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Because he has despised

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the word of YHVH (read Adonai) and has broken His commandment, he shall be cut off, yes that person shall be cut off;

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his guilt will be upon him.

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Because he has raised his head defiantly against the word of THE ETERNAL AND PERSONAL GOD and considered it to be worthless and despicable, and he has violated God’s commandment, that person must be expelled in such a way as to result in being completely cut off from any contact with the community; his guilt will remain on him, [it will never be removed].



The word I have rendered as “despised” in the translation column can also mean “to raise the head defiantly, or to look down on someone, to find someone or something despicable, contemptuous, vile, worthless or disdainful.” As you can see, it is a very strong word.


The verb for “cut off” is used twice in a row in slightly different forms in the Hebrew. It was a form of emphasis, but it sounds strange in English without something added. It is also difficult to convey the power of the double use in English. The most literal way I can express it is “in order to be cut off, he shall be cut off.” I think the purpose was to show strong action and then the completeness of the results, as I have tried to express in the paraphrase column.


The phrase “his guilt will be on him,” is much more devastating than it sounds. It meant that the person’s guilt remained on him without being removed, and because he was cut off from the community, with its tabernacle, priesthood and sacrifices, there was no hope of that guilt ever being removed.