LEVITICUS 20


6 And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.

... though the prophets were true prophets of the future, they were not fortune tellers or conjurors.

Israel did not apply to them for knowledge of private affairs. The course of private affairs was sometimes predicted in the course of their work, as when Abijah told Jeroboam's wife that her sick son would not get better (1 Kings 14:12-13), or Elijah told Ahab of the bloody ending of Ahab and his wife because of their murder of Naboth (1 Kings 21:19), or Isaiah informed Hezekiah of his recovery and the lengthening of his days (Isaiah 38:4).

But in all such instances, it will be found that the incidents of private life when prophetically illuminated by the light of inspiration, were ingredients in a public situation of affairs in which God was speaking for the guidance of his people, and were never the subject of treatment for private behoof, as in the case of witches, familiar-spiritists, sorcerers and soothsayers, and other kinds of impostors.

Still less, were they made the occasion of extorting fees as in the case of various heathen practitioners. The two things were as far removed as light and darkness, both in character and treatment.

The prophets were "the messengers of the Lord of Hosts," whose messages were delivered "without money and without price." They were examples of righteousness to Israel and the appointed heirs of life eternal, as Jesus recognises.

The empirics and pretenders of all kinds, who professed magical powers and knowledge of the occult (a class who abounded among the neighbouring nations), are denounced throughout the prophets as evil men, whom Israel were not only forbidden to follow or consult, but commanded by the law of Moses to destroy.

The Christadelphian, June 1898



22 Ye shall therefore keep all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: that the land, whither I bring you to dwell therein, spue you not out.

All manner of ritual ordinances bore in upon them the stringency of their duty to keep these commandments. The regulation of their flesh eating reminded them that they, as God's people, were to the heathen what the clean animal was to the unclean, and taught them that they, being His, had to be holy like Him (Deut. 14: 2-21).

So also with their clothing: it could not be of mixed cloth, part wool, part linen, thereby symbolizing that they had to be wholly His, not half like Him and half like heathendom around them.

Law and Grace Ch 4



25 Ye shall therefore put difference between clean beasts and unclean, and between unclean fowls and clean: and ye shall not make your souls abominable by beast, or by fowl, or by any manner of living thing that creepeth on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean.


From the fact that many, if not all, of the creatures classified as unclean are unwholesome, it has been argued that the law relating to them was a mere hygienic measure. Had this, however, been the object of the institution the word unwholesome, or one to that effect, would have been employed, for in no sense could the word "unclean" be substituted for "unwholesome."

These thoughts lead to the conclusion that the distinction God made between the animals was for some provisional end.

...Repeatedly were these Canaanitish nations denounced. Israel was taught to regard them as vile, abominable, unclean. Equally emphatic was the divine instruction respecting the character the Israelites were to exhibit.

... The unclean animals and the Canaanites bore to Israel exactly the same relation-both were offensive and defiling. On the other hand, the clean animals exhibited the condition and position of Israel-holy and separate. From this we may infer that the ordinance was designed to impress upon the children of Israel their favoured position, and the attitude it was necessary for them to assume in relation to the nations around, in order to secure the approval of God. The ordinance was thus a token and a symbol-a token of what God had done, and a symbol of what He expected Israel to do.

By this institution the enlightened Israelite was ever reminded of the important truths which it symbolised. In both his religious and domestic life, its requirements were entwined in a way that involved constant recognition. This is one of the many careful, impressive modes of God's instruction to His people, and indicates the great love He had for them.

The Christadelphian, Feb 1886.



26 And ye shall be holy unto me: for I Yahweh am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine.

How emphatic the teaching of the appointments before us, that there would be death to those who defile the divine holiness.

How much needed is this lesson in a day like ours, when men are drifting further and further away from all reverence in divine directions. How much needed even among many who have been called to holiness, but of whom few seem adequately to realize the holiness of the calling to which they have been called. Paul gives the matter a pointed and practical application in 1 Cor. 3:17:

"If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy, for the temple of God is holy".

He had said "Ye are the temple of God", and again: "which temple ye are", It is this that gives point to the statement. And again: "Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit... therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's" (1 Cor. 6:19-20). And again: "Ye are the temple of the living God, as God hath said, I will dwell in them and walk in them" (2 Cor. 6:16).

The lesson of the Mosaic shadow is plain in this bearing. Unholiness of body or spirit will evoke death: but the antitypical sacrifice brought in the hands in daily prayer, will ensure forgiveness if holiness is followed:

"without which no man shall see the Lord" (Heb. 12:14).

Law of Moses Ch 28