Guarding the Sacred (Leviticus 24:10-23)

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Just when things seemed to be going well for Israel, there was trouble in the camp. Trouble in the camp: Perhaps that could be the title of this passage.

For the second time in Leviticus—the historical record of the giving of the laws of worship and holiness—the revelation is interrupted by an ugly story.

You will recall that, having received the laws regarding the sacrifices, and having commenced of the ministry of the priesthood, immediately there was sin in the camp (Leviticus 10). In fact, more specifically, there was sin in the courtyard. Nadab and Abihu, sons of Aaron, offered “profane fire” to the Lord and were summarily executed, on the spot, by God.

After that incident, the Lord revealed further laws for which the people were responsible. God was teaching them about His holiness and their own need for personal holiness if they would enjoy His presence.

We saw previously, having given the revelation concerning the feasts, the Lord reminded the people of their need to make worshipful contributions to the functioning of the tabernacle. As in chapter 9, here it is as if the Lord has said, “The tabernacle is open; come on in!” But as in Leviticus 10, tragedy followed on the heels of the good news. This was a tragedy produced by the sinfully defiant behaviour of one member of the congregation. And as in chapter 10, this matter needed to be dealt with decisively to the glory of God and for the good of His people. This is where we find ourselves in Leviticus 24:10-23.

After dealing with things sacred, we now come upon a sharp “contrast to the theme of holiness; the narrative formed a solemn warning to Israel that the name of the LORD was their sacred trust.”1

There is much here for our instruction and edification. But the fundamental lesson is that God’s people are called to guard the sacred; especially the sacred name of God. We need to grasp the evil of blasphemy. Harrison notes that “in the Near East the name of a person was bound up intimately with his character, so that in the case of God, blasphemy was in effect an act of repudiation.”2 I would submit that this is still the case.

Jesus taught us that the priority in our prayers is for the Lord’s name to be hallowed. His name is to be glorified. God’s name stands for His character. And the Christian’s passion should be that His glorious character be honoured in all that we do—and in all that we say. Here, in Leviticus 24, we learn something of how serious a matter this is.

Modern Hostility

The modern world loves to hate this passage and loves to use it as a means to discredit the Bible. Critics see this as merely another example of the Bible’s supposed barbarism. In so doing, they simply reveal their own blasphemous hearts, thus making themselves fit for the same punishment. As someone has well said, “make no mistake, God has not gone soft on blasphemers and punishment is certain for the unrepentant.”3

May God teach us in such a way that we will be more zealous to guard our own hearts and our own lips from dishonouring His name. And by the way, as we guard the sacred, we guard our own souls. After all, the name of the Lord is a strong tower into which the righteous run and find safety (Proverbs 18:10).

We will study this passage under several headings.

The Sin

The record opens with a description of the actual sin that took place.

Now the son of an Israelite woman, whose father was an Egyptian, went out among the children of Israel; and this Israelite woman’s son and a man of Israel fought each other in the camp. And the Israelite woman’s son blasphemed the name of the LORD and cursed; and so they brought him to Moses. (His mother’s name was Shelomith the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan.) Then they put him in custody, that the mind of the LORD might be shown to them.

(Leviticus 24:10-12)

“Now” provides a context. This event occurred, it would seem, in conjunction with what immediately precedes. As we have already noted, this should not surprise us.

As the Lord emphasised sacred days, sacred furniture and sacred supplies for the tabernacle, somebody in the camp demonstrated that he had not been paying any attention. I would go so far to say that he was, in fact, contemptuously ignoring what had been revealed.

The text tells us that two (presumably) young men were fighting in the camp. One was a fully ethnic Israelite, while the other was the son of an Israelite woman but an Egyptian man. The latter “blasphemed the name of the LORD and cursed.”

Blasphemy as Treason

The word for “blasphemed” means “to hollow out,” “to pierce” or “to puncture.” It carries with it the idea of reviling with intent to destroy. It is a term of warfare. In this case, it is warfare against God and His covenant law.4

The word for “cursed” carries the connotation of diminishing, treating lightly or treating with contempt. This sin “was no mere utterance of a name, but the outward expression of contempt for the person of God.”5

Though we have no way of knowing the precise form of this blasphemy and cursing, we can conclude from the penalty that it was a grave sin, which resulted in this man going to an early grave. Since Leviticus emphasises the holiness of God, we can say that “the holiness of God is reinforced by the drastic penalty prescribed for blasphemy.”6

George Knight, says Tidball, “suggests that the offender must have been more than merely using God’s name as a swear-word, and was ‘actually trying to destroy the faith of the people by saying that Yahweh, the Lord, was not like his name. He would therefore be insinuating that the ideal of the covenant was a lot of nonsense.’”7 This was high treason. It was a declaration of war against God and His authoritative law.

A Son Who Causes Shame

We don’t have a great deal of information concerning this individual, but we do have his mother’s name. What a shame for her that her name will throughout history be associated with a son who blasphemed the name of God!

Her name (Shelomith) means “to pacify,” and it appears that maybe she lived up (down?) to its meaning. We don’t know whether her husband had gone with them out of Egypt. We must, however, wonder why she was married to an Egyptian in the first place. Why was she unequally yoked in marriage? Did she marry an Egyptian to pacify some longing in her soul? Was it perhaps pacify her father, who wanted her to marry? I don’t know. But the emphasis upon his pedigree is certainly designed to make a point. Perhaps the Lord was giving a warning about being unequally yoked in marriage, for the son from this spiritually split home blasphemed God. “His curses brought contempt upon God’s sacred name. . . . The mention of the mother’s name and pedigree would identify her for future generations, and remind the mothers of Israel to bring up their children in the fear of God.”8

Perhaps for years all seemed well in the home and the Jewish wife and mother may have been encouraged as perhaps she sensed that her husband and son may indeed be moving towards faith in Yahweh. After all, they had come with her out of Egypt, through the dried up path in the Red Sea, and had recently experienced God’s gracious provision of water and manna along the way.

Perhaps they were together as a family at Sinai when the law was given. It would seem that they had resisted the temptation to participate in the rebellion after the golden calf incident.

I wonder if they had perhaps also participated in the special offering for the tabernacle. Perhaps they had given sacrificially and even laboured in its construction. They had made it this far—all the way from Exodus 12 through Leviticus 23—and it was only now that the true colours, at least of the son, were exposed. But they proved to be very Egyptian colours.

We can learn that marriages that are unequally yoked may pacify a lot of difficult tensions—temporarily. Eventually, however, conflict surfaces and supersedes whatever difficulties one would have faced had they not compromised. Sadly, as is all too often the case, it is a matter of like father like son.

A Shout Out of the Wrong Kind

In the heat of conflict, one’s true character and beliefs are often truly exposed. For this son, that time had arrived. As he and another fought, the Egyptian, who had perhaps been walking like an Israelite, now talked like and revealed what he really believed about Yahweh. The witnesses to his blasphemy were horrified. The outwardly-connected church member was heard desecrating the name of God. He showed great contempt for Yahweh. Rushdoony helps us to see the seriousness of this offence when he writes, “In some form, it was a contemptuous challenge and a denial of the authority of the covenant God.”9 It was an act of high treason. He, quite literally, committed a sin unto death.

The Mind of God

In v. 12 we read that this man was placed “in custody.” Literally, he was placed “under guard,” and it is one of the rare times that such incarceration is mentioned with reference to Israel. In most criminal cases the culprit was either fined or put to death. Prison was not a normal practice amongst the Israelites because retribution rather than rehabilitation was the judicial purpose.

Interestingly, the last time prison was mentioned in Scripture was when Joseph was incarcerated in an Egyptian prison. This time, an Egyptian was placed in a Jewish prison!

The verse tells us that they did so in order “that the mind of the LORD might be shown to them.” The word “shown” means “to declare” and it involves the declaration of a judgement or decision. The word “mind can be translated as “mouth.” This verse, therefore, reveals that the congregation had put this man under arrest as they waited for a word from the Lord as to how they should respond to his sin. Several issues arise from this scene.

First, we must ask, was this not a redundant step? After all, had God not already spoken and prohibited blasphemy? The third commandment speaks clearly to this sin (Exodus 20:7; see 22:28). Why did they need to wait on the Lord?

The answer, of course, is that, while the law had prohibited blasphemy and cursing, there was no record as to the penal stipulation for its violation. And so the people needed to know from God what to do with the offender. They needed a word from God concerning the appropriate punishment.

On the other hand, it is quite clear from the emphasis on the use of the word “stranger (vv. 16, 22) and on his being half Egyptian that the congregation needed direction as to how God’s law applies to those who are not fully Jewish. Rather than making a rash judgement, they incarcerated him and sought the will of the Lord. This was wise.

Second, we can see from this that the case laws in Scripture were not exhaustive and that they developed as cases arose. This is one such example.

The people sought God’s face before making some final judgements. We would be wise to learn from this. In other words, not every challenge that we face can be answered by an appeal to chapter-and-verse. Rather, in many cases, we need to wait on the Lord, which often involves seeking the multitude of counsellors.

Before moving on, we should pause to reflect on the fact that this congregation took seriously the desecration of God’s name. And so should we. It should bother us when God’s name is used in vain. It should bother us when we take His name (by, for example, openly calling ourselves “Christian”) and yet live contrary to His name. We should be careful to hold one another accountable for guarding the sacred. We will have more to say about this later.

The Sentence

Having described the sin, the text now moves to stipulate the sentence for this sin: “And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Take outside the camp him who has cursed; then let all who heard him lay their hands on his head, and let all the congregation stone him’” (Leviticus 24:13-14).

We are not told how long the people waited for an answer from the Lord, nor are we told how the mind of the Lord was communicated. Perhaps they used the Urim and Thummim (see Exodus 28:30)? We are, however, informed that the Lord’s answer to Moses was definitive and sobering.

The offender was to be taken outside of the camp (away from any potential defiling of the tabernacle) where he was to be put to death by stoning. Those who heard him blaspheme were to lay their hands on his head and then “all the congregation” was to carry out the prescribed punishment.

This was perhaps carried out by laying the man down on the ground and then crushing his head to bring on immediate death. Regardless of the form it took, it would have been a terrifying and sobering scene. No doubt, this was an intended purpose, for we do not read of many cases in the Scriptures of repeat offences. There were no copycat crimes, probably because of the severity of the punishment.

Laying on of Hands

Why were the witnesses required to lay their hands on the head of the criminal before he was put to death? Though the Scriptures reveal various reasons for the laying on of hands, I think that here, as in the rest of Leviticus, it represented both accountability and substitution.

As far as accountability goes, Eveson notes, “The ritual contamination rested entirely on the head of the guilty man. The offender carried all the blame and punishment.”10

With reference to substitution, Rooker points out, “The hearing of a blasphemous statement rendered one culpable, and thus those who overheard the curse had to identify with the offender by placing their hands on him. The contamination of hearing the blasphemer was transferred back to the blasphemer.”11

Blasphemy is such an evil thing that even those who were merely witnesses were in a sense defiled by the desecration of God’s name. They therefore needed to identify with this sinner.

I am not suggesting that the blasphemer died as an atoning sacrifice for the witnesses. Rather, the picture here is one of recognising that even the witnesses were deserved death. They were a part of a sin-cursed world and therefore were in some way culpable with the one who cursed. Such an identifying symbolism would have served to remind them, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” No doubt, such a participation in this sentence would have impressed upon them the serious nature of blasphemy and would have motivated them to take seriously the hallowing of God’s name.

Corporate Responsibility

Finally, note again that the text reveals that “all the congregation” must “stone him.” This judicial punishment was carried out by the church. It was expected that everyone would support the mind of God. Currid observes the reasons for congregational involvement: “The inclusiveness with regard to the administration of the penalty points to the truth that blaspheming will not be tolerated in Israel.”12 They were all to be on the same page when it came to loyalty to God. The entire covenantal community was responsible to guard the sacred.

Blasphemy—the dishonouring of God’s name—defiles the church, and so there is no place for it. For that reason, the perpetrator was stoned outside the camp. He was literally cut off from the congregation. This rule still applies today under the new covenant. The church is not called to apply this law to society at large, and certainly we have no mandate to carry out capital punishment. However, when a church member behaves in such an unrepentant way that the name of God is blasphemed, the congregation is to “cut them off” (see 1 Corinthians 5:9-13—“reviler”).

It never ceases to surprise me how some in churches can defy the clear instructions in God’s Word about church discipline as though God had never addressed the issue. It is amazing to me that some in churches assume that they are wiser and kinder than God. We are not. And so when the Lord has revealed how to respond to professing church members who blaspheme the name of the Lord by flagrant sin and rebellion, we may not stand back with our stones behind our back and piously assert that we do not support the decision.

I said to someone this week that, like the guy in Proverbs 30:2, I sometimes may be “stupid,” but rarely are all seven elders stupid at the same time about the same thing! And rarely are we as a congregation likewise stupid!

We need to grasp that we do not help anyone who is in unrepentant sin by standing back from the rest of the congregation when the Lord Jesus is in our midst (Matthew 18:15-20).

I am well aware that sometimes local churches can abuse the means of church discipline as entrusted to her by the Lord. But these abuses aside, all too often it is merely a case of personal interest and/or a false piety that can, in the end, cause division. BBC members are brought in to membership by a congregational hearty amen, and they are removed from the membership by a congregational heartsore amen.

A refusal to submit to God and to His Law-Word dishonours Him. It is blasphemous. It is treasonous. And the church needs to be rid of it. God has given to us the means of church discipline to guard the sacred. If we compromise on God’s prescribed order of discipline, we may remain a congregation, but it will not be long until we will be a congregation without the Lord.

The Sermon

What follows in vv. 15-22 is what we might call a sermon, in which the Lord expands, for potential similar cases, upon the penalty required for this particular sinner.

Then you shall speak to the children of Israel, saying: “Whoever curses his God shall bear his sin. And whoever blasphemes the name of the LORD shall surely be put to death. All the congregation shall certainly stone him, the stranger as well as him who is born in the land. When he blasphemes the name of the LORD, he shall be put to death.

Whoever kills any man shall surely be put to death. Whoever kills an animal shall make it good, animal for animal. If a man causes disfigurement of his neighbour, as he has done, so shall it be done to him—fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; as he has caused disfigurement of a man, so shall it be done to him. And whoever kills an animal shall restore it; but whoever kills a man shall be put to death. You shall have the same law for the stranger and for one from your own country; for I am the LORD your God.”

(Leviticus 24:15-22)

Having declared the sentence, God gives to Moses further information to share with the congregation, presumably after meting out the punishment.

No Partiality

In vv. 15-16 God clearly stipulates that “whoever curses His God shall bear his sin.” Currid explains: “This is a legislative formula that signifies that the offender will bear responsibility, guilt and the penalty for his offence.”13 Whoever is guilty is held accountable by God and is likewise to be held accountable by the congregation.

In v. 16 we learn that anyone who blasphemes God’s name “shall surely be put to death.” In other words, the immediate situation was not a reactionary judgement but rather a precedent and a principle that was being established for the nation. This case law was being enshrined.

You will note that God repeats the mandate that the entire congregation was to amen this judgement. God does not treat lightly the sin of treating Him lightly!

Finally, note also how clear it is that this law applies to any who are connected to Israel, whether Jew or stranger. “The decision in the case established the principle that one who lived in Israel’s company was counted as an adherent of her faith.”14 If they wanted the privileges then they were also shouldered with the responsibilities.

We learn from this that to be outwardly connected to God’s covenant people is a serious position with serious accountabilities to go with it. This is why being an unregenerate church member is a serious problem with serious consequences.

If you have been baptised and yet are not a believer, the rules still apply. If you are a church member and you have not been born again, the rules still apply. Let me quote the apostle Peter, who put it this way: “For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: ‘A dog returns to his own vomit,’ and, ‘a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire’” (2 Peter 2:21-22).

Let me ask you, do you know that you belong, or are you merely riding along with the crowd? Are you perhaps like the Egyptian and his son who experienced so much of God’s blessings only to reject the God of the blessings? Perhaps you have fooled many people into thinking that you are a Christian, but God knows and He is the One whom you must convince. His judgement is perfect and no one will slip by His infallible ruling.

Miscellaneous?

Verses 17-22 seem, on the surface, to contain material that does not fit. Some might conclude from this that it was perhaps inserted by a later editor. I do not believe that this is the case. As we have seen so many times in our studies of Leviticus, looks can be deceiving.

There is a very logical connection here with the context. But before making this connection let me briefly explain these laws.

In this passage, God reveals (actually, reiterates) other case laws with their penal sanctions. In v. 17, He addresses murder and prescribes (again) capital punishment.

In v. 18 the Lord prescribes (again) the judicial principle of restitution in relation to the destroying of a neighbour’s property, with particular reference to their livestock.

In vv. 19-20 we have (again) the mention of what became known as lex talionis, or the principle that the punishment must fit the crime. This judicial principle operates on the irony that within the crime is its own punishment. As it is sometimes stated, evil is its own reward. This principle gave legal protection to both the victim and the perpetrator. If carried out, it would go a long way toward a more civil and just society.

Then, in v. 21, we have (again) a repetition of the laws mentioned with reference to the murder of a fellow human being, as well as the killing of a neighbour’s livestock. It is repeated (again!) that the murderer is to be put to death while the loss of the animal is to be made good. The point here is that humans have more dignity than animals.15

Finally, in v. 22, we have a repetition of the idea stated in v. 16 that the same laws apply to both the native Israelite (“one from your own country”) as well as to the “stranger.” It can be noted here that this anticipates Israel in the Promised Land.

What’s the Point?

So, what is the point of these verses? Better yet, what is the connection to what has preceded?

First, there is a practical connection. The children of Israel were faced with a challenge as to how to treat those who were with them and yet were not of them. The Lord therefore makes it plain that anyone who wants the benefits of the covenant community must also accept the responsibilities and accountabilities of the covenant community. They must obey the rules. That is one reason that some previously revealed case laws are repeated here. Everyone was responsible to obey God’s ethical requirements concerning His creation.

Second, and this is another practical connection, it was intended perhaps to emphasise that not all sins are equally serious in consequences, and therefore they were to avoid disproportionate punishment.

Third, there is a theological connection. The context of this passage is the sin of blasphemy, which called for the death penalty. But, as these verses reveal, so did murder. Why? Well, as God revealed in Genesis 9:6, “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God He made man.”

One of the most blasphemous acts that anyone can commit is murder. Murder is a direct assault on the image of God. And that is fundamentally the reason for the death penalty. As Wiersbe has pointed out, “The Bible doesn’t present capital punishment as a ‘cure-all’ for crime. It presents it as a form of punishment that shows respect for law, for life, and for humans made in the image of God.”16

Finally, these laws are mentioned here because God was giving a synopsis of biblical justice; He was revealing something of what a biblically just society looks like. He was revealing the basis for such.

Let me put this negatively: A society that disregards human life is a society that defies God. A society that holds God in contempt is a society that will be marked by injustice and will eventually be one that is characterised as a culture of death. In the insightful words of Rushdoony, “The law against blasphemy tells us that the fundamental law, authority, and law-Giver of all creation must be revered in every sphere. . . . No society can stand if it blasphemously denies the foundation of all justice.”’17 Welcome to 2013!

All principles of justice are grounded in the character and hence in the name of God.

Order in society is lost when reverence is lost. Where blasphemy is tolerated and even endorsed, life becomes dangerous. When God’s Law-Word is jettisoned then man’s law will seek to fill the void, but the chasm will only open wider for more chaos.

I find it almost humorous when critics call the Bible “barbaric” because of passages like this. And yet we have just come out of the bloodiest century in history, and so far this one does not look like it is doing any better! But the reason for the bloodthirsty barbarism of our day is precisely because of such blasphemous dismissals of God and His Word. If God is treated with contempt then barbarism is the result.

I recently saw a video clip in which a former abortionist, who claimed to have performed some 1,200 abortions, gave witness before the United States Congress of what is involved in abortion. I don’t know the man’s story, but I gathered from his testimony that he had become a believer. As he graphically detailed abortion procedures, exhibiting the instruments of murder that he had once used, it struck me how sad it is that such witness is even necessary. The matter of abortion is clearly settled in Scripture. There is no need for Congress to debate it. But where reverence for God’s name has been jettisoned, it is no surprise when chaos begins to rule. We will never love our neighbour until we first love God.

What is the Solution?

What can we do? What are we called to do? We are called to guard the sacred. We are called to guard the name of God. We do so when we guard the gospel. And we guard the gospel by knowing it and going out with it. If we desire a transformed culture, then we need to seek the transformation of hearts. And that is only possible (and is possible) by the gospel.

I think that it can be most appropriate to kindly admonish those whom blaspheme God’s name. But we should do so with a view to helping them to love the name of God. That is, we should do so loaded with the gospel. After all, the primary way that God’s name will be hallowed will be as His kingdom advances. And His kingdom advances through the proclamation of His gospel (Romans 1:16).

I want to emphasise that, all too often, we can behave unrighteously as we seek to be righteous. This can easily be the case when it comes to rebuking those who dishonour the name of God. But please note that if our spirit is wrong, we can actually become just as guilty in dishonouring the name of God.

Again, the best way to honour the sacredness of God’s name is by making disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, who will therefore cease to dishonour the name of the one in whose name they been baptised!

The Stoning

The text closes in v. 23 with the actual sentence being carried out: “Then Moses spoke to the children of Israel; and they took outside the camp him who had cursed, and stoned him with stones. So the children of Israel did as the LORD commanded Moses.”

Moses told the people what the Lord had revealed to him and “the children of Israel did as the LORD commanded.” That, by the way, is what children are to do; they are to obey their father. Obedience is the very best way to honour the name of God.

Let me simply note here that capital punishment, as ordained by God, is not even remotely barbaric. What is barbaric is our blasphemous defiance of God when we disobey Him.

As we bring this to a close, we want to note several things.

First, the children of Israel did something that was very difficult but was necessary if they would honour the name of God. They had to put personal feelings aside and line up on God’s side. So must we.

I have already made mention of the matter of church discipline. When church discipline reaches the stage when an unrepentant member must be removed from members, the church is called upon to do a difficult thing. Other members have formed relationships with that member. He may even have blood relatives who are members of the same church. It is by no means an easy emotional thing to do, but it is right, and we are called upon to put aside personal feelings to do what is right.

Related to this, we need to recognise and submit to God’s authority.

Second, and most significantly, the law against blasphemy played a large role in the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ.

You will recall that the final judicial straw that broke the proverbial back in the corrupt trial of Jesus was the false charge of blasphemy (see Matthew 26:62-68; Mark 14:60-65). Because Jesus (rightfully) claimed to be Messiah, He was accused of blasphemy, and the perverse high priests, corrupt chief priests and wicked elders of the people cast their vote for His sentence of death. But because under Roman law they were restricted in carrying out capital punishment by stoning, they gave their voice to the Roman form of capital punishment: crucifixion.

But I want us to see the irony in this. As we saw with reference to this law against blasphemy, those who witnessed it were to lay their hands on the head of the one being put to death in a kind of identification or even substitution. There was no doubt in the case of Leviticus 24 that the man was guilty. However, in Jesus’ case, He was innocent of all blasphemy. In fact He, was innocent of all sin. Yet He was put to death as a blasphemer.

The interesting connection for me is that, when Jesus died, He was my substitute and He could be my substitute and my atonement because He was not a blasphemer. In fact, no one had, has or will ever live such a God-honouring life. He hallowed the name of God, and because of this He can save those of us—all of us—who are willing to confess and to repent of our sins of blasphemy.

Think of this reality: The worst, most heinous act of blasphemy ever committed—the crucifixion of the Son of God—was carried out by a trumped up charge of blasphemy. “Yet beyond the human miscarriage of justice and blasphemy, the deep mystery of the Christian message is that Jesus was on the cross because God planned it that way in order that sin in all its blasphemous ugliness might be exposed and dealt with justly and adequately.”18

Yes, this sin of blasphemy was used by God to save blasphemers like you and me—and like the man who became the apostle Paul.

I love the testimony of the Paul as recorded in 1 Timothy 1:12-16. There he writes, “Although I was formerly a blasphemer . . . the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant . . . in Christ Jesus . . . [who] came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” He then adds words that encourage everyone who has ever blasphemed the name of God: “For this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.”

Are you one of those who will believe? I hope so, for as Eveson reminds us, “make no mistake, God has not gone soft on blasphemers and punishment is certain for the unrepentant.”18

Repent of your blasphemy and join with those who, like Paul, guard the sacred for the honour of God’s name.

Show 19 footnotes

  1. Allen P. Ross, Holiness to the Lord: A Guide to the Exposition of the Book of Leviticus (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2002), 444.
  2. R. K. Harrison, Leviticus: Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 1980), 222.
  3. Philip H. Eveson, The Beauty of Holiness: The Book of Leviticus Simply Explained (Darlington: Evangelical Press, 2007), 350.
  4. Rousas John Rushdoony, Leviticus: Commentaries on the Pentateuch (Vallecito: Ross House Books, 2005), 337.
  5. Ross, Holiness to the Lord, 446.
  6. Harrison, Leviticus, 222.
  7. Derek Tidball, The Message of Leviticus: Free to Be Holy (Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 2005), 288.
  8. Harrison, Leviticus, 221.
  9. Rushdoony, Leviticus, 337.
  10. Eveson, The Beauty of Holiness, 343.
  11. Mark F. Rooker, Leviticus: The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 297.
  12. John D. Currid, Study Commentary on Leviticus (Darlington: Evangelical Press, 2004), 319.
  13. Currid, Study Commentary on Leviticus, 319.
  14. R. Laird Harrison, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, 12 vols. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1990), 2:631.
  15. This is a principle that the likes of PETA need to learn.
  16. Rooker, Leviticus, 299.
  17. Rushdoony, Leviticus, 342.
  18. Eveson, The Beauty of Holiness, 350.
  19. Eveson, The Beauty of Holiness, 350.