magic and divination

magic and divination

Means by which humans attempt to secure for themselves some action or information from superhuman powers. Magic is an attempt by human beings to compel a divinity to do what they wish that divinity to do. Divination is an attempt to secure information about matters and events that are currently hidden or that lie in the future. The most awesome power seemed to rest in the name of a divinity; accordingly, the name of God, YHWH, was never to be pronounced (Exod 3:13-15). Magic could be practiced on various levels and the Bible uses several words to refer to this occupation. On the highest level were the magi (NRSV, “wise men”) of (Matt 2) and the “Chaldeans” of (Dan 1-2), who had priestly functions. On the lowest level were the “imposters” (2Tim 3:13) who relied on trickery. Between these were the sorcerers, enchanters, and charmers who could cast spells and knew how to use herbs, potions, and drugs. One of the earliest references to magic in the Bible is the confrontation between Moses and the Egyptian magicians (Exod 8:5-9:12). Also, Saul resorted to necromancy when “the Lord did not answer him, not by dreams, or by Urim, or by prophets,” and he had to consult the medium of Endor to bring up Samuel for him (1Sam 28). In spite of their seeming popularity in the world at large, however, both magic and divination were strongly opposed in both OT and NT (Isa 8:19; Isa 44:25; Isa 47:12-15; Deut 18:10-12; Acts 8:9-24; Acts 13:6-11; Acts 19:13-20; Rev 21:8; Rev 22:15). The Bible teaches that humans have direct access to God, and the NT especially emphasizes that the role of demons and other intermediaries was made superfluous by Jesus Christ.

Exod 3:13-15

The Divine Name Revealed
13But Moses said to God, “If I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ... View more

Matt 2

The Visit of the Wise Men
1In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem,2asking, “Where is th ... View more

Dan 1-2

Four Young Israelites at the Babylonian Court
1In the third year of the reign of King Jehoiakim of Judah, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came to Jerusalem and b ... View more

2Tim 3:13

13But wicked people and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving others and being deceived.

Exod 8:5-9:12

5 And the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your hand with your staff over the rivers, the canals, and the pools, and make frogs come up on the la ... View more

1Sam 28

1In those days the Philistines gathered their forces for war, to fight against Israel. Achish said to David, “You know, of course, that you and your men are to ... View more

Isa 8:19

19Now if people say to you, “Consult the ghosts and the familiar spirits that chirp and mutter; should not a people consult their gods, the dead on behalf of th ... View more

Isa 44:25

25who frustrates the omens of liars,
and makes fools of diviners;
who turns back the wise,
and makes their knowledge foolish;

Isa 47:12-15

12Stand fast in your enchantments
and your many sorceries,
with which you have labored from your youth;
perhaps you may be able to succeed,
perhaps you may insp ... View more

Deut 18:10-12

10No one shall be found among you who makes a son or daughter pass through fire, or who practices divination, or is a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer,11o ... View more

Acts 8:9-24

9Now a certain man named Simon had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he was someone great.10All of them, from ... View more

Acts 13:6-11

6When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they met a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet, named Bar-Jesus.7He was with the proconsul, ... View more

Acts 19:13-20

13Then some itinerant Jewish exorcists tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul pro ... View more

Rev 21:8

8But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, the murderers, the fornicators, the sorcerers, the idolaters, and all liars, their place will be in the l ... View more

Rev 22:15

15Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and fornicators and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

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