And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?
Should not the people seek to God for His revelation instead of seeking through the living to the dead? This makes it clear that so-called communications with the dead are not of God and should not be indulged in.
– Dake A.R.B. page 687
AND WHEN they seek familiar spirits through wizards and witches, spirits which peep and mutter [and imitate departed loved ones thus claiming communication with the dead], should not a people seek the living God instead?
God to the law and to the testimony [the written Word of God] if you want light. There speaking not according to the written Word of God is because of no light in them [v 19-20].
At this very time of Isaiah and king Ahaz, both houses of Israel were in the habit of seeking guidance from familiar spirits like the heathen instead of putting trust in God and seeking His will [2 Ki. 16:2-4; 17:3-23; 21:1-9; 2 Chr. 28:1-4; 33:1-10].
This was the last sin of Saul [1 Sam. 28:7-25; 1 Chr. 10:13-14]. For centuries many nations and kings sought guidance from the oracle of Apollo at Delphi, Greece, and the priestesses there.
The Vulgate renders this by ‘Pythons and diviners’, a ‘Python’ among the Greeks and Romans denoted one that had the ‘spirit of prophesying’; it was particularly applied to the priestess as Delphi [note s, Acts 16:16].
The Septuagint renders it: ventriloquists, and those speaking from the earth…from the belly.
Moffat: Mediums and ghosts that cheep and gibber in low murmurs.
Peshitta: familiar spirits and of wise men who chirp and mutter.
Berkeley: necromancers and fortune tellers.
Fenton: raisers of spirits, whisperers and the entranced.
Young: familiar spirits …wizards that chatter and mutter. See note b, Lk. 12:29.
CHIRP AND CHATTER:
Hebrew ‘tsaphaph, to coo; chirp as a bird chatter; peep; whisper.
Translated ‘peep’ [v 19; 10:14]; ‘whisper’ [29:4]; and chatter [29:4].
It means to make a noise by the gentle opening of the mouth; and by such a method came chirps and whisperings which the ancients ascribed to the departed dead. It was believed that departed spirits did not speak out openly and clearly, but with an indistinct, low, gently, suppressed voice.
Bodily motions of the mediums gave the impression of calling the dead from under the earth.
– Dake A.R. Bible: page 481