So we get a pretty flexible law which is interspersed with a very legalistic application to the law. We begin the chapter with a variety of offerings that were to take place once the people settle into the promised land. It then slides into what should happen if a person “unintentionally” were to break the law, or not follow the law. It is not that big of a deal if they break the law, they should present another offering and ask for forgiveness and then life goes on. Not a problem at all if someone breaks the law unintentionally.
But, and this is where it gets interesting, if they do it intentionally, they should be cut off from among his people. And then we get to vs.32 where we find a person who was caught picking up twigs on the Sabbath. Does that sound at all like Jesus and his disciples gleaning the field on the Sabbath? Look at Mark 2:23-28 and you see this take place where Jesus says the famous: “The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath; so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.”
Apparently that did not fly with Moses in this chapter, or maybe the person picking up twigs didn’t try this line of argument. All I know is that at the end of the day the poor guy was stoned to death by the Israelite. He then tells the people to put stuff on their clothes so that they won’t forget the commandments, because bad things happen when you forget the commandments.