And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits and unto the wizards, that chirp and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? on behalf of the living should they seek unto the dead?
When the people [instead of trusting God] say to you, “Consult the mediums [who try to talk to the dead] and the soothsayers who chirp and whisper and mutter,” should not a people consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living?
And when the people [instead of putting their trust in God] shall say to you, Consult for direction mediums and wizards who chirp and mutter, should not a people seek and consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living?
And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto the necromancers and unto the soothsayers, who chirp and who mutter, [say,] Shall not a people seek unto their God? [Will they go] for the living unto the dead?
The people will say, “Go to the fortunetellers and wizards who mumble and chirp like birds. Ask them what to do.” But I say, “Shouldn’t people go to their God for help? Why go to the dead to get help for the living?”
Some people say, “Ask the mediums and ·fortune-tellers [necromancers; spiritists], who ·whisper [or chirp] and mutter [C using incantations to call up spirits; 1 Sam. 28:8–11], what to do.” ·But I tell you that people should ask their God for help. Why should people who are still alive ask something from the dead? [or “Should not a nation consult their gods, asking the dead on behalf of the living?”; C in this interpretation the quotation continues to the end of the verse].
And when they shall say unto you, Inquire at them that have a spirit of divination, and at the soothsayers which whisper and murmur, Should not a people inquire at their God? from the living to the dead?
People will say to you, “Ask for help from the mediums and the fortunetellers, who whisper and mutter.” Shouldn’t people ask their God for help instead? Why should they ask the dead to help the living?
But people will tell you to ask for messages from fortunetellers and mediums, who chirp and mutter. They will say, “After all, people should ask for messages from the spirits and consult the dead on behalf of the living.”
Some people say, “Ask the mediums and fortune-tellers what to do. They whisper and mutter and ask dead people what to do.” But I tell you that people should ask their God for help. Why should people who are still alive ask something from the dead?
“So when they advise you, ‘Ask the mediums your questions, and quiz the spiritists who chirp and mutter,’ shouldn’t a people instead be consulting their God— and not the dead— on behalf of those who are living
So why are you trying to find out the future by consulting witches and mediums? Don’t listen to their whisperings and mutterings. Can the living find out the future from the dead? Why not ask your God?
When people tell you, “Try out the fortunetellers. Consult the spiritualists. Why not tap into the spirit-world, get in touch with the dead?” Tell them, “No, we’re going to study the Scriptures.” People who try the other ways get nowhere—a dead end! Frustrated and famished, they try one thing after another. When nothing works out they get angry, cursing first this god and then that one, Looking this way and that, up, down, and sideways—and seeing nothing, A blank wall, an empty hole. They end up in the dark with nothing.
People will say to you, “Ask for help from the mediums and the fortunetellers, who whisper and mutter.” Shouldn’t people ask their Elohim for help instead? Why should they ask the dead to help the living?
Some people say, “Ask the mediums and fortune-tellers, who whisper and mutter, what to do.” But I tell you that people should ask their God for help. Why should people who are still alive ask something from the dead?
They will say to you, “Seek oracles at the pits used to conjure up underworld spirits, from the magicians who chirp and mutter incantations. Should people not seek oracles from their gods, by asking the dead about the destiny of the living?”
There are people who get messages from those who have died. But these people only whisper words that are barely heard. Suppose someone tells you to ask for advice from these people. Shouldn’t you ask for advice from your God instead? Why should you get advice from dead people to help those who are alive?
Someone may say to you, “Let’s ask the mediums and those who consult the spirits of the dead. With their whisperings and mutterings, they will tell us what to do.” But shouldn’t people ask God for guidance? Should the living seek guidance from the dead?
And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto mediums that have familiar spirits, and unto spiritists that whisper, and that mutter: should not Am seek unto Elohav? Should they consult the mesim (dead ones) for the benefit of the chayyim (living)?
When they tell you, “Consult with those who have familiar spirits and with the wizards, who chirp and who mutter:” shouldn’t a people consult with their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living?
And when they say to you, Ask ye of conjurers, and of false diviners, that gnash in their enchantings, whether the people shall not ask of their God (for) a revelation, for quick men and [the] dead? (And when they say to you, Ask ye of conjurers, and of false diviners, who gnash in their enchantings, Shall not the people ask their gods for a revelation, yea, a word from the dead for the living?)
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