The penal law of the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2-3. In the fourth commandment the injunction to observe the seventh day is addressed to the conscience of the people (see Exodus 20:8 note): in this place, the object is to declare an infraction of the commandment to be a capital offence. The two passages stand in a relation to each other similar to that between Lev. 18, Lev. 19, and Lev. 20. It seems likely that the penal edict was especially introduced as a caution in reference to the construction of the tabernacle, lest the people, in their zeal to carry on the work, should be tempted to break the divine law for the observance of the day.
See Numbers 15:32-36. The distinction between the meaning of the two expressions, "to be cut off from the people" , and "to be put to death" , is here indicated. He who was cut off from the people had, by his offence, put himself out of the terms of the covenant, and was an outlaw. On such, and on such alone, when the offence was one which affected the well-being of the nation, as it was in this case, death could be inflicted by the public authority.
Was refreshed - Literally, "he took breath" . Compare Exodus 23:12; II Samuel 16:14. The application of the word to the Creator, which occurs nowhere else, is remarkable.
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