison, till they might know what the Lord would command.
13 And the Lord spoke to Moses,
14 Saying: Bring forth the blasphemer without the camp, and let them that heard him, put their hands upon his head, and let all the people stone him.
15 And thou shalt speak to the children of Israel: The man that curseth his God, shall bear his sin:
16 And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, dying let him die: all the multitude shall stone him, whether he be a native or a stranger. He that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, dying let him die.
17 *He that striketh and killeth a man, dying let him die.
18 He that killeth a beast, shall make it good, that is to say, shall give beast for beast.
19 He that giveth a blemish to any of his neighbours: as he hath done, so shall it be done to him:
20 *Breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth shall he restore. What blemish he gave, the like shall he be compelled to suffer.
21 He that striketh a beast, shall render another. He that striketh a man shall be punished.
22 Let there be equal judgment among you, whether he be a stranger, or a native that offends: because I am the Lord your God.
23 And Moses spoke to the children of Israel: and they brought forth him that had blasphemed, without the camp, and they stoned him. And the children of Israel did as the Lord had commanded Moses.
1: Year of the World 2514.
17: Exodus xxi. 12.
20: Exodus xxi. 24.; Deuteronomy xix. 21.; Matthew v. 38.