Leviticus 24:10 MEANING

Leviticus 24:10
(10) The son of an Israelitish woman, whose father was an Egyptian.--The name of the Israelitish woman, whose son is the subject of the narrative before us, we are afterwards told was Shelomith. She had married an Egyptian whilst she and her people were still in Egypt. Though the father's nationality is here expressly given, yet from the fact that he does not personally come before us in this incident, it is evident that he remained in Egypt, whilst the son was of the "mixed multitude" who followed the Israelites in their exodus (Exodus 12:38). This incident, therefore, which is so difficult satisfactorily to connect with the preceding legislation, brings before us a picture of the camp-life of the Israelites in the wilderness. According to tradition, the father of this blasphemer was the taskmaster under whom Shelomith's husband worked in Egypt, that he had injured Shelomith and then smote her husband, that this was the Egyptian whom Moses slew (Exodus 2:11) for the injuries he had thus inflicted both upon the Hebrew and his wife, and that the culprit before us is the issue of the outraged Shelomith by the slain Egyptian. This will explain the rendering here of the ancient Chaldee version, "A wicked man, a rebel against the God of heaven, had come out of Egypt, the son of the Egyptian who slew an Israelite in Egypt, and outraged his wife, who conceived, and brought forth this son among the children of Israel."

Went out among the children of Israel.--Better, he went out into the midst, &c. This shows that he lived outside the camp and came where he had no right to be.

This son of the Israelitish woman and a man of Israel strove together.--The cause and the manner of their quarrel or contention are not given. But. according to tradition, the "man of Israel" was a Danite, and, as we are told in the next verse, his mother was of the tribe of Dan, this semi-Egyptian contended with this Danite that he had a right from the side of his mother to encamp among the children of Dan, whilst the Danite disputed this, maintaining that a son could only pitch his tent by the standard of his father's name (Numbers 2:2). This contention, moreover, took place before the rulers who tried the case (Exodus 19:21-22). Hence the ancient Chaldee version translates it, "And while the Israelites were dwelling in the wilderness, he sought to pitch his tent in the midst of the tribe of the children of Dan; but they would not let him, because, according to the order of Israel, every man, according to his order, dwelt with his family by the ensign of his father's house. And they strove together in the camp. Whereupon the son of the Israelitish woman and the man of Israel who was of the tribe of Dan went into the house of judgment."

Verse 10. - The son of an Israelitish woman. This is the only place where the adjective Israelitish is found; and the word "Israelite" only occurs in 2 Samuel 17:25. Whose father was an Egyptian. The man could not, therefore, be a member of the congregation, as, according to the subsequently promulgated law (Deuteronomy 23:8), the descendant of an Egyptian could not be admitted till the third generation. He seems to have committed two offenses which led up to his great crime. First, he went out among the children of Israel, that is, he did not confine himself to his own part of the encampment, where the mixed multitude lived, but he intruded into the part set aside for pure Israelites; and next, having thus put himself already in the wrong, this son of the Israelitish woman and a man of Israel strove together in the camp. According to Jewish tradition, the cause of quarrel was a claim set up by the Egypto-Israelite to encamp in the Danite quarters, on the ground that his mother was a Danite - a claim which he insisted on enforcing, although the judges gave a decision against him.

24:10-23 This offender was the son of an Egyptian father, and an Israelitish mother. The notice of his parents shows the common ill effect of mixed marriages. A standing law for the stoning of blasphemers was made upon this occasion. Great stress is laid upon this law. It extends to the strangers among them, as well as to those born in the land. Strangers, as well as native Israelites, should be entitled to the benefit of the law, so as not to suffer wrong; and should be liable to the penalty of this law, in case they did wrong. If those who profane the name of God escape punishment from men, yet the Lord our God will not suffer them to escape his righteous judgments. What enmity against God must be in the heart of man, when blasphemies against God proceed out of his mouth. If he that despised Moses' law, died without mercy, of what punishment will they be worthy, who despise and abuse the gospel of the Son of God! Let us watch against anger, do no evil, avoid all connexions with wicked people, and reverence that holy name which sinners blaspheme.And the son of an Israelitish woman,.... Whose name, and the name of his mother, are afterwards given:

whose father was an Egyptian; Jarchi says, this is the Egyptian whom Moses slew, Exodus 2:12; and so others in Abendana:

went out among the children of Israel; went out of Egypt with them, according to the Targum of Jonathan, and so was one of the mixed multitude, which came from thence with them, which is not improbable; some say he went out of Moses's court of judicature; but it is more likely that the meaning is, he went out of his tent, so Aben Ezra, into the midst of the camp, to claim his rank and place among the people of Israel; though the Jewish writers, as Jarchi and Aben Ezra, take this phrase, "among the children of Israel", to signify that he was a proselyte, and became a Jew, or had embraced the Jewish religion in all respects:

and this son of the Israelitish woman and a man of Israel strove together in the camp; which man of Israel, according to the Targum of Jonathan, was of the tribe of Dan, as was the mother of the man he strove with; what they strove about is not easy to say; Aben Ezra suggests, because this stands connected with the above laws, as if this man had said some things in a reviling way about the shewbread, the oil, and the offerings, and so a dispute arose between them, concerning them; but Jarchi says, it was about the business of the camp, and it is more commonly received that this man claimed a place to fix his tent on in the tribe of Dan, in right of his mother; but the other urged, that the order of fixing tents was according to the genealogies, and with the ensigns of their father's house, and therefore he had no right to rank with them, his father being an Egyptian, and perhaps from words they came to blows, see Exodus 21:22; though the Jewish writers understand it of their contending, at least of its issuing in a judiciary way, before a court of judicature: so it is said, when Israel dwelt in the wilderness, he (the son of the Egyptian) sought to spread his tent in the midst of the tribe of Dan, and they would not suffer it, because the ranks of the children of Israel were, every man according to his rank, with the ensigns according to the genealogy of their fathers; and they began and contended in the camp, wherefore they went into the court of judicature, the son of the woman of the daughter of Israel, and the man, a son of Israel, who was of the tribe of Dan (l).

(l) Targum Jon. in loc.

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