Or a charmer…
That pretends to cure diseases by charms,
or a charmer of serpents; according to Jarchi, one that gathers
together serpents and scorpions, and other animals, into one place;
with which agree the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem,
``which bind serpents and scorpions, and all kind of creeping
but, according to Aben Ezra, one that says certain words to gather
or a consulter with familiar spirits;
or the inquirer of "Ob", or the
bottle, which the Jews interpret of Python, or one that has the spirit
of Python; see (Acts 16:16) , a ventriloquist, one that spoke or seemed to
speak out of his belly, or from under his armpits; so it is said in
the Misnah F8 of Ob, this is Python, one that speaks out of his
arm holes; agreeably to which, Jarchi says, this is that sort of
witchcraft which is called Python, and he speaks from his arm holes,
and brings up the dead thither: of Baal Ob, or the master of the
bottle, say some Jewish writers, one way he uses is, he takes the skull
of a dead man, the flesh of which is consumed from it, and he hides it
and burns incense to it, and mutters words by it, and hears from it, as
if from a dead man F11: or a wizard: a knowing one, as the word
signifies, such an one as we call a cunning man; (See Gill on 19:31)
or a necromancer that inquiries of the dead,
or seeks instruction from
them, as the Targum of Jerusalem. Aben Ezra describes him as one that
goes to burying grounds, and takes the bone of a dead man, and because
of his wild imagination there appears to him the likeness of forms; or
as Maimonides F12, better still, he is one that fasts and sleeps in
graveyards, and utters words; and, according to his imagination, sees
future things in dreams.
F8 Misn. Sanhedrin, c. 7. sect. 7.
F11 Maimon. & Bartenora in ib.
F12 In ib.