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“You are to say to the Israelites, ‘Any man from the Israelites (or any of the resident foreigners[a] who live in Israel) who gives any of his children[b] to Molech[c] must be put to death; the people of the land must pelt him with stones.[d] I myself will set my face[e] against that man and cut him off from the midst of his people,[f] because he has given some of his children to Molech and thereby defiled my sanctuary and profaned my holy name.[g] If, however, the people of the land shut their eyes[h] to that man[i] when he gives some of his children to Molech so that they do not put him to death, I myself will set my face against that man and his clan. I will cut off from the midst of the people both him and all who follow after him in spiritual prostitution,[j] committing prostitution by worshiping Molech.[k]

Prohibition against Spiritists and Mediums[l]

“‘The person who turns to the spirits of the dead and familiar spirits[m] to commit prostitution by going after them, I will set my face[n] against that person and cut him off from the midst of his people.

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  1. Leviticus 20:2 tn The noun “foreigner” (גֵּר; ger) is based on the same verbal root as “lives” (גּוּר; gur), which means “to sojourn, to dwell as an alien.” On the Hebrew ger (גֵּר) “resident foreigner” see notes at Exod 12:19 and Deut 29:11.
  2. Leviticus 20:2 tn Heb “his seed” (so KJV, ASV); likewise in vv. 3-4.
  3. Leviticus 20:2 tn Regarding Molech and Molech worship see the note on Lev 18:21.
  4. Leviticus 20:2 tn This is not the most frequently-used Hebrew verb for stoning (see instead סָקַל, saqal), but a word that refers to the action of throwing, slinging, or pelting someone with stones (רָגָם, ragam; see HALOT 1187 s.v. רגם qal.a, and B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 136).
  5. Leviticus 20:3 tn Heb “And I, I shall give my faces.”
  6. Leviticus 20:3 sn On the “cut off” penalty see the notes on Lev 7:20 and 17:4.
  7. Leviticus 20:3 tn Heb “for the sake of defiling my sanctuary and to profane my holy name.”
  8. Leviticus 20:4 tn Heb “And if shutting [infinitive absolute] they shut [finite verb].” For the infinitive absolute used to highlight contrast rather than emphasis see GKC 343 §113.p.
  9. Leviticus 20:4 tn Heb “from that man” (so ASV); NASB “disregard that man.”
  10. Leviticus 20:5 tn The adjective “spiritual” has been supplied in the translation to clarify that this is not a reference to literal prostitution, but figuratively compares idolatry to prostitution.
  11. Leviticus 20:5 tn Heb “to commit harlotry after Molech.” The translation employs “worshiping” here for clarity (cf. NAB, NCV, TEV, CEV, NLT). On the “cut off” penalty see the note on Lev 7:20.
  12. Leviticus 20:6 sn For structure and coherence in Lev 20:6-27 see the note on v. 27 below.
  13. Leviticus 20:6 tn See the note on the phrase “familiar spirits” in Lev 19:31 above.
  14. Leviticus 20:6 tn Heb “I will give my faces.”

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