put to death

Numbers 15:35

15:35 put to death. This decree of God to execute a man for breaking God’s fourth commandment (Exodus 20:8-11) seems harsh and anachronistic to us today, when men for the most part no longer believe in God’s completed creation and therefore have no incentive to obey His command to commemorate that fact by observing His rest-day. God, however, considered it vitally important, and had given clear warning that breaking it–at least for those who had voluntarily entered into His covenant relation with them–was a capital crime (see note on Exodus 31:15). This deliberate flouting of God’s law by a man who knew better and did it anyway was thus a “presumptuous” sin (Numbers 15:30), for which no offering was available to make atonement. In the gospel age, such a sin corresponds to the willful sin of Hebrews 10:26, for which “there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.” Such a person “hath trodden under foot the Son of God,...and hath done despite to the Spirit of grace” (Hebrews 10:29). See footnotes on Hebrews 10:26 and 10:29.

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