31 ¶ Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.
31 Verse 31. Regard not them that have familiar spirits] The
Hebrew word oboth probably signifies a kind of
engastromuthoi or ventriloquists, or such as the Pythoness
mentioned Ac 16:16,18; persons who, while under the
influence of their demon, became greatly inflated, as the Hebrew
word implies, and gave answers in a sort of phrensy. See a case
of this kind in Virgil, AEneid, l. vi., ver. 46, &c.:-
Neither seek after wizards] yiddeonim, the wise or
knowing ones, from yada, to know or understand;
called wizard in Scotland, wise or cunning man in England; and
hence also the wise woman, the white witch. Not only all real
dealers with familiar spirits, or necromantic or magical
superstitions, are here forbidden, but also all pretenders to
the knowledge of futurity, fortune-tellers, astrologers, &c.,
&c. To attempt to know what God has not thought proper to
reveal, is a sin against his wisdom, providence, and goodness.
In mercy, great mercy, God has hidden the knowledge of futurity
from man, and given him hope-the expectation of future good, in
its place. See Clarke on Ex 22:18.