Deuteronomy 18:12
For all that do these things are an abomination to the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD your God does drive them out from before you.
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18:9-14 Was it possible that a people so blessed with Divine institutions, should ever be in any danger of making those their teachers whom God had made their captives? They were in danger; therefore, after many like cautions, they are charged not to do after the abominations of the nations of Canaan. All reckoning of lucky or unlucky days, all charms for diseases, all amulets or spells to prevent evil, fortune-telling, &c. are here forbidden. These are so wicked as to be a chief cause of the rooting out of the Canaanites. It is amazing to think that there should be any pretenders of this kind in such a land, and day of light, as we live in. They are mere impostors who blind and cheat their followers.A charmer - i. e., one who fascinates and subdues noxious animals or men, such as the famous serpent-charmers of the East Psalm 58:4-5.

A consulter with familiar spirits ... a wizard - Compare Leviticus 19:31 note.

Recromancer - literally, "one who interrogates the dead." The purpose of the text is obviously to group together all the known words belonging to the practices in question. Compare 2 Chronicles 33:6.

De 18:9-14. The Abominations of the Nations Are to Be Avoided.

9-14. thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations—(See on [152]Le 18:21; [153]Le 19:26; [154]Le 19:31; [155]Le 20:4). In spite of this express command, the people of Canaan, especially the Philistines, were a constant snare and stumbling block to the Israelites, on account of their divinations and superstitious practices.

The people of the land which thou art going to possess, mentioned above, Deu 18:9. For all that do these things are an abomination to the Lord,.... Not that do all these things, but whoever does any of them, as Jarchi notes; all such persons that use such unlawful methods, or any of them, to gain knowledge; and likewise all those that consult them, and make use of them; and especially it must be very abominable in the people of Israel to encourage such persons and practices, who had the knowledge of the true God, and him to consult on all occasions; had his law and testimony to attend unto as the rule of their conduct, and his prophets to advise with in matters of difficulty; see Isaiah 8:20.

and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee; as well as other sins mentioned in Leviticus 18:24 and, as before observed from Cicero, all nations have been addicted to the arts of divination here condemned.

For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.
12. abomination] See Deuteronomy 18:9.

unto the Lord] Sam. LXX add thy God, and LXX B omits this in next clause.

doth drive them out] Heb. is to dispossess them, see on Deuteronomy 9:5; cp. Deuteronomy 4:38.Verse 12. - All who practiced such arts were an abomination unto the Lord, and his people are forbidden to have anything to do with them. They are connected here with the Moloch-worship, because of the intimate relation between idolatry and the use of magical arts; and Moloch-worship is specially mentioned, probably because it was the form of idolatry with which the Israelites were most likely to come in contact, both where they then were and also in Canaan; not, as Keil suggests, because that form "was more intimately connected with soothsaying and magic than any other description of idolatry" - an assertion for which there is no evidence. As the priests were to be remembered for their service on the part of the people (Deuteronomy 18:3-5), so the Levite also, who came from one of the towns of the land with all the desire of his soul to the place of the sanctuary, to minister there in the name of the Lord, was to eat a similar portion to all his Levitical brethren who stood there in service before the Lord. The verb גּוּר (sojourned) does not presuppose that the Levites were houseless, but simply that they had no hereditary possession in the land as the other tribes had, and merely lived like sojourners among the Israelites in the towns which were given up to them by the other tribes (see at Deuteronomy 12:12). "All his brethren the Levites" are the priests and those Levites who officiated at the sanctuary as assistants to the priests. It is assumed, therefore, that only a part of the Levites were engaged at the sanctuary, and the others lived in their towns. The apodosis follows in Deuteronomy 18:8, "part like part shall they eat," sc., the new-comer and those already there. The former was to have the same share to eat as the latter, and to be maintained from the revenues of the sanctuary. These revenues are supposed to be already apportioned by the previous laws, so that they by no means abolish the distinction between priests and Levites. We are not to think of those portions of the sacrifices and first-fruits only which fell to the lot of the priests, nor of the tithe alone, or of the property which flowed into the sanctuary through vows or free-will offerings, or in any other way, and was kept in the treasury and storehouse, but of tithes, sacrificial portions, and free-will offerings generally, which were not set apart exclusively for the priests. וגו ממכּריו לבד, "beside his sold with the fathers," i.e., independently of what he receives from the sale of his patrimony. ממכּר, the sale, then the thing sold, and the price or produce of what is sold, like מכר in Numbers 20:19. לבד is unusual without מן, and Knobel would read ממּכריו, from מכריו and מן, in consequence. האבות על stands for בּית־אבות על (see at Exodus 6:25; κατὰ τὴν πατρίαν, lxx), according to or with the fathers' houses, i.e., the produce of the property which he possesses according to his family descent, or which is with his kindred. Whether על in this passage signifies "according to the measure of," or "with," in the sense of keeping or administering, cannot be decided. As the law in Leviticus 25:33-34, simply forbids the sale of the pasture grounds belonging to the Levites, but permits the sale of their houses, a Levite who went to the sanctuary might either let his property in the Levitical town, and draw the yearly rent, or sell the house which belonged to him there. In any case, these words furnish a convincing proof that there is no foundation for the assertion that the book of Deuteronomy assumes or affirms that the Levites were absolutely without possessions.
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