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Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary


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The law of God condemns inchantments and inchanters. Several terms are used in Scripture to denote inchantments:

1. לחש , which signifies to mutter, to speak with a low voice, like magicians in their evocations and magical operations, Psalms 58:6 .

2. לטים , secrets, whence Moses speaks of the inchantments wrought by Pharaoh's magicians.

3. כשפּ? , meaning those who practise juggling, legerdemain, tricks, and witchery, deluding people's eyes and senses, 2 Chronicles 33:6 .

4. חבר , which signifies, properly, to bind, assemble, associate, reunite: this occurs principally among those who charm serpents, who tame them, and make them gentle and sociable, which before were fierce, dangerous, and untractable, Deuteronomy 18:11 . We have examples of each of these ways of inchanting. It was common for magicians, sorcerers, and inchanters, to speak in a low voice, to whisper: they are called ventriloqui, because they spake, as one would suppose, from the bottom of their stomachs. They affected secrecy and mysterious ways, to conceal the vanity, folly, or infamy of their pernicious art. Their pretended magic often consisted in cunning tricks only, in sleight of hand, or some natural secrets, unknown to the ignorant. They affected obscurity and night, or would show their skill only before the uninformed or mean persons, and feared nothing so much as serious examinations, broad day-light, and the inspection of the intelligent. Respecting the inchantments practised by Pharaoh's magicians, (see Exodus 8:18-19 ,) in order to imitate the miracles which were wrought by Moses, it must be said either that they were mere illusions, whereby they imposed on the spectators; or that, if they performed such miracles, and produced real changes of their rods, and the other things said to be performed by them, it must have been by a supernatural power which God had permitted Satan to give them, but the farther operation of which he afterward thought proper to prevent.

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

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