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Witchcraft and Divination

Leviticus 19:31 ESV


(31) "Do not turn to mediums or wizards; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves
unclean by them: I am the LORD your God.

Leviticus 20:6 ESV


(6) "If a person turns to mediums and wizards, whoring after them, I will set my face
against that person and will cut him off from among his people.

H178 – familiar spirits


‫ אוב‬obe
From the same as H1 (apparently through the idea of prattling a father’s name); properly a
mumble, that is, a water skin (from its hollow sound); hence a necromancer (ventriloquist, as
from a jar): - bottle, familiar spirit.

H3049 - wizard
‫ ידעני‬yidde‛ônîy
From H3045; properly a knowing one; specifically a conjurer; (by implication) a ghost: - wizard.

I find it interesting that ventriloquists had their origin in mediums and wizards. It’s also
interesting that wizards comes from the same root as knowing ones – a common theme in
the occult is secret knowledge. It is forbidden by God to dabble in these practices.

Deuteronomy 18:10-13 ESV


(10) There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as
an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or
a sorcerer
(11) or a charmer or a medium or a wizard or a necromancer,
(12) for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD. And because of
these abominations the LORD your God is driving them out before you.
(13) You shall be blameless before the LORD your God,

This is perhaps the most complete list of occult practices listed in the Torah. Divination
can include such things as reading water, clouds, tea leaves, tarot cards, dice or lots.
Sorcery and witchcraft include casting spells on people, cursing people or objects, taking
drugs to induce a spiritual high or ecstacy.

Isaiah 47:9-13 ESV


(9) These two things shall come to you in a moment, in one day; the loss of children and
widowhood shall come upon you in full measure, in spite of your many sorceries and
the great power of your enchantments.
(10) You felt secure in your wickedness, you said, "No one sees me"; your wisdom and
your knowledge led you astray, and you said in your heart, "I am, and there is no one
besides me."
(11) But evil shall come upon you, which you will not know how to charm away; disaster
shall fall upon you, for which you will not be able to atone; and ruin shall come upon
you suddenly, of which you know nothing.
(12) Stand 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
inspire terror.
(13) You are wearied with your many counsels; let them stand forth and save you, those
who divide the heavens, who gaze at the stars, who at the new moons make known
what shall come upon you.

H5172 - enchantments
‫נחש‬
nâchash
naw-khash'
A primitive root; properly to hiss, that is, whisper a (magic) spell; generally to prognosticate: - X
certainly, divine, enchanter, (use) X enchantment, learn by experience, X indeed, diligently
observe.

H6049 – observe times


‫ ענ‬anan
A primitive root; to cover; used only as denominative from H6051, to cloud over; figuratively to act
covertly, that is, practise magic: - X bring, enchanter, Meonemin, observe (-r of) times,
soothsayer, sorcerer.

H7081 - divination
‫ קסם‬qesem
From H7080; a lot; also divination (including its fee), oracle: - (reward of) divination, divine
sentence, witchcraft.

Notice that the root word of enchantments is to hiss – the sound of a snake. The Hebrew
word “qesem” can also include pronouncements and false prophecies – anything that you
would decree over someone that isn’t of God.

Galatians 5:19-21 ESV


(19) Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,
(20) idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions,
divisions,
(21) envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you
before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Acts 16:16-18 ESV


(16) As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a
spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling.
(17) She followed Paul and us, crying out, "These men are servants of the Most High
God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation."
(18) And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed,
turned and said to the spirit, "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come
out of her." And it came out that very hour.

G4436 - divination
Πυθων Puthōn
Thayer Definition:
1) in Greek mythology the name of the Pythian serpent or dragon that dwelt in the region of Pytho
at the foot of Parnassus in Phocis, and was said to have guarded the oracle at Delphi and
been slain by Apollo
2) a spirit of divination
Part of Speech: noun masculine

G5331 - witchcraft
Φαρμακεια pharmakeia
Thayer Definition:
1) the use or the administering of drugs
2) poisoning
3) sorcery, magical arts, often found in connection with idolatry and fostered by it
4) metaphorically the deceptions and seductions of idolatry

There are two important words in the NT regarding witchcraft. One is python and is the
Greek word for divination. Do you remember the Hebrew word “qesem” above that
means to hiss? Do you remember who tempted Adam and Eve in the garden?

The other word is pharmakeia or sorcery. Mind altering drugs are a gateway into the
occult. Many pagan religions use drugs as part of ceremonies to help the worshippers
enter into a mind altering state.

There are many good books on the subject of witchcraft and occult written by Christian
authors. It is not my intent here to replicate all that they have written. The main point I
want to capture is – anything that tries to bypass God, the bible and prayer – and goes
into mystical, altered states of consciousness, seeing or talking to dead people,
pronouncing false prophecies or decrees over people is witchcraft and is specifically
prohibited by God’s word.

Learn to sharpen your discernment by studying the scriptures and fine tuning your inner
ear to the Holy Spirit. Learn to talk to the Holy Spirit who resides within you and ask if
something is of God or not. Let us walk in holiness before God and not in idolatrous,
pagan practices.