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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Paul Cox Speaks on Divination


By definition, witchcraft or divination is the art or practice that seeks to foresee or foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge by the interpretation of "omens" or by the aid of supernatural powers. The word is first used in the Bible in Genesis 44:5, when Joseph sent his steward to retrieve the cup Joseph had planted in Benjamin's sack. The steward is told to say to Joseph's brothers that the cup was used for divination.

The New Bible Dictionary defines this Biblical word "divination" as the attempt to discern events that are distant in time or space, and that consequently cannot be perceived by normal means. It is possible that the word can have a "righteous" sense as one might speak of a prophet having clairvoyant gifts without thereby approving all forms of clairvoyance. Except in these rare contexts, divination and witchcraft are strictly condemned by Scripture.

Magic and divination are an attempt to find out information from superhuman powers. More precisely, magic is used to compel a god to do what one wishes and divination is used to secure information about issues and events that are not readily known to the person who practices this art. The word magic is derived from the word "magus," a priestly class in ancient Persia. In magic, it is believed that one can get in touch with the "gods" and these "gods" can be influenced to bring benefit to the magician or diviner.

Divination can be divided into two categories, internal and mechanical. The internal would consist of a trance like state of a shaman. The mechanical nature of witchcraft would include material objects like such as sand, entrails of a sacrifice, or tea-leaves. The Bible mentions several types of witchcraft or divination.

• Rhabdomancy—Sticks or arrows thrown into the air and omens were deduced from their position when they fell. Hosea 4:12, Ezekiel 21:21.

• Hepatoscopy—Examination of the liver or other entrails of a sacrifice were supposed to give guidance. Probably shapes and markings were classified, and the priest interpreted them. Ezekiel. 21:21.

• Teraphim—Images of dead ancestors were used to predict the future, which is a form of spiritualism. 1 Samuel 15:23, Ezekiel 21:21; Zechariah 10:2.

• Necromancy—Necromancy is getting information from the dead. Deuteronomy 18:11, Leviticus 19:31, 20:6, 1 Samuel 28:8, 2 Kings 21:6, 1 Chronicles 10:13, and Isaiah 8:19–20.

• Astrology—Astrology was making predictions based on the position of the sun, moon, and planets in relation to the zodiac and to the positions to one another.

• Hydromancy—Hydromancy was seeing "divination" pictures in water. Genesis 44:5, 15

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