The heavy punishments which had already overtaken the people might naturally give rise to apprehensions for the future, especially in view of the fact that on the approaching entrance into Canaan the complete observance of the Law in all its details would become imperative on them. To meet such apprehensions a distinction is emphatically drawn between sins of ignorance (Leviticus 4:13 ff) and those of presumption Numbers 15:30-31. The passage deals separately with imperfections of obedience which would be regarded as attaching to the whole nation Numbers 15:22-26, and those of individuals Numbers 15:27-30.
Without the knowledge of the congregation - literally, as marginal. The words point to an error of omission which escaped notice at the time: i. e. to an oversight.
Presumptuously - The original (compare the margin, and Exodus 14:8) imports something done willfully and openly; in the case of a sin against God it implies that the act is committed ostentatiously and in bravado.
Reproacheth the Lord - Rather, revileth or blasphemeth the Lord: compare Ezekiel 20:27.