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People's Dictionary of the Bible


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Divination is the profession of foretelling future events. Deuteronomy 18:10. Various modes of doing this have been resorted to in different nations. Thus Joseph's cup was used in this art. Genesis 44:5. The Egyptian magicians used to practise divination: so did the Chaldæans at Babylon. Divination was practised among the Greeks. The appearance of the sky and of the heavenly signs, the flight and song of birds, the phenomena presented by the entrails of victims, etc., were supposed to prognosticate events; and, according to these prognostications, public as well as private actions were regulated. The Romans were equally zealous in divining. The hold that such practices had upon the public mind was very strong. We need the less wonder at it when we notice the eagerness with which, even now, persons will resort to a specious fortune-teller. There is frequent mention of diviners in Scripture; and the Hebrews are repeatedly warned against the pretensions of those who affected to foretell events.

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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Divination'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. 1893.

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