For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do.
a. NLT: The nations you are about to displace consult sorcerers and fortune-tellers, but the LORD your God forbids you to do such things.”
b. NIV: The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the LORD your God has not permitted you to do so.
c. YLT: for these nations whom thou art possessing, unto observers of clouds, and unto diviners, do hearken; and thou -- not so hath Jehovah thy God suffered thee.
d. Amplified Bible: For these nations which you shall dispossess listen to those who practice witchcraft and to diviners and fortune-tellers, but as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you to do so.
e. Septuagint: For all these nations whose [land] thou shalt inherit, they will listen to omens and divinations; but the Lord thy God has not permitted thee so [to do].
f. Stone Edition Chumash: For these nations that you are possessing—they hearken to astrologers and diviners; but as for you—not so has HASHEM, your God, given for you.
1. “For these nations, which thou shalt possess…”
a. for these nations [1471 * gowy (shortened) goy] [Strong: apparently from the same root as 1465 (in the sense of massing); a foreign nation; hence, a Gentile; also (figuratively) a troop of animals, or a flight of locusts:--Gentile, heathen, nation, people.]
b. which thou shalt possess [3423 * yarash or yaresh] [Strong: a primitive root; to occupy (by driving out previous tenants, and possessing in their place); by implication, to seize, to rob, to inherit; also to expel, to impoverish, to ruin:--cast out, consume, destroy, disinherit, dispossess, drive(-ing) out, enjoy, expel, X without fail, (give to, leave for) inherit(-ance, -or) + magistrate, be (make) poor, come to poverty, (give to, make to) possess, get (have) in (take) possession, seize upon, succeed, X utterly.]
2. “…hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners…”
a. hearkened [8085 * shama`] [Strong: a primitive root; to hear intelligently (often with implication of attention, obedience, etc.; causatively, to tell, etc.):--X attentively, call (gather) together, X carefully, X certainly, consent, consider, be content, declare, X diligently, discern, give ear, (cause to, let, make to) hear(-ken, tell), X indeed, listen, make (a) noise, (be) obedient, obey, perceive, (make a) proclaim(-ation), publish, regard, report, shew (forth), (make a) sound, X surely, tell, understand, whosoever (heareth), witness.]
b. observers of times [6049 * ‘anan][Gesenius: to make appear, produce, bring (clouds), to practise soothsaying, conjure, to observe times, practice soothsaying or spiritism or magic or augury or witchcraft, soothsayer, enchanter, sorceress, diviner, fortuneteller, barbarian,] [Strong: a primitive root; to cover; used only as a denominative from 6051, to cloud over; figuratively, to act covertly, i.e. practise magic:--X bring, enchanter, Meonemin, observe(-r of) times, soothsayer, sorcerer.]
c. diviners [7080 * qacam] [Strong: a primitive root; properly, to distribute, i.e. determine by lot or magical scroll; by implication, to divine:--divine(-r, -ation), prudent, soothsayer, use (divination).]
3. “…but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do.”
a. the LORD [3068 * Yhovah] [Strong: from 1961; (the) self-Existent or Eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God:--Jehovah, the Lord.]
b. thy God [430 * 'elohiym] [Strong: plural of 433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative:--angels, X exceeding, God (gods)(-dess, -ly), X (very) great, judges, X mighty.]
c. hath not suffered thee to do so [5414 * nathan] [Strong: a primitive root; to give, used with greatest latitude of application (put, make, etc.):--add, apply, appoint, ascribe, assign, X avenge, X be ((healed)), bestow, bring (forth, hither), cast, cause, charge, come, commit, consider, count, + cry, deliver (up), direct, distribute, do, X doubtless, X without fail, fasten, frame, X get, give (forth, over, up), grant, hang (up), X have, X indeed, lay (unto charge, up), (give) leave, lend, let (out), + lie, lift up, make, + O that, occupy, offer, ordain, pay, perform, place, pour, print, X pull , put (forth), recompense, render, requite, restore, send (out), set (forth), shew, shoot forth (up), + sing, + slander, strike, (sub-)mit, suffer, X surely, X take, thrust, trade, turn, utter, + weep, + willingly, + withdraw, + would (to) God, yield.]
1). All the Canaanite nations that Israel dispossessed engaged in demonic, occult practices.
a). Leviticus 18:24-30 Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you:
18:25 And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.
18:26 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you:
18:27 (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;)
18:28 That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you.
18:29 For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people.
18:30 Therefore shall ye keep mine ordinance, that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the Lord your God.
2). Every one of these practices are routine themes in Halloween celebrations. The origins of Halloween are somewhat commonly known.
a). Answers in Genesis: In the early 1900s, the migrating Irish and Scots brought Halloween traditions to the United States. Over time, Halloween catapulted into mainstream culture. The holiday, though, has roots reaching much further back. Some researchers claim that the holiday can be traced back about 2,000 years to the Celts of Europe, who occupied parts of Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France. It was a pagan festival called “Samhain” (pronounced “sow-in”) that celebrated more or less the honor of the dead and involved the offering of large sacrifices of crops and animals. Although no original written accounts of this festival exist today from the ancient Celts, there is some reference to it in Roman records from when the Romans conquered Celtic lands around AD 43. Under Roman rule, the day of Samhain was influenced by Roman festivals of the time. The first was called “Pomona,” which was a type of harvest festival, and the next was “Feralia,” the Roman day of the dead. Interestingly, both Feralia and Samhain were festivals of the dead and celebrated at the end of October. answersingenesis.org/holidays/halloween-history-and-the-bible/
b). John McArthur: The name "Halloween" comes from the All Saints Day celebration of the early Christian church, a day set aside for the solemn remembrance of the martyrs. All Hallows Eve, the evening before All Saints Day, began the time of remembrance. "All Hallows Eve" was eventually contracted to "Hallow-e'en," which became "Halloween." As Christianity moved through Europe it collided with indigenous pagan cultures and confronted established customs. Pagan holidays and festivals were so entrenched that new converts found them to be a stumbling block to their faith. To deal with the problem, the organized church would commonly move a distinctively Christian holiday to a spot on the calendar that would directly challenge a pagan holiday. The intent was to counter pagan influences and provide a Christian alternative. But most often the church only succeeded in "Christianizing" a pagan ritual—the ritual was still pagan, but mixed with Christian symbolism. That's what happened to All Saints Eve—it was the original Halloween alternative! The Celtic people of Europe and Britain were pagan Druids whose major celebrations were marked by the seasons. At the end of the year in northern Europe, people made preparations to ensure winter survival by harvesting the crops and culling the herds, slaughtering animals that wouldn't make it. Life slowed down as winter brought darkness (shortened days and longer nights), fallow ground, and death. The imagery of death, symbolized by skeletons, skulls, and the color black, remains prominent in today's Halloween celebrations. The pagan Samhain festival (pronounced "sow" "en") celebrated the final harvest, death, and the onset of winter, for three days—October 31 to November 2. The Celts believed the curtain dividing the living and the dead lifted during Samhain to allow the spirits of the dead to walk among the living—ghosts haunting the earth. Some embraced the season of haunting by engaging in occult practices such as divination and communication with the dead. They sought "divine" spirits (demons) and the spirits of their ancestors regarding weather forecasts for the coming year, crop expectations, and even romantic prospects. Bobbing for apples was one practice the pagans used to divine the spiritual world's "blessings" on a couple's romance. For others the focus on death, occultism, divination, and the thought of spirits returning to haunt the living, fueled ignorant superstitions and fears. They believed spirits were earthbound until they received a proper sendoff with treats—possessions, wealth, food, and drink. Spirits who were not suitably "treated" would "trick" those who had neglected them. The fear of haunting only multiplied if that spirit had been offended during its natural lifetime… Halloween didn't become an American holiday until the immigration of the working classes from the British Isles in the late nineteenth century. While early immigrants may have believed the superstitious traditions, it was the mischievous aspects of the holiday that attracted American young people. Younger generations borrowed or adapted many customs without reference to their pagan origins. http://www.gty.org/resources/articles/A123/christians-and-halloween
c). Christian Broadcasting Network: The origins of Halloween are Celtic in tradition and have to do with observing the end of summer sacrifices to gods in Druidic tradition. In what is now Britain and France, it was the beginning of the Celtic year, and they believed Samhain, the lord of death, sent evil spirits abroad to attack humans, who could escape only by assuming disguises and looking like evil spirits themselves. The waning of the sun and the approach of dark winter made the evil spirits rejoice and play nasty tricks. Believe it or not, most of our Halloween practices can be traced back to these old pagan rites and superstitions. http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/onlinediscipleship/halloween/halloween_watt05.aspx
3). As America removes the Christian foundations from our nation’s schools, courts and culture, an ignorant and unbelieving populace emerges searching for spiritual meaning.
a). In her article, Halloween’s Pagan Themes Fill West’s Faith Vacuum, Amity Shlaes writes, “But as much as we’d like it to be, Halloween isn’t secular. It is pagan. There’s nothing else to call a set of ceremonies in which people utter magical phrases, flirt with the night and evoke the dead… Necromancy is a regular part of Halloween games. Zombie masks are one of this year’s top- sellers. As grouchy theologians used to point out, the origin of Halloween was most likely Samhain, an ancient Celtic holiday on which the dead, in some accounts, supposedly returned to visit.” She goes on to write, There’s a reason for the pull of the pagan. In the U.S., we’ve been vigorously scrubbing our schools and other public spaces of traces of monotheistic religion for many decades now. Such scrubbing leaves a vacuum. The great self-deception of modern life is that nothing will be pulled into that vacuum. Half a century ago, the psychologist Carl Jung noted the heightened interest in UFOs, and concluded that the paranormal was “modern myth,” a replacement for religion.” http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-20/halloween-s-pagan-themes-fill-west-s-faith-vacuum-amity-shlaes.html
4). Final thoughts: During the same time America's Christian heritage was being removed from our cultural landscape by many Supreme Court decisions, many of the forbidden practices that God's word clearly spelled out to Israel in Deuteronomy and Leviticus that were common among the Canaanites, were becoming constitutionally protected behaviors in America. Ms. Shlaes was correct in saying such scrubbing does leave a vacuum and that vacuum was filled with those same Canaanite practices. Abortion, i.e., child sacrifice, became constitutionally protected in 1973 with Roe v. Wade. Men lying with men as with women became acceptable in stages over the last 50 years with the cap stones of Lawrence v. Texas in 2003 and Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015. All these behaviors were Canaanite in their origin and as America continues to scrub away its Judeo-Christian heritage, it will become more and more Canannite, including the rising popularity of Halloween practices, many of which are Canaanite in their origin according to Deuteronomy 18:9-14.