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Numbers 9:10-14

9:10 “Tell the Israelites, ‘If any 1  of you or of your posterity become ceremonially defiled by touching a dead body, or are on a journey far away, then he may 2  observe the Passover to the Lord. 9:11 They may observe it on the fourteenth day of the second month 3  at twilight; they are to eat it with bread made without yeast and with bitter herbs. 9:12 They must not leave any of it until morning, nor break any of its bones; they must observe it in accordance with every statute of the Passover.

9:13 But 4  the man who is ceremonially clean, and was not on a journey, and fails 5  to keep the Passover, that person must be cut off from his people. 6  Because he did not bring the Lord’s offering at its appointed time, that man must bear his sin. 7  9:14 If a resident foreigner lives 8  among you and wants to keep 9  the Passover to the Lord, he must do so according to the statute of the Passover, and according to its custom. You must have 10  the same 11  statute for the resident foreigner 12  and for the one who was born in the land.’”

1 tn This sense is conveyed by the repetition of “man” – “if a man, a man becomes unclean.”

2 tn The perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive functions as the equivalent of an imperfect tense. In the apodosis of this conditional sentence, the permission nuance fits well.

3 sn The delay of four weeks for such people would have permitted enough time for them to return from their journey, or to recover from any short termed defilement such as is mentioned here. Apart from this provision, the Passover was to be kept precisely at the proper time.

4 tn The disjunctive vav (ו) signals a contrastive clause here: “but the man” on the other hand….

5 tn The verb חָדַל (khadal) means “to cease; to leave off; to fail.” The implication here is that it is a person who simply neglects to do it. It does not indicate that he forgot, but more likely that he made the decision to leave it undone.

6 sn The pronouncement of such a person’s penalty is that his life will be cut off from his people. There are at least three possible interpretations for this: physical death at the hand of the community (G. B. Gray, Numbers [ICC], 84-85), physical and/or spiritual death at the hand of God (J. Milgrom, “A Prolegomenon to Lev 17:11,” JBL 90 [1971]: 154-55), or excommunication or separation from the community (R. A. Cole, Exodus [TOTC], 109). The direct intervention of God seem to be the most likely in view of the lack of directions for the community to follow. Excommunication from the camp in the wilderness would have been tantamount to a death sentence by the community, and so there really are just two views.

7 tn The word for “sin” here should be interpreted to mean the consequences of his sin (so a metonymy of effect). Whoever willingly violates the Law will have to pay the consequences.

8 tn The words translated “resident foreigner” and “live” are from the same Hebrew root, גּוּר (gur), traditionally translated “to sojourn.” The “sojourner” who “sojourns” is a foreigner, a resident alien, who lives in the land as a temporary resident with rights of land ownership.

9 tn The verb is the simple perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive. It is therefore the equivalent to the imperfect that comes before it. The desiderative imperfect fits this usage well, since the alien is not required to keep the feast, but may indeed desire to do so.

10 tn The Hebrew text has “there will be to you,” which is the way of expressing possession in Hebrew. Since this is legal instruction, the imperfect tense must be instruction or legislation.

11 tn Or “you must have one statute.”

12 tn The conjunction is used here to specify the application of the law: “and for the resident foreigner, and for the one…” indicates “both for the resident foreigner and the one who….”

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