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Shoftim

  
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 18:8
 18:9
 18:10
 18:11
18:9 When you come to the land that God your Lord is giving you, do not learn to do the revolting practices of those nations.
Ki atah ba el-ha'arets asher-Adonay Eloheycha noten lach lo-tilmad la'asot ketoavot hagoyim hahem.
18:10 Among you, there shall not be found anyone who passes his son or daughter through fire, who practices stick divination, who divines auspicious times, who divines by omens, who practices witchcraft,
Lo-yimatse vecha ma'avir beno-uvito ba'esh kosem ksamim me'onen umenachesh umchashef.
18:11 who uses incantations, who consults mediums and oracles, or who attempts to communicate with the dead.
Vechover chaver vesho'el ov veyid'oni vedoresh el-hametim.



Commentary:

through fire
  For Molekh; see Leviticus 18:21 (Sanhedrin 64b).

stick divination
  Kasam in Hebrew. Some say that this denotes tapping a stick to produce a meditative state so as to be able to predict the future (Yad, Avodath Kokhavim 11:6). Others describe it as peeling one side of a stick and seeing on which side it falls (Sefer Mitzvoth Gadol, Negative 52; Paaneach Razah), or grasping a stick and measuring off to the end with one's fingers, calling off positive and negative responses (Chizzkuni; cf. Sifri; Rashi).

Some say that the kesem includes all sorts of meditative methods used to predict the future (Ralbag; Chinukh 510). It may also include geomancy (Yad, loc. cit.; Sefer HaMitzvoth, Negative 31), and divination by lots in general (Rashi on Ezekiel 21:27; cf. Septuagint).

divines auspicious times
  See Leviticus 19:26.

divines by omens
  Ibid.

witchcraft
  See Exodus 22:17.

uses incantations
  Chover chaver in Hebrew. This denotes incantations in general (Yad, Avodath Kokhavim 11:10; Septuagint). In particular, it denotes using incantations to gather demons (Ibn Ezra), or animals (Targum Yonathan; Radak, Sherashim; Sefer Mitzvoth Gadol, Negative 64; cf. Sanhedrin 65b). It can also involve incantations to cure snakebites and the like, and, possibly, those used in alchemy (Saadia; Sefer HaMitzvoth, Negative 35; Yad, loc. cit.).

mediums and oracles
  See Leviticus 19:31.

communicate with the dead
  Through fasting (Sanhedrin 65b) and meditation (Ralbag).





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