New Defender's Study Bible Notes
24:5 twelve cakes. These twelve cakes of bread made of fine flour, one cake for each of the twelve tribes, was the “shewbread” (Exodus 25:30; Hebrews 9:2), so-called because it was to be continually before the presence of God. It was normally to be eaten only by the priests, except in case of emergency and dire hunger, as when David and his men partook of it (see I Samuel 21:1-6; and Luke 6:1-5).
24:11 blasphemed the name of the LORD. In our modern age of rebellion against our Creator, this sin would hardly be noticed, it’s so common. Nevertheless, it is enormously evil for anyone to curse the God who has given Him “life, and breath, and all things” (Acts 17:25). Its guilt would surely be greatest of all for those who had seen God do so many mighty miracles, and had received God’s commandments directly on tables of stone. Such a person had cut himself off from his very reason for existence, and it would be best to terminate that existence before such gross sin could become contagious. Capital punishment would be entirely appropriate for so defiling a people called to be fully dedicated to God and who had voluntarily accepted the call (Exodus 24:3).
24:20 tooth for tooth. See also Exodus 21:24; Deuteronomy 19:21. This is the famous “law of retaliation,” and was the prerogative of the civil government to maintain order in the nation. In modern governmental actions it has largely been replaced by monetary damages. On an individual basis, Jesus taught his disciples to return good for evil (see Matthew 5:38-41).