New English Translation
Regulations for the Lampstand and the Table of Bread
24 The Lord spoke to Moses: 2 “Command the Israelites to bring[a] to you pure oil of beaten olives for the light, to make a lamp burn continually.[b] 3 Outside the special curtain[c] of the congregation in the Meeting Tent, Aaron[d] must arrange it from evening until morning before the Lord continually. This is a perpetual statute throughout your generations.[e] 4 On the ceremonially pure lampstand[f] he must arrange the lamps before the Lord continually.
5 “You must take choice wheat flour[g] and bake twelve loaves;[h] there must be two-tenths of an ephah of flour in[i] each loaf, 6 and you must set them in two rows, six in a row,[j] on the ceremonially pure table before the Lord. 7 You must put pure frankincense[k] on each row,[l] and it will become a memorial portion[m] for the bread, a gift[n] to the Lord. 8 Each Sabbath day[o] Aaron[p] must arrange it before the Lord continually; this portion[q] is from the Israelites as a perpetual covenant. 9 It will belong to Aaron and his sons, and they must eat it in a holy place because it is most holy to him, a perpetually-allotted portion[r] from the gifts of the Lord.”
A Case of Blaspheming the Name
10 Now[s] an Israelite woman’s son whose father was an Egyptian went out among the Israelites, and the Israelite woman’s son and an Israelite man[t] had a fight in the camp. 11 The Israelite woman’s son misused the Name and cursed,[u] 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[v] to make a clear legal decision for themselves based on words from the mouth of the Lord.[w]
13 Then the Lord spoke to Moses: 14 “Bring the one who cursed outside the camp, and all who heard him are to lay their hands on his head, and the whole congregation is to stone him to death.[x] 15 Moreover,[y] you are to tell the Israelites, ‘If any man curses his God[z] he will bear responsibility for his sin, 16 and one who misuses[aa] the name of the Lord must surely be put to death. The whole congregation must surely stone him, whether he is a resident foreigner or a native citizen; when he misuses the Name he must be put to death.
17 “‘If a man beats any person to death,[ab] he must be put to death. 18 One who beats an animal to death[ac] must make restitution for it, life for life.[ad] 19 If a man inflicts an injury on[ae] his fellow citizen,[af] just as he has done it must be done to him— 20 fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth—just as he inflicts an injury on another person[ag] that same injury[ah] must be inflicted on him. 21 One who beats an animal to death[ai] must make restitution for it, but[aj] one who beats a person to death must be put to death. 22 There will be one regulation[ak] for you, whether a resident foreigner[al] or a native citizen, for I am the Lord your God.’”
23 Then Moses spoke to the Israelites and they brought the one who cursed outside the camp and stoned him with stones. So the Israelites did just as the Lord had commanded Moses.
- Leviticus 24:2 tn Heb “and let them take.” The simple vav (ו) on the imperfect/jussive form of the verb לָקַח (laqakh, “to take”) following the imperative (“Command”) indicates a purpose clause (“to bring…”).
- Leviticus 24:2 tn Heb “to cause to ascend a lamp continually.”
- Leviticus 24:3 tn The Hebrew term פָּרֹכֶת (parokhet) is usually translated “veil” or “curtain.” It seems to have stretched not only in front of but also over the top of the ark of the covenant which stood behind and under it inside the most holy place thus forming a canopy (see R. E. Averbeck, NIDOTTE 3:687-89).
- Leviticus 24:3 tc Several medieval Hebrew mss, Smr, and the LXX add “and his sons.”
- Leviticus 24:3 tn Heb “for your generations.”
- Leviticus 24:4 tn Alternatively, “pure [gold] lampstand,” based on Exod 25:31, etc., where the term for “gold” actually appears (see NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT, and the remarks in J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 395, etc.). However, in Lev 24:4 the adjective “pure” is feminine, corresponding to “lampstand,” not an assumed noun “gold” (contrast Exod 25:31), and the “table” in v. 6 was overlaid with gold, but was not made of pure gold. Therefore, it is probably better to translate “[ceremonially] pure lampstand” (v. 4) and “[ceremonially] pure table” (v. 6); see NEB; cf. KJV, ASV; B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 164-65; and G. J. Wenham, Leviticus [NICOT], 307.
- Leviticus 24:5 sn See the note on Lev 2:1.
- Leviticus 24:5 tn Heb “and bake it twelve loaves”; KJV, NAB, NASB “cakes.”
- Leviticus 24:5 tn The words “of flour” are supplied in the translation for clarity.sn See the note on Lev 5:11.
- Leviticus 24:6 tn Heb “six of the row.”
- Leviticus 24:7 tn This is not just any “incense” (קְטֹרֶת, qetoret; R. E. Averbeck, NIDOTTE 3:913-16), but specifically “frankincense” (לְבֹנָה, levonah; R. E. Averbeck, NIDOTTE 2:756-57).
- Leviticus 24:7 tn Heb “on [עַל, ʿal] the row,” probably used distributively, “on each row” (J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 395-96). Perhaps the frankincense was placed “with” or “along side of” each row, not actually on the bread itself, and was actually burned as incense to the Lord (cf. NIV “Along [Alongside CEV] each row”; NRSV “with each row”; NLT “near each row”; B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 165). This particular preposition can have such a meaning.
- Leviticus 24:7 sn The “memorial portion” (אַזְכָרָה, ʾazkharah) was normally the part of the grain offering that was burnt on the altar (see Lev 2:2 and the notes there), as opposed to the remainder, which was normally consumed by the priests (Lev 2:3; see the full regulations in Lev 6:14-23 [6:7-16 HT]).
- Leviticus 24:7 sn See the note on Lev 1:9 regarding the term “gift.”
- Leviticus 24:8 tn Heb “In the day of the Sabbath, in the day of the Sabbath.” The repetition is distributive. A few medieval Hebrew mss, the LXX, and the Syriac delete the second occurrence of the expression.
- Leviticus 24:8 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Aaron) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Leviticus 24:8 tn The word “portion” is supplied in the translation here for clarity, to specify what “this” refers to.
- Leviticus 24:9 tn Or “a perpetual regulation”; NRSV “a perpetual due.”
- Leviticus 24:10 tn Heb “And.”
- Leviticus 24:10 tn Heb “the Israelite man,” but Smr has no article, and the point is that there was a conflict between the man of mixed background and a man of full Israelite descent.
- 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).
- Leviticus 24:14 tn The words “to death” are supplied in the translation as a clarification; they are clearly implied from v. 16.
- Leviticus 24:15 tn Heb “And.”
- Leviticus 24:15 sn See the note on v. 11 above and esp. Exod 22:28 [27 HT].
- Leviticus 24:16 sn See the note on v. 11 above.
- Leviticus 24:17 tn Heb “And if a man strikes any soul [נֶפֶשׁ, nefesh] of mankind.” The idiom seems to derive from the idea of striking a fatal blow to the very “life” (literally, “soul”) of a human being, not just landing a blow on their body (HALOT 698 s.v. נכה hif.2). On the difficulty of the meaning and significance of the term נֶפֶשׁ see the notes on Lev 17:10-11.
- Leviticus 24:18 tn Heb “And one who strikes a soul of an animal.”
- Leviticus 24:18 tn Heb “soul under soul.” Cf. KJV “beast for beast”; NCV “must give…another animal to take its place.”
- Leviticus 24:19 tn Heb “gives a flaw in”; KJV, ASV “cause a blemish in.”
- Leviticus 24:19 tn Or “neighbor” (so NAB, NASB, NIV); TEV, NLT “another person.”
- Leviticus 24:20 tn Heb “in the man [אָדָם, ʾadam].”
- Leviticus 24:20 tn Heb “just as he inflicts an injury…it must be inflicted on him.” The referent (“that same injury”) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Leviticus 24:21 sn See the note on v. 18 above.
- Leviticus 24:21 tn Heb “and,” but here the Hebrew conjunction ו (vav, “and”) is adversative, contrasting the consequences of beating an animal to death with those of beating a person to death.
- Leviticus 24:22 tn Heb “a regulation of one”; KJV, ASV “one manner of law”; NASB “one standard.”
- Leviticus 24:22 sn On the Hebrew גֵּר (ger, “resident foreigner”) see notes at Exod 12:19 and Deut 29:11. Several passages emphasize equal standing under Mosaic Law (Exod 12:49; Lev 24:22; Num 9:14; 15:15, 16, 26, 29; 19:10; 35:15; Deut 1:16) or similar obligations (Exod 20:10; 23:12; Lev 16:29; 17:10, 12, 13; 18:26; 24:16; Num 15:14).