Leviticus 19:26 Commentary - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)
(26) Ye shall not eat any thing with the blood.—According to the administrators of the law during the second Temple, there are no less than five different things forbidden here. It prohibits (1) eating the flesh of a legally slaughtered animal as long as its life is not quite gone, or whilst the flesh is still trembling; (2) eating the flesh of sacrificial animals whilst the blood is still in the sprinkling bowl, and before it has been sprinkled on the altar; (3) eating the meat of mourners by the relatives when a member of the family has been publicly executed, and his blood has been shed; (4) eating anything by the judicial court on the day when their sentence of death is being executed on the criminal; and (5) it warns the rebellious and gluttonous son not to eat immoderately by the penalty of blood.” The ancient Chaldee Version, therefore, which translates it “Ye shall not eat the flesh of any sacrifice whilst the blood is in the basin unsprinkled,” exhibits the second of these prohibitions involved in this interpretation; and all the five premise the rendering of this phrase, “Ye shall not eat by the blood,” which has the merit of being literal; whilst the Authorised Version follows the first of these five prohibitions. Others, again, who also translate it “Ye shall not eat by the blood,” take it as a prohibition of the idolatrous practice which obtained among the Zabii, who, to obtain favour from the demons, gathered the blood of the sacrifices which they offered to them into a vessel or a hole dug in the earth, and then sat around it to consume the sacrificial meal by the blood, thinking that thereby they fraternised with these demons. This seems to be favoured by the next clause.
Neither shall ye use enchantment.- Better, ye shall use no enchantment. According to the authorities during the second Temple, this consisted in any one saying, “A morsel has dropped out of my mouth; the staff has fallen out of my hand; my child has called out behind me; a crow has cawed to me; a deer has crossed my path; a serpent crept on my right hand; a fox has gone by on my left;” and regarding these as bad omens for the day which has now began or for the work which he has just commenced. Or if he says to the man who raises the taxes, “Do not begin with me; it is still early in the day; it is the first of the month; it is the beginning of the week; I shall be unlucky the whole day, week, or month to be the first to be burdened;” this is enchantment.
Nor observe times.—This, according to the same authorities, consists in “taking notice of the seasons and days, and in saying this is a good day to begin a journey, to-morrow will be lucky to make a purchase.”
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Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)
Charles John Ellicott (1819 - 1905) was a distinguished English Christian theologian, academic and churchman. He briefly served as Dean of Exeter, then Bishop of the united see of Gloucester and Bristol.
His works include:
- An Old Testament Commentary for English Readers, 1897. (Editor)
- A New Testament Commentary for English Readers, 1878.