||While the Israelites were in the desert, they discovered a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath.
Vayihyu veney-Yisra'el bamidbar vayimtse'u ish mekoshesh etsim beyom haShabat.
||The ones who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses, Aaron and the entire community.
Vayakrivu oto hamots'im oto mekoshesh etsim el-Moshe ve'el-Aharon ve'el kol-ha'edah.
|in the desert|
Some say that they were still in the Sinai Desert (Ibn Ezra). This follows the opinion that all the Israelites only kept one Sabbath after it was given with the Manna and this Sabbath violation occurred on the very next Sabbath (Sifri; Rashi; cf. Chizzkuni). The date given for this event is then 22 Iyyar of the first year of the Exodus (Sifri Zuta; Yalkut Shimoni). According to tradition, it occurred around the same time as the act of blasphemy recorded in Leviticus 24:11 (q.v.; see Chizzkuni).
Others, however, maintain that this event occurred after the spies, or around the same time (cf. Ramban). There is thus an opinion that it occurred on 21 Iyyar of the second year of the Exodus (Midrash HaGadol).
Some say that he was Tzeloph'chad, mentioned in Numbers 27:3 (Shabbath 96a; Sifri).
(Radak, Sherashim; Ibn Janach; Septuagint). Some say that the violation consisted of carrying on the Sabbath. According to others it was cutting the sticks, or binding them (Shabbath 96b; Sifri).