Leviticus 19:26

26 'You shall not eat anything 1with the blood, nor practice 2divination or soothsaying.

Leviticus 19:26 Meaning and Commentary

Leviticus 19:26

Ye shall not eat [anything] with the blood
Or upon, over, or by the blood F19, for this law seems different from that in ( Genesis 9:4 ) , and from those in ( Leviticus 3:17 ) ( 7:26 ) ( 17:10 ) ; and is variously interpreted by the Jewish writers; some of not eating flesh, the blood not being rightly let out of it, as not being thoroughly cleared of it {t}, and so comes under the notion of things strangled; others of not eating of sacrifices until the blood stands in the basin F21; and others of not eating any flesh whose blood is not sprinkled on the altar, if near the holy place F23: some think it refers to the custom of murderers who eat over the person slain, that the avengers of the slain may not take vengeance on them, supposing something superstitious in it, because of what follows F24; though it rather has respect to an idolatrous practice of the Zabians, as Maimonides F25 informs us, who took blood to be the food of devils, and who used to take the blood of a slain beast and put it in a vessel, or in a hole dug in the earth, and eat the flesh sitting round about the blood; fancying by this means they had communion with devils, and contracted friendship and familiarity with them, whereby they might get knowledge of future things; (See Gill on Ezekiel 33:25): neither shall ye use enchantment;
soothsaying or divination by various creatures, as by the weasel, birds, or fishes, as the Talmudists F26; or rather by serpents, as the word used is thought to have the signification of; or by any odd accidents, as a man's food falling out of his mouth, or his staff out of his hand, or his son calling after him behind, or a crow cawing to him, or a hart passing by him, or a serpent on his right hand and a fox on his left, or one says, do not begin (any work) tomorrow, it is the new moon, or the going out of the sabbath F1: nor observe times;
saying, such a day is a lucky day to begin any business, or such an hour an unlucky hour to go out in, as Jarchi, taking the word to have the signification of times, days, and hours, as our version and others; but Aben Ezra derives it from a word which signifies a cloud, and it is well known, he says, that soothsayers view and consult the clouds, their likeness and motion; but some of the ancient writers, as Gersom observes, derive it from a word which signifies an eye, and suppose that such persons are intended who hold the eyes of people, cast a mist before them, or use some juggling tricks whereby they deceive their sight.


F19 (Mdh le) "super sanguine", Montanus, Munster; "super sanguinem", Fagius.
F20 Joseph. Antiqu. l. 6. c. 6. sect. 4. T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 63. 1.
F21 Targum Jon. in loc. T. Bab. Sanhedrin, ib.
F23 Aben Ezra in loc.
F24 Baal Hatturim in loc.
F25 Moreh Nevochim, par. 3. c. 46.
F26 T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 66. 1. Jarchi in loc.
F1 Kimchi, Sepher Shorash. rad. (vxn) .

Leviticus 19:26 In-Context

24 'But in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, an offering of praise to the LORD .
25 'In the fifth year you are to eat of its fruit, that its yield may increase for you; I am the LORD your God.
26 'You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor practice divination or soothsaying.
27 'You shall not round off the side-growth of your heads nor harm the edges of your beard.
28 'You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the LORD .

Cross References 2

  • 1. Genesis 9:4; Leviticus 7:26; Leviticus 17:10; Deuteronomy 12:16, 23
  • 2. Deuteronomy 18:10; 2 Kings 17:17
New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, California.  All rights reserved.