New English Translation
11 The Israelite woman’s son misused the Name and cursed,[a] 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[b] to make a clear legal decision for themselves based on words from the mouth of the Lord.[c]
13 Then the Lord spoke to Moses:Read full chapter
- Leviticus 24:11 tn 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) for 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.
- Leviticus 24:12 tn The words “until they were able” are not in the Hebrew text, but are implied.
- Leviticus 24:12 tn 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).