1915. Terms Used in the Old Testament in Connection with Divination. But though Cicero arranges diviners according to their pretentions, he does not believe in any superhuman communication. In Israel, an official position on divination limited its uses to forms that did not reflect the practices of surrounding cultures. The question of veracity may be involved because they prove difficult to interpret. (i) Sortliege or divination by lot. Similarly the Greek mantike implies that the message comes to the mantis from gods or spirits by way of inspiration. Underlying all methods of divination there lay the belief that certain superhuman spiritual beings (gods, spirits) possess the secret knowledge desired by men, and that, on certain conditions,, they are willing to impart it. Divination is the effort to obtain insight into a question or situation by way of an occultic, standardized process, or ritual. Pure Yahwism in its very basal principle is and must ever have been antagonistic to divination of every kind, though inspirational divination has resemblances to prophetism and even affinities with it. \ASTRONOMY\, sec. (2) inspirational, or, as it was called in ancient times (Cicero, Lord Bacon, etc. Divination (1) The Old Testament prophet believes in a personal God whose spokesman he considers himself to be. Probably neither view is strictly true. Practicing divination is noted as one of the reasons for Israel’s exile as 2 Kings 17:17 says, “And they burned their sons and their daughters as offerings and used divination and omens and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking him to anger.” Jeremiah 14:14 spoke of the false prophets of the time, saying, “They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds.” Therefore, in contrast to God’s truth, divination is corrupt, dishonest, and fruitless. But among these and other ancient peoples certain classes of diviners were prohibited by the government from exercising their calling, probably because they were supposed to be in league with tile gods of other and hostile nations. The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods. What is a biblical view of divination? The Greek (mantis) bears a close resemblance to the Old Testament prophet, for both claimed to be inspired from without and to be superhumanly informed. 7. Divination in any manner is sin, as a corrupted seeking of spiritual knowledge. Orr, James, M.A., D.D. The following methods of divination are explicitly or implicitly condemned in the Old Testament: (a) Astromancy (= Astrology). The following brief notes must suffice here. Legitimate and Illegitimate Divination: Among the ancient Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans the diviner stood in the service of the state and was officially consulted before wars and other great enterprises were undertaken. See Herod. In Genesis 44:5 Joseph is represented as practicing this kind of divination and not a word of disapproval is expressed. Foreign deities may have attached themselves to these methods. 18). The term “divination” originates from Latin divinare "to foresee, to foretell, to predict, to prophesy" related to divinus, divine, or "to be inspired by a god." 18:10,14). For other Biblical instances see Joshua 7:14 (Achan found out by lot); 1 Chronicles 6:54; 24:5; 25:8; 26:13; Esther 3:7 ("They cast Pur, that is, the lot"; see Century Bible in the place cited. where alone it occurs, not the people so designated but a class of astrologers. Article Images Copyright © 2020 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. See AUGURY, IV, 3. To engage in divination is to reveal mysterious knowledge by supernatural practices. KJV, YLT, NASB, ASV, LEB, WEB of false prophets ( Deuteronomy 18:10 Deuteronomy 18:14 ; Micah 3:6 Micah 3:7 Micah 3:11 ), of necromancers ( 1 Samuel 28:8 ), of the Philistine priests and diviners ( 1 Samuel 6:2 ), of Balaam ( Joshua 13:22 ). (bb) The other species of dreams consists of such as are induced by what is called "incubation," i.e. Even then, most of Israel's approved methods display parallels with the surrounding cultures. (1) kecem, generally rendered "divination," is a general term for divination of all kinds. And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely. Communication with a deity for the purpose of determining the deity's knowledge, resulting in clarification of a decision or discernment of the future. What is Divination? Note that the Hebrew words translated (Deuteronomy 18:11) "consulter with a familiar spirit" and "wizards" denote alike such persons as seek oracles from the spirits of the dead (see the present writer's Magic, Divination, and Demonology among the Hebrews, 85). of ); Nehemiah 10:34; 11:1; Jonah 1:7 ("The lot fell upon Jonah"); Matthew 27:35; Acts 1:26. 4. It was with him a matter of conviction as to what lives men ought to live, what state of heart they should cultivate. Such dreams are of two kinds: (aa) Involuntary or such as come unsought. Deuteronomic law especially attacks everything connected with pagan religions. As a matter of fact Cicero was an atheist, or at least an agnostic. The King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) follow Septuagint, Syriac and Vulgate, which render "set a distinction," perhaps on the basis of a different reading from that of our Hebrew text. And it came out that very hour. (4) gazerin, literally, "cutters," i.e. The local oracle shrines (Delphi, Clavis, etc.) So far is his vocation from being censured that it is actually called into the service of Yahweh (see Numbers 22-24). The participle of this verb is translated "enchanter" in Deuteronomy 18:10, the cognate verb, "to use enchantments" in Leviticus 19:26; 2 Kings 21:6; 2 Chronicles 33:6, and the corresponding noun "enchantment" in Numbers 23:23; 24:1. (d) By teraphim (compare \TERAPHIM\); see 1 Samuel 15:23; Ezekiel 21:21; Zechariah 10:2. Hence the lucrative trade of such men as Simon Magus, ( Acts 8:9 ) Bar-jesus, ( Acts 13:6 ) the slave with the spirit of Python, ( Acts 16:16 ) the vagabond jews, exorcists, ( Luke 11:19 ; Acts 19:13 ) and others, ( 2 Timothy 3:13 ; Revelation 19:20 ) etc., as well as the notorious dealers in magical books at Ephesus. This of course rests on a view of the Old Testament prophet which makes him a "predicter" and little if anything more. And this she kept doing for many days. See also the article "Divination" in Encyclopedia Biblica by the same writer. Discover the biblical meaning and stories of divination as scripture warns about the consequences of seeking wisdom from spiritual sources other than God. For modes of divination in vogue among the ancient Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, etc., see the relevant works and dictionary articles. For "spirit of divination" (Acts 16:16) see PYTHON; PHILIPPI. What Are Principalities and Powers in the Bible? The soul of the animal as seen in the liver became then a reflector of the soul of the god (see EB, XX, 102 f). Among the Babylonians belief in the significance of dreams gave rise to a science (oneiromancy) so elaborate that only special interpreters called seers (singular, baru) were considered able to explain them (see Lenormant, op. When he spoke or wrote it was because he was, at least professedly, inspired and informed by Yahweh. Meaning and Bible Examples. Sometimes the process is the very reverse. ), note the following: Bouche-Leclercq, Histoire de la divination dans l'antiquite; E. B. Tylor, Primitive Culture 3, I, 78-81; 117- 33; II, 155; J. G. Frazer, Golden Bough 2, I, 346; II, 355; III, 342, et passim, and the articles in the principal Bible dictionaries. In Mesopotamia, Anatolia, Egypt, and Canaan, people communicated with their deities by means of divination, both on a personal and public level. It was believed that by eating the hearts of crows, or moles, or of hawks, men took into their bodies the presaging soul of the creature (Frazer, Golden Bough (NOTE: Separation, distinction: "I will put a division (the Revised Version, margin "sign of deliverance") between my people and thy people" (Exodus 8:23). References to the "soothsayers' tree" ( Judges 9:37 ), the "sons of a sorcerer" ( Isa 57:3 ), and the girl with a spirit of divination ( Acts 16:16-19 ) are evidence of widespread practice. Divination is the act of obtaining secret knowledge, especially that which relates to the future, by means within the reach almost exclusively of special classes of men. See PROPHECY. (5) 'ashshaph (the King James Version "astrologer," the Revised Version (British and American) "enchanter"), occurs only in Da in the Hebrew (1:20; 2:2) and in the Aramaic (2:10; 4:4 (7), etc.) In all cases it is taken for granted that the lot cast was an expression and indication of the Divine will. They advocate customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to accept or practice." Yet even prophecies need to stand the test of whether they come true ( Deut 18:21-22 ). This mode of divining, hepatoscopy, as it is has been called, was very widespread among the Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, etc., of the ancient world, and it is still in vogue in Borneo, Burma and Uganda. The species of divination spoken of in the Bible may be arranged under two heads: (1) those apparently sanctioned, and (2) those condemned in the Bible. A sheep was slaughtered, its liver removed, and the markings of the organ "read" for an answer. (2) me`onen, probably from a Semitic root (compare Arabic `anna) which denotes to emit a hoarse nasal sound such as was customary in reciting the prescribed formula (see CHARM). For this reason, verbal forms take precedence over inductive methods. The underlying thought in all forms of divination is that by employing certain means men are able to obtain knowledge otherwise beyond their reach. Chrysippus (died at Athens 207 BC), though himself a Greek philosopher, defines the word in a way which would have commanded the approval of nearly every Roman, including Cicero himself who gives it. See AUGURY, IV, 2. iv.64,4; Diod. Nor should it be forgotten that the Bible is a library and not a book, and where so many writers, living at widely separated times, have been at work it is natural to look for diversity of teaching, though no one can deny that in fundamental matters Bible authors are wonderfully consistent. It was by lot that Aaron decided which of the two goats was to be for Yahweh and which for Azazel (Leviticus 16:7-10). But beyond these various forms of superstition, there are instances of divination on record in the Scriptures by which God was pleased to make known his will. anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens.” First Samuel 15:23 compares rebellion to the “sin of divination.” Practicing divination is listed as one of the reasons for Israel’s exile (2 Kings 17:17). Christians should avoid all endeavors related to divination, including fortune-telling, astrology, witchcraft, tarot cards, and spell-casting. They are associated with prophets and seers in Jeremiah 27:9; 29:8; Ezekiel 22:28 (compare 13:6-9; 12:24). Modes of Divination Mentioned in the Bible: 7. Ev. Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. Most inductive forms were forbidden ( Lev 19:26 ; Deut 18:11 ), although the use of Urim and Thummim and lots supposes some inductive approaches. On the other hand, Alfred Jeremias says that in the view of the ancient Babylonians the lines and forms of the sheep's liver were regarded as reflecting the universe and its history (The Old Testament in the Light of the Ancient East, I, 61). The usual rendering in the King James Version is plural "observers of times" and in the Revised Version (British and American) "them that practice augury" (Dt. If you go to a church who practices this satanic garbage you must leave that church immediately. Bible Dictionaries - Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Divination, Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, Bible Dictionaries - Easton's Bible Dictionary - Divination, Bible Dictionaries - Smith's Bible Dictionary - Divination, Encyclopedias - International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Divination, California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information, There was divination by lot, by which, when resorted to in matters of moment, and with solemnity, God intimated his will (, By divine appointment there was also divination by the Urim and Thummim (, God was pleased sometimes to vouch-safe direct vocal communications to men (, Through his prophets God revealed himself, and gave intimations of his will (. Solomon's dream (1 Kings 3:5-15) came to him at the high place of Gibeon. The spirit realm is real, but it is not harmless. 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divination in the bible

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