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Leviticus 19:31 Commentary - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

(31) Regard not.—Better, Turn ye not unto, as the Authorised Version renders this very phrase in Lev. 19:4.

Them that have familiar spirits.—This phrase represents the single word oboth in the original, and the translators of our Authorised Version by adopting it implied that those who practised this craft were supposed to be attended by an invisible spirit who was subject to their call to supply them with supernatural information. According to the authorities during the second Temple it denotes one who has a spirit speaking from under his arm-holes, or chest, with a hollow voice, as if it came out of a bottle, which is the meaning of ob in Job. 32:19. They identified it with the spirit of Python, by which the ancient Chaldee Version renders it.

Neither seek after wizards.—The expression “wizard,” which in old English denotes “wise man,” “sage,” is almost the exact equivalent of the word in the original. These cunning men pretended to tell people their fortunes, where their lost property was to be found, &c. According to ancient tradition, these wizards took in their mouth a bone of a certain bird called yaduâ, burned incense, thus producing fumes which sent them off into an ecstacy, and then foretold future events. Hence their name, yidonee, as it is in the original. It occurs eleven times in the Bible, and always together with the word translated “familiar spirit.”

Consult other comments:

Leviticus 19:31 - Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Leviticus 19:31 - Joseph Benson’s Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Leviticus 19:31 - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

Leviticus 19:31 - Adam Clarke's Commentary and Critical Notes on the Bible

Leviticus 19:31 - Commentary on the Holy Bible by Thomas Coke

Leviticus 19:31 - Companion Bible Notes, Appendices and Graphics

Leviticus 19:31 - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

Leviticus 19:31 - Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Leviticus 19:31 - John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Leviticus 19:31 - Biblical Illustrator Edited by Joseph S. Exell

Leviticus 19:31 - Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Leviticus 19:31 - English Annotations on the Holy Bible by Matthew Poole

Leviticus 19:31 - John Trapp's Complete Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

Leviticus 19:31 - The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Leviticus 19:31 - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)