“There was a man who was the son of a woman of Israel and an Egyptian father. He went out among the people of Israel, and this son of a woman of Israel had a fight in the camp with a man of Israel, in the course of which the son of the woman of Isra’el uttered the Name [Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh] in a curse. So they brought him to Moshe. (His mother’s name was Shlomit the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan.)” -Leviticus 24:10-11
From verse 10 we are suddenly thrust into an interesting and intense situation.
A half-blooded Israelite gets into a fight with a full-blooded Israelite and at some point in the heat of the battle, the half-blooded Israelite raises his voice and shouts out a curse using God’s HOLY and personal SHEM or Name, YHWH.
Recall there was a mixed multitude that joined Israel when Israel left Egypt.
As a result, there were probably thousands and thousands of many half-Egyptian and half-Israelite children as a result of the many mixed marriages that inevitably occurred.
So we’re told that it was one of these half-Egyptian/half-Israelite kids who in the midst of a brawl blasphemed God’s Holy name.
He took God’s HOLY Name in vain, which means He broke one of the major commandments of God as cited in Exodus:
“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.”-Exodus 20-7
The commandment says, the Lord will not hold the blasphemer guiltless for his crime.
In this case, we see that the consequence for taking the Lord’s Name in vain is DEATH.
There are two fascinating points about these verses that I want to share.
First, it’s interesting we’re told specifically from which tribe the man came (from his mother’s Israelite side).
We’re told he came from the Tribe of Dan.
This is interesting because Dan was the tribe that after entering the Promised Land would eventually separate themselves from the other tribes of Israel and form their own cult.
The city of Dan located in Northern Israel became the center worship area for this cult.
They actually built their own Temple and altar and practiced all sorts of heathen rituals forbidden by the God of Israel.
Remnants of the city of Dan can actually be seen to this very day.
The Tribe of Dan would eventually come to be known as the rebellious bad boys of Israel.
This won’t be the first and last time that someone from the Tribe of Dan was called out for doing something wrong.
We’ll find that Dan was time and time again used as an object lesson.
Second, in verse 11 where it says the son of the Hebrew woman “cursed” or “blasphemed” (depending on which translation you’re using), the Name of God, the Hebrew word being used for “blaspheme” is NAQAB.
I said before that this chapter contains a couple of hidden references to the Messiah.
Well, this Hebrew word NAQAB is another one of those references.
Remember a couple of posts ago I taught that the olives from which the oil was taken to fuel the MENORAH could not be crushed per the usual way of doing things.
Instead, those olives had to beaten.
Well, along similar lines, the literal meaning of NAQAB gives us an idea of the exact nature of the capital crime of using God’s Name in an unworthy manner.
Literally, NAQAB means to pierce.
That’s right, it literally means to pierce in the sense of causing harm by creating a blood-flowing piercing wound.
And it is this word NAQAB that is usually translated into the word “blaspheme” in English.
So what this half-Egyptian kid did was literally “pierce” God’s HOLY Name.