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But the soul which acts with a raised fist,

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whether a native born or a foreigner, that one has shown contempt

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for YHVH

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(read Adonai); that one must be cut off from among his people.


In contrast to unintentional sins, the individual who acts in defiance and rebellion against God, whether he is an Israelite or a foreigner, that person has defied the authority and power of THE ETERNAL AND PERSONAL GOD; that person must be expelled from the community.



I have rendered these two words “with raised fist” because that is exactly what they mean. Some translations say “defiantly,” and some say “high-handed,” which is OK, but “with raised fist” produces a more powerful image in the mind. It is a picture of someone saying, “I know this is wrong but I’m going to do it anyway.” It is a person who thumbs his nose at God and refuses to submit to God’s authority.


The word I have rendered as “shown contempt” can also be translated as “blasphemes, reviles.”


YHVH was the most honored, most sacred name for God that the Jews employed. It was so sacred that they never said the name out loud. They always substituted the name Adonai when they read the Scriptures out loud. It is this name, the most holy name of God, that the person was choosing to defy and show contempt for.