[Devarim 18 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)]

1 The priests the Levites, and all the tribe of Levi, shall have no part nor inheritance with Israel: they shall eat the offerings of Yahweh made by fire, and his inheritance.

2 Therefore shall they have no inheritance among their brethren: Yahweh is their inheritance, as he hath said unto them.

What a priviledge!

3 And this shall be the priest's due from the people, from them that offer a sacrifice, whether it be ox or sheep; and they shall give unto the priest the shoulder, and the two cheeks, and the maw [ two jowls, and the stomach].

4 The firstfruit also of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the first of the fleece of thy sheep, shalt thou give him.

5 For Yahweh thy Elohim hath chosen him out of all thy tribes, to stand to minister in the name of Yahweh, him and his sons for ever.

6 And if a Levite come from any of thy gates out of all Israel, where he sojourned, and come with all the desire of his mind unto the place which Yahweh shall choose;

7 Then he shall minister in the name of Yahweh his Elohim, as all his brethren the Levites do, which stand there before Yahweh.

8 They shall have like portions to eat, beside that which cometh of the sale of his patrimony.

9 When thou art come into the land [ ha'aretz] which Yahweh thy Elohim giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after [imitate] the abominations [to'avot] of those nations [Goyim].

10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son [ben] or his daughter [bat] to pass through the fire [eish (be burned as an idol's offering)], or that useth divination [kosem kesamim], or an observer of times [m'onen (soothsayer, astrologer)], or an enchanter [ m'nachesh (one who interprets omens)], or a witch [mekhashshef],

Lying divination

Necromancy, witchcraft, &c., were the ancient counterparts of spiritualism—"real" in the sense in which astrology is real—real in the facts dealt with, but not in the use made of them.

Stars are real, and their movements also, but their determination of individual occurrences exists only in the imagination of the astrologers.

A necromancer is real, in the power peculiar to his organism; but his interpretation of what he does and can do, is as true as the wars among the gods, to which the ancients attributed storms.

There is no "raising" of the dead or miraculous performance whatever. There is but the exercise of natural brain and nervous power in an unusual way.

The use of this power, as if it were divine in a special sense, especially to draw aside Israel from obedience to the commandments of Yahweh was esteemed an offence so heinous as to warrant death

The Christadelphian, May 1873

Dictionary of Prohibited Institutions

Prohibitory statute.—There shall not be found among you one that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination to Yahweh (Deut. 18:10–12.

"Divination."—A diviner was one who foretold what was to happen by the flight of birds or the use of lots.

"An observer of times."—One who foretold political or physical changes by the motion of the clouds.

"An enchanter."—A term that in the Hebrew comes from the word for serpent, and therefore refers to one who practised the art of serpent-charming.

"A witch or a wizard."—These terms are from an Arabic verb signifying "to know," or "to reveal," both practising divination by the same arts—pretending to reveal secrets, to discover things lost, find hidden treasure, and interpret dreams.

"A charmer."—One who, as the original word implies, placed words and things in a certain arrangement, or muttered them as a kind of spell.

"A consulter with familiar spirits."—The phrase "familiar spirits" is rendered by the Septuagint "a ventriloquist." The "consulter" in the case was a wizard who asked counsel of his familiar, and gave the responses received from him to others. The name obh (signifying a skin bottle) being applied with reference to the spirit or demon that animated the person and inflated the belly, so that it protruded like the side of a bottle. The word rendered "consulter," it may be remarked, is a form of the word sheol, which, while it means "to ask," is appropriate enough in a case in which the application for information is to the grave or the Bible hell.

"A necromancer."—The Hebrew word Douraish-hamatheem thus rendered, literally means "an enquirer of the dead," from dorash to enquire and hamatheem, plural of ha-maith ( or ha-meth), the dead. One who, by frequenting tombs, by inspecting corpses, or more frequently by the help of the obh like the witch of Endor, pretended to evoke the dead, and consult the tenants of the grave.

Death statute.

—"A man or a woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard shall surely be put to death" (Lev. 19:27). "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" (Ex. 22:18).

The Christadelphian, Sept 1888

11 Or a charmer [one who casts spells], or a consulter [one who inquires of a ghost], with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer [ doresh el hamesim (a consulter of the dead ones, i.e., a necromancer)].

12 For all that do these things are an abomination [to'avat] unto Yahweh: and because of these abominations [to'evot]Yahweh thy Elohim doth drive them out from before thee.

We are not told why they were an abomination, but we need be at no loss to understand. God is a jealous God (Exod. 20:5).

He says, "My glory will I not give to another" (Isa. 42:8). This is reasonable, though it is made to appear otherwise by captious minds. Suppose any of the critics were principal in an establishment, how would he like to see visitors and customers referring and deferring to some subordinate as if he were the head? He would undoubtedly resent it. Honour, deference, and praise should be reserved for those to whom they are due. This is recognized in the relation of man to man. How much more should it be as between man and God. Man has nothing but what he has received. God is the origin of all that we have, or can have, or be. Well may we join with David in saying, "Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory"; in the language of the hymn :-

Not unto us, who are but dust,

But unto Thee is glory due.

Why should we thank and praise people for what they have had nothing to do with bestowing? What should we think of a town's meeting passing a vote of thanks to the tallow chandler for a fine season, or to the grocer for the absence of rinderpest? Or, taking it on a lower plane, would you thank your servant for a legacy left by your uncle, or the greengrocer for the reduction of the income tax? The incongruousness of such a thing would be discerned by every one. The incongruousness is as great in giving to others the glory due to God alone. It is far greater. It is not only a violation of truth, and fact, and good sense: it is an interference with the well-being of man and the pleasure of God. It is good for man to worship God: it is degrading and demoralizing for him to be diverted from it. And it grieves God to be deprived of His due by the folly of man.

All this is according to sense, fitness, and truth. There is no maudlin sentimentality about it, but the simple placing of facts which may enable us to see why wizardry and divination of all kinds should come under such reprobation in the Mosaic Law. Diviners, necromancers, consulters with familiar spirits, wizards, witches, and the whole class of professors of supernatural powers of insight were (and are to this day under changed names) mere pretenders to a power they did not possess. Most of them possessed some degree of a power and perhaps imagined it divine power, but it was merely natural power in an extra degree.

The whole vital mechanism of man is charged with an electric energy of which the nerves are the conducting wires. By this, he lives and performs the wonderful functions of his brain and being. When used for the normal purposes for which it was intended, all is well, but often it is directed to abnormal purposes, and made the instrument of purposes for which it was never intended and which it cannot fulfil.

It cannot be made to discern the future or to know the occult; and when it is made the ground of pretension in these directions, it becomes a mere imposture--odious enough as the benighted misinterpretation of ignorance, but trebly so when made the ground of authority to draw Israel away from submission to divine law. "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." Israel was drawn near to Him to walk in light and truth and excellence. No marvel that God had no toleration for a class of ignorant pretenders who came into collision with His aims and intentions with them.

Law of Moses Ch 31

13 Thou shalt be perfect with Yahweh thy Elohim.

14 For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, Yahweh thy Elohim hath not suffered thee so to do.

15 Yahweh thy Elohim will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; (Ch. 34:10),

"Blessed be he that cometh in the name of Yahweh".

This is a direct reference to Christ as Prophet, as Peter showed when he cited this passage in proclaiming the Gospel (Acts 3:22-23). But it does not mean that there would not be other

prophets before the appearance of the Christ; indeed, in context with his statement, Peter referred to others by making mention of "all the prophets" (v. 24).

So Moses, in the chapter before us, sets forth the test of a prophet (w. 20-22). The word prophet is from the Hebrew nabi, derived from the verb naba, "to boil or bubble over".

Gesenius declares that it is taken from "the metaphor of a fountain bursting forth from the heart of a man into which God hath poured His spirit".

The Greek word rendered prophet signifies to speak for, or in the place of. A prophet not only fore-told the Divine purpose, but also forth-told it. In other words, he not only predicted things to come, but made known the will of Yahweh. In that way he spoke

"unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort" (1 Cor. 14:3).

The unique prophet promised by Yahweh would be raised up from among the midst of the nation as a brother Israelite: surely a complete answer to the trinitarian concept of the Lord commonly set forth by Christendom.

At his first advent, Christ was recognised as the prophet predicted by Moses (John 1:45; Acts 3:22-23; 7:37).

The Christadelphian Expositor

16 According to all that thou desiredst of Yahweh thy Elohim in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of Yahweh my Elohim, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.

17 And Yahweh said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken.

18 I will raise them up a Prophet [Navi ] from among their brethren [achim], like unto thee, and will put My words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.

The point here is the declaration "I will put my words in his mouth" -- the words of the Elohim of Israel in the mouth of the antitypical Moses.

This feature is apparent in other parts of the prophets. In Isaiah 61:1, you find it in these words:

"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound".

Again in Isaiah 11:2: "The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD".

Again In Isaiah 51:16: "I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand;" and again in Micah 5:4: "He shall stand and feed in the strength of Yahweh, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God; and they shall abide, for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth".

Now, Jesus of Nazareth answers to all these plain declarations concerning the Messiah, in the Old Testament. He did not pretend to be wise of himself. He expressly declared that God's words were in his mouth; he did not, according to Trinitarian views of him, claim to be God himself -- one of three persons in the God-head -- but he claimed to be the manifestation of the one Eternal Father, who revealed Himself through him to Israel. I proceed to call your attention to the illustrations of this point. In John 3:34, we have the testimony of John the Baptist concerning Jesus, thus, "He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God; for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him".

In John 7:16, Jesus of Nazareth said: "My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me;" and in the 8th chapter and 26th verse: "I have many things to say and to judge of you, but He that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of Him;" and at the 38th verse: "I speak that which I have seen with my Father".

At the 12th chapter and the 49th verse: "I have not spoken of myself, but the Father who sent me. He gave me a commandment what I should say". John 14: 10: "Believest thou not", he said to Philip, "that I am in the Father and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself, but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works".

Then, at the 24th verse: "He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings, and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's who sent me". These I consider to be unmistakeable illustrations of that feature of the Messiah foretold by Moses and the prophets, "I will put my words in his mouth".

Jesus didn't come in his own name, like the false Christs, whom the Jews have, from time to time, received; as he said, "If any man come in his own name, him ye will receive; but I have come in my Fathers name, and ye have not received me".

Now the argument following upon that is this: that the words of Jesus of Nazareth are of a kind that can only be explained on the supposition that he is in reality that prophet like unto Moses, in whose mouth the words of God were put. That, indeed, is the very answer given by the men who were sent to apprehend Jesus; they were struck with his words, and when they returned to the captain of the temple, they said, "never man spake like this man".

... that "he spake as never man spake"; and that, therefore, the words of Christ are the words of God; that the words of Christ can only be the words of a man who was no mere man, but the Father of men tabernacling among men by his Spirit, and speaking through this man in words which illustrate the description of him, that "he spoke as one having authority, and not as the scribes".

Was Jesus of Nazareth The Messiah?


Mr. Robert Roberts and Mr. Louis Stern, Oct. 1871

19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto My words which he shall speak in My name [Bishmi], I will require it of him.

[Shall be destroyed from among the people - Acts 3:23] The accountability of rejectors was visited in AD 70 with terrible vengeance. Many who saw and heard Yahoshua will be called to give account before his throne of glory also.

The testimony of Christ, in reference to himself, said -

"A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country and in his own house" (Matt. 13:57).

The disciples of Jesus understood him to be that prophet:

"when two of them were conversing together concerning him, after his resurrection, they spake of him as Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet, mighty in deed and word before God and all the people" (Luke 24:19).

The apostle Peter testified in harmony with these, when he spake of Christ to the Jews ,and said:

"Moses truly said unto the Fathers, A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you, of your brethren, like unto me: him shall ye hear in all things, whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul which will not hear that Prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people" (Acts 3:22-23).

In fulfilling his mission as that Prophet, Christ prophesied of the "things concerning the kingdom of God". His prophetic discourse is sometimes delivered in the form of plain testimony, sometimes in parables, and sometimes in living pictorial representation. A few testimonies will illustrate this. "The prophecy of Mount Olivet" - recorded in Matt. 24 and Luke 21 - foretold the dissolution of the Jewish Commonwealth and the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple: also, the second appearing of our Lord in glory.

Sis Lasius - Yahweh Elohim Ch 4

20 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.

21 And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which Yahweh hath not spoken?

22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of Yahweh, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which Yahweh hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

But when an expositor correctly identifies the meaning of scripture prophecies yet future and after his death, those expositions are proven faithful and trustworthy!