There shall not be found among you anyone that maketh his son
or his daughter to pass through the fire
To Moloch, which was a sort of lustration by fire, two fires being made, and the child led by a priest between them, and which was an initiation of him into the religion of that deity, and devoting him to it; so Jarchi says, this is the service of Moloch, making piles of fire here and there (on this side and on that), and causing (the children) to pass between them both. Besides this they used to burn them with fire to this deity, perhaps after the performance of this ceremony; see ( Deuteronomy 12:31 ) (See Gill on Deuteronomy 12:31): or that useth divination: according to Aben Ezra this is a general name, and so Ben Melech, the particulars of which are what follow,
an observer of times
Cicero says F26, there are two sorts of divination, one is of art, the other of nature. What nation or what city is not moved by prediction, either by the entrails of beasts, or of those that interpret strange things and lightnings, or of soothsayers, or astrologers, or of lots (for these are mostly of art); or of dreams or prophecies, for these two are thought to be natural? Again he says F1, the Phrygians, Pisidians, and Cilicians, pay a great respect to the signs of birds--from the beginning of the world it was that certain signs were forerunners of certain things; some in the entrails of beasts, some in birds, others in lightnings, others in marvellous things, others in the stars; some in visions and dreams, and others in the words of frantic persons. So the comedian remarks F2, that if a strange black dog comes into a house, or a snake falls from the tiles through rain, or a hen crows, these, are observed as ominous, by the diviner or soothsayer. Porphyry says F3, that soothsayers divine by the noise of crows and ravens; and it is said F4 the Arabians, from birds as from oracles, divine what shall come to pass; and that they attain to, as they say, by eating the heart and liver of dragons. Jarchi on this place asks, who is the diviner? one that lays hold on his staff, and says, shall I go? or shall I not go? that is, to such a place; and according as it fell, so judgment was made; see ( Hosea 4:12 ) . Now such sort of diviners and divinations are cautioned against, as not to be admitted among the people of Israel, and regarded by them:
or an observer of times:
and such things the Egyptians were very inquisitive about, what month or day belonged to the gods, what day any one was born on, what shall befall him, how he will die, and what he shall be, as Herodotus F5 relates; and such are they who are here meant, according to R. Akiba F6 that count times and hours, and say such a time is beautiful (or seasonable) to go out in and trade; but the wise men say, as Jarchi observes, these are they that hold the eyes, cast a mist over people's eyes, that they cannot perceive their juggling tricks. Some think the word has the signification of clouds, and so designs such that observed them and their motions, and made their conclusions according to them; see ( Leviticus 19:26 ) ,
or an enchanter;
according to Jarchi, one that remarks things as ominous; as when a morsel falls out of a man's mouth, a roe stops him in the way, or his staff falls out of his hands: the word has the signification of a serpent in it, and so may signify one that enchants them; see ( Psalms 58:4 Psalms 58:5 ) or makes observations by them, as portending this and that, and the other, as before observed of the snake falling from the tiles; and Horace F7 speaks of a serpent lying in the way, and frightening horses, as taken notice of by soothsayers:
or a witch;
of whom see ( Exodus 22:18 ) .
F26 De Divinatione, l. 1. c. 8.
F2 Terent Phormio, Act. 4. Sc. 4. "introit in aedes"
F3 De Abstinentia, l. 3. c. 4.
F4 Philostrat. Vit. Apollon. l. 1. c. 14.
F5 Enterpe, sive, l. 2. c. 82.
F6 Apud R. Sol. Urbin. Ohel Moed, fol. 24. 1.
F7 "Rumpat et serpens iter institutum" Horat. Carmin. l. 3. Ode 27.