Do not engage in astrology

The Literal Commandment

'You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor practice divination or soothsaying.' (Leviticus 19:26)

 

The literal commandment is that we should not practice divination: "foretelling future events or revealing occult knowledge by means of augury or an alleged supernatural agency."1

 

Messiah Says

Messiah implicitly affirmed this commandment when He spoke about the Law:

"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-19)

 

Pictures of Messiah

Astrology, divination, and soothsaying seek after knowledge of the future and fail to trust in the sovereign authority and grace of G-d.

This commandment pictures Messiah in that perfect relationship of trust with the Father that precludes the need to seek out knowledge of the future through other means.

 

How Messiah Fulfilled

Messiah fulfilled this commandment by not engaging in astrology.

 

Traditional Observance

This commandment is traditionally observed in a very literal manner: by not making use of divination, specifically in the form of astrology. Spending one's time and energy in such a pursuit is tantamount to turning the stars into idols and the source of one's knowledge instead of the Almighty. Rather, we should leave them in their proper place: a part of G-d's creation.

 

Other Notes

We are able to fulfill this commandment today and should not engage in astrology or other forms of divination.

 

This prohibition against divination is repeated in Deuteronomy 18:10.

 

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Footnotes

1. Excerpted from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition © 1996 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Electronic version licensed from INSO Corporation; further reproduction and distribution in accordance with the Copyright Law of the United States. All rights reserved. [back]

Commandment Details

  • Mishneh Torah # 62
  • Mishneh Torah Book # 1
  • Mishneh Torah Book Knowledge
  • Mishneh Torah Category 4- Idolatry and Gentile Customs
  • Reference Leviticus 19:26
  • Scripture Book Leviticus
  • Chapter 19
  • Verse 26
  • English You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor practice divination or soothsaying.
  • Hebrew כו לֹא תֹאכְלוּ, עַל-הַדָּם; לֹא תְנַחֲשׁוּ, וְלֹא תְעוֹנֵנוּ.
  • Greek 26 Μὴ ἔσθετε ἐπὶ τῶν ὀρέων καὶ οὐκ οἰωνιεῖσθε οὐδὲ ὀρνιθοσκοπήσεσθε.
  • Parashah 30- Kedoshim
  • Positive/Negative Negative
  • Sefer Hachinuch # 249
  • Sef. Hach. Command The prohibition against practicing augury
  • Category Idolatry
  • We can fullfill today Yes

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