11 and the Israelite woman’s son blasphemed the Name, and cursed. Then they brought him to Moses. His mother’s name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan… 16 Whoever blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death. All the congregation shall stone him. The sojourner as well as the native, when he blasphemes the Name, shall be put to death. Leviticus 24:11,16
In Leviticus 24, the son of a Hebrew woman and an Egyptian man got into a fight. Jewish tradition is that he wanted to camp with his mother’s family, but her neighbors objected because of his Egyptian father. It is not clear whether the blasphemy occurred during the initial disagreement or in a subsequent court battle, but in any case, during the course of the fight he blasphemed the name of God in some way.
There is also disagreement over what was actually said. Some scholars believe the man in question became so enraged that he cursed either God himself or the officials of the court who were hearing his case. One source suggested that he didn’t use the name of God but rather called on one of the gods of Egypt, a practice that was forbidden in the camp of the Israelites. Other historians believe he simply spoke the name YHWH which was not to be uttered by anyone except the high priest, and then only in the sanctuary. It is worth noting that the third Commandment tells us not the take the Lord’s name in vain, but there is no prohibition against speaking His name. Apparently, the Jews chose to err on the side of caution.
Regardless of the details, the Bible tells us that Moses brought the case before the Lord, and He passed a sentence of death against the offender. It makes me wonder what He thinks of the way we use His Name in today’s culture.
Other names and characteristics of God that begin with N are:
And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, so that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, that he would be called a Nazarene. Matthew 2:23
And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father’s house. Isaiah 22:23 (KJV)
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18