The Sanctuary Light.* 1The LORD said to Moses: 2Order the Israelites to bring you clear oil of crushed olives for the light, so that you may keep the lamp burning regularly.a 3In the tent of meeting, outside the veil that hangs in front of the covenant, Aaron shall set up the lamp to burn before the LORD regularly, from evening till morning, by a perpetual statute throughout your generations. 4He shall set up the lamps on the pure gold menorah to burn regularly before the LORD.
The Showbread.* 5You shall take bran flour and bake it into twelve cakes,b using two tenths of an ephah of flour for each cake. 6These you shall place in two piles, six in each pile, on the pure gold table before the LORD. 7With each pile put some pure frankincense, which shall serve as an oblation to the LORD, a token of the bread offering. 8Regularly on each sabbath day the breadc shall be set out before the LORD on behalf of the Israelites by an everlasting covenant. 9It shall belong to Aaron and his sons, who must eat it in a sacred place, since it is most sacred,d his as a perpetual due from the oblations to the LORD.
Punishment of Blasphemy.* 10A man born of an Israelite mother and an Egyptian father went out among the Israelites, and in the camp a fight broke out between the son of the Israelite woman and an Israelite man. 11The son of the Israelite woman uttered the LORD’s name in a curse and blasphemed. So he was brought to Moses—now his mother’s name was Shelomith, daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan— 12and he was kept in custody till a decision from the LORD should settle the case for them.e 13The LORD then said to Moses: 14Take the blasphemer outside the camp, and when all who heard him have laid their hands* on his head,f let the whole community stone him. 15Tell the Israelites: Anyone who blasphemes God shall bear the penalty; 16whoever utters the name of the LORD in a curse shall be put to death.g The whole community shall stone that person; alien and native-born alike must be put to death for uttering the LORD’s name in a curse.
17* Whoever takes the life of any human being shall be put to death;h 18whoever takes the life of an animal shall make restitution of another animal, life for a life.i 19* Anyone who inflicts a permanent injury on his or her neighbor shall receive the same in return: 20fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. The same injury that one gives another shall be inflicted in return.j 21Whoever takes the life of an animal shall make restitution, but whoever takes a human life shall be put to death. 22You shall have but one rule, for alien and native-born alike.k I, the LORD, am your God.
23When Moses told this to the Israelites, they took the blasphemer outside the camp and stoned him;l they did just as the LORD commanded Moses.
* [24:1–4] On the lamp, see Ex 25:31–40; 26:35; 27:20–21; 37:17–24; 40:24–25; Nm 8:1–4. It occupies the south side of the anterior room of the sanctuary tent and provides light for that room.
* [24:5–9] On the bread table, see Ex 25:23–29; 26:35; 37:10–16; 40:22–23. It occupies the north side of the anterior room of the sanctuary tent. The bread is a type of grain offering (see note on 2:1).
* [24:10–22] This is a narrative where an offense leads to clarifying revelation similar to the cases in Lv 10:1–7 and 16:1–34; Nm 9:6–14 and 15:32–36.
* [24:14] Laid their hands: see notes on 1:4 and 16:21. It may be that blasphemy generated a type of pollution which the hearers return to the culprit by this gesture.
* [24:17–22] A digression dealing with bodily injury follows the blasphemy rules. It may have been appended since the first case is another example of the death penalty. But the section develops according to its own logic. All legal traditions require death for homicide: Gn 9:5–6; Ex 21:12–14; Nm 35:9–34; Dt 19:1–13; cf. Ex 20:13 and Dt 5:17.
* [24:19–20] The phrase “life for a life” in v. 18 leads to introducing the law of talion in vv. 19–20. Some have interpreted the law here and the similar expressions in Ex 21:23–25 and Dt 19:21 to mean that monetary compensation equal to the injury is to be paid, though the wording of the law here and the context of Dt 19:21 indicate an injury is to be inflicted upon the injurer.
a. [24:2] Ex 25:31–40; 27:20–21.
b. [24:5] Ex 25:23–30; 1 Kgs 7:48; 2 Chr 13:11; Heb 9:2.
c. [24:8] 1 Chr 9:32.
g. [24:16] Ex 22:27; 1 Kgs 21:10, 13; Mt 26:65–66; Jn 10:33.
h. [24:17] Gn 9:5–6; Ex 21:12–14; Nm 35:9–34; Dt 19:11–13.
i. [24:18] Ex 21:33–34; cf. Lv 17:4.
j. [24:20] Ex 21:23–25; Dt 19:21; Mt 5:38.
k. [24:22] Lv 19:34; Ex 12:49; Nm 15:16.