Numbers 15:27–31, Two types of sin are delineated in this passage. They are the sin of ignorance and the sin of presumption (i.e., willful sinning, or literally, “sinning with a high hand”). For the first sin there is an offering or atonement. For the second sin, the penalty is death as illustrated by the example of the Sabbath-breaker in verses 32–36. It is interesting to note that breaking the Sabbath is the example the Torah uses to illustrate willful or presumptuous sin. Why is this? Likely, YHVH in his prescience realized that Sabbath observance would be a great bone of contention and point of struggle for his people. Indeed, even to this day, the idea of resting on the seventh day Sabbath still raises the antagonism of many in the church.
Numbers 15:30–36, The person who does anything presumptuously. Here we see an example of presumptuous sin with regard to the Sabbath. Presumptuous sinners despise the Torah-commands in YHVH’s Word thinking themselves to be above the laws of Elohim thus refusing to be ruled by it. The act of gathering the sticks on the Sabbath was an affront both to the law and the Lawgiver (Henry, p. 133).
Here are some word definitions:
- Presume means “to assume, to undertake without leave or clear justification, dare.”
- Presumptuous means “audacity; overstepping due bounds, taking liberties.”
The Hebrew word for presume is ruwm (Strong’s H7311) meaning “to rise up, be high, be lofty, be exalted, to exalt oneself, magnify oneself, to be rotten, and to be wormy.”
Reflect on your own life. Are there areas of disobedience of which you need to repent? Many times we sin out of human weakness, not willful disobedience. Can such sin, if not eliminated, lead to presumptuous sin? Can we become so callous to sin that we become brazen and willful? Paul talks about those whose consciences have become seared (1 Tim 4:2). What does this mean? In the Testimony of Yeshua, willful or presumptuous sin is often known in common parlance as the unpardonable sin. Note what the writer of Hebrews has to say about this (see Heb 6:6–7 and 10:26–31).