Numbers 15:34

34 They held him in custody because they did not know what to do with him.

Numbers 15:34 Meaning and Commentary

Numbers 15:34

And they put him in ward
In a certain prison in the camp; perhaps the same in which the blasphemer was put, ( Leviticus 24:12 ) ; and for much the same reason:

because it was not declared what should be done to him:
that is, what kind of death he should die, as Jarchi and Aben Ezra; it had been before declared that the sabbath breaker should die, but not what death he should die, ( Exodus 31:15 ) ( 35:2 ) ; though some think it was a matter of doubt whether gathering of sticks was a breach of the sabbath, or at least such a breach of it as required death; and the answer of the Lord seems to confirm this sense, as follows.

Numbers 15:34 In-Context

32 One day while the people of Israel were in the wilderness, they discovered a man gathering wood on the Sabbath day.
33 The people who found him doing this took him before Moses, Aaron, and the rest of the community.
34 They held him in custody because they did not know what to do with him.
35 Then the LORD said to Moses, “The man must be put to death! The whole community must stone him outside the camp.”
36 So the whole community took the man outside the camp and stoned him to death, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.
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