Tucked away among the Leviticus laws is a story that illustrates the penalty for blasphemy. In Leviticus 24:10 we’re introduced to an Israelite woman who we later learn is named Shelomith. She married an Egyptian, and they had a son.
This son got into a fight with an Israelite man and he blasphemed God and cursed.
The two men were put in custody and brought to Moses to determine their sentence.
God told Moses to take the blasphemer outside the camp. All who heard him curse were to lay their hands on his head to signify the testimony. Then they were to stone him.
Though Scripture doesn’t go into detail about this family, tradition fills in some of the blanks. Because the Egyptian father is mentioned but not included in the incident, we assume he stayed behind in Egypt.
Now, because the son was part Egyptian, he was to stay in the section of the camp designated for the mixed multitude. Instead, he came into the Hebrew camp and got into a fight with another man. We’re told that Shelomith was of the tribe of Dan, and tradition bears that the other man was also a Danite.
We don’t know what the fight was over, but it could have been the Danite pointing out that Shelomith’s son was where he wasn’t supposed to be. The son reacted by cursing and blaspheming.
The punishment for blaspheming was severe, and it’s hard to us to comprehend. Though we no longer have the death penalty for blasphemy, we must still treat God with the respect He deserves. He is a jealous God who will not stand by and be mocked. Let us honor Him in all that we do and say.
Read about Shelomith in Scripture: Leviticus 24:10-16
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