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Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary


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the art of foretelling future events, from the aspects, positions, and influences of the heavenly bodies. The word is compounded of αστηρ , star, and λογος , discourse; whence, in the literal sense of the term, astrology should signify no more than the doctrine or science of the stars. Astrology judiciary, or judicial, is what we commonly call simple astrology, or that which pretends to foretel mortal events, even those which have a dependence on the free will and agency of man; as if they were directed by the stars. This art, which owed its origin to the practice of knavery on credulity, is now universally exploded by the intelligent part of mankind. Judicial astrology is commonly said to have been invented in Chaldea, and thence transmitted to the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans; though some will have it of Egyptian origin, and ascribe the invention to Cham. But we derive it from the Arabians. The Chaldeans, and the Egyptians, and indeed almost all the nations of antiquity, were infatuated with the chimaeras of astrology. It originated in the notion, that the stars have an influence, either beneficial or malignant, upon the affairs of men, which may be discovered, and made the ground of certain prediction, in particular cases; and the whole art consisted in applying astronomical observations to this fanciful purpose. Diodorus Siculus relates that the Chaldeans learned these arts from the Egyptians; and he would not have made this assertion, if there had not been at least a general tradition that they were practised from the earliest times in Egypt. The system was, in those remote ages, intimately connected with Sabaism, or the worship of the stars as divinities; but whether it emanates from idolatry or fatality, it denies God and his providence, and is therefore condemned in the Scriptures, and ranked with practices the most offensive and provoking to the Divine Majesty.

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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Astrology'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. 1831-2.

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