Leviticus 19:31

31 "Don't dabble in the occult or traffic with mediums; you'll pollute your souls. I am God, your God.

Leviticus 19:31 Meaning and Commentary

Leviticus 19:31

Regard not them that have familiar spirits
The word used signifies "bottles", and that sort of diviners here intended go by this name, either because what they sat on when they divined was in the form of a bottle, or they divined by one, or they were swelled and inflated as bottles when they delivered out their answers, or spoke as out of a bottle or hollow place; hence they are called masters or mistresses of the bottle: they seem to be the same with the ventriloquists, and so the Septuagint version here calls them; such whose voice seemed to come out of their bellies, and even the lower parts of them; and such was the Pythian prophetess at Delphos, and very probably the maid in the times of the apostles, who had a spirit of divination, or of Python, ( Acts 16:16 ) ; and so the words may be rendered here, "look not to the Python" F14, or those who have the spirit of Python; so Jarchi from the Misnah F15 interprets the word here used, "Baal Ob" or the master of the bottle, this is Python, one that speaks from under his arm holes: neither seek after wizards;
such as pretend to a great deal of knowledge, as the word signifies; such as are called cunning men, who pretend to know where lost or stolen goods are, and to tell people their fortunes, and what will befall them hereafter: to be defiled by them;
for by seeking to them, and believing what is said by them, and trusting thereunto, and expecting events answerable to their predictions, they would be guilty of a gross sin, and so bring pollution and guilt on them; according to the Jewish canons F16, such sort of persons as are cautioned against were to be stoned, and they that consulted them to be reproved; I [am] the Lord your God;
who only is to be regarded and sought unto for advice and assistance; see ( Isaiah 8:19 ) .


F14 (tbah la wnpt la) "ne respiciatis ad Pythonas", Montanus; so Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.
F15 Misn. Sanhedrin, c. 7. sect. 7.
F16 lbid.

Leviticus 19:31 In-Context

29 "Don't violate your daughter by making her a whore - the whole country would soon become a brothel, filled with sordid sex.
30 "Keep my Sabbaths and revere my Sanctuary: I am God.
31 "Don't dabble in the occult or traffic with mediums; you'll pollute your souls. I am God, your God.
32 "Show respect to the aged; honor the presence of an elder; fear your God. I am God.
33 "When a foreigner lives with you in your land, don't take advantage of him.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved.