|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:7-15 The remnant of Israel, converted to Christ in the primitive times, were among many nations as the drops of dew, and were made instruments in calling a large increase of spiritual worshippers. But to those who neglected or opposed this salvation, they would, as lions, cause terror, their doctrine condemning them. The Lord also declares that he would cause not only the reformation of the Jews, but the purification of the Christian church. In like manner shall we be assured of victory in our personal conflicts, as we simply depend upon the Lord our salvation, worship him, and serve him with diligence.
Verse 12. - Witchcrafts. Magic and sorcery, which were much practised in Syria and Palestine, as in Chaldea, the literature of which country consists in great part of spells and charms. It is to the belief in the efficacy of such incantations that we owe the episode of Balak and Balaam (Numbers 22-24.), and the enactments in the Law; e.g. Deuteronomy 18:10, etc. (comp. Isaiah 2:6; Isaiah 47:12). Septuagint, τὰ φάρμακά σου, "thy poisons;" Vulgate, maleficia. Soothsayers; properly, cloud diviners, or storm makers; either persons who professed to divine by means of the shape and colour of clouds, or, as the old Scandinavian witches, charlatans who assumed the power of musing and directing storms. Cheyne compares the common name of sorcerers among savages, "rain makers."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And I will cut off witchcrafts out of thine hand,.... Such as were formerly practised among the Jews, though forbidden them, and in mystical Babylon, or the antichristian church, whose sorceries are mentioned, Revelation 9:21; but nothing of this kind will be found in the Christian church, consisting of Jews and Gentiles, in the latter day; all unlawful arts, cheating and juggling in religious matters, will cease, and be no more:
and thou shalt have no more soothsayers; or diviners, that cast a mist over people's eyes, and deceived them with false appearances of things; that pretended to know times and seasons, when it was or was not a good day to go abroad, or to make merchandise; that judged by the clouds, and by the position of the heavens, what would come to pass hereafter; and though such sort of men were formerly indulged, connived at, and caressed among the Jews, they should be so no more; nor should they apply to such persons for advice and counsel; nor would they need it, nor should they use it; see Deuteronomy 18:10.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
12. witchcrafts out of thine hand—that is, which thou now usest.
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