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« on: February 04, 2011, 05:42:44 PM »

Quote
Exodus 22:18 (King James Version)

Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

I have seen it suggested that the correct interpretation of this passage is "poisoner". Is there any merit to this view?

As well, I have seen other verses pertaining to witchcraft, that suggest that black magic is being spoken of, NOT other forms of magic. For those of you with a background in languages, could you clear this up for me?
Thanks and God Bless!
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« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2011, 06:45:33 PM »

Quote
Exodus 22:18 (King James Version)

Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

I have seen it suggested that the correct interpretation of this passage is "poisoner". Is there any merit to this view?

As well, I have seen other verses pertaining to witchcraft, that suggest that black magic is being spoken of, NOT other forms of magic. For those of you with a background in languages, could you clear this up for me?
Thanks and God Bless!



The word "witch" is more properly translated as "Sorceress" in the NKJV. What I found interesting the that in the Greek Bible (any literal Greek-English translations), Sorceress is translated as "Administer of Potions".

The word "Sorcery" means "Pharmakeia" in Greek, "Pharmakia" means (in the Orthodox New Testament) "Users of Drugs Potions or Spells" (Revelation 21 : 8 )

That's where we get the word Pharmacy. Sorcerers would use the drugs to communicate with the spirit world, and this is why Sorcery means Pharmakeia.


Here's a website with some information about this:

http://www.letusreason.org/Curren10.htm


« Last Edit: February 04, 2011, 06:47:57 PM by IssacTheSyrian » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2011, 07:52:04 PM »

From Webster's Dictionary:
Quote
Main Entry: sor·cery
Pronunciation: \-rē\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English sorcerie, from Anglo-French, from sorcer sorcerer, from Medieval Latin sortiarius, from Latin sort-, sors chance, lot — more at series
Date: 14th century
1 : the use of power gained from the assistance or control of evil spirits especially for divining : necromancy
Now I am fully aware that words change meanings within generations, and sometimes quicker than that. But the sorcery in the above definition, is one who works with evil spirits/raising the dead to consult with them. If I may link this with the article above, then it seems that the Scriptures are forbidding the use of drugs recreationally to achieve ecstatic states to converse with spirits of the dead.
If this is the case, what about a witch that doesn't do these things?
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« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2011, 08:08:39 PM »

My Douay-Rheims bible says it like this:

Exodus22:18:

 "Wizards thou shalt not suffer to live."
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« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2011, 08:35:31 PM »

From Webster's Dictionary:
Quote
Main Entry: sor·cery
Pronunciation: \-rē\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English sorcerie, from Anglo-French, from sorcer sorcerer, from Medieval Latin sortiarius, from Latin sort-, sors chance, lot — more at series
Date: 14th century
1 : the use of power gained from the assistance or control of evil spirits especially for divining : necromancy
Now I am fully aware that words change meanings within generations, and sometimes quicker than that. But the sorcery in the above definition, is one who works with evil spirits/raising the dead to consult with them. If I may link this with the article above, then it seems that the Scriptures are forbidding the use of drugs recreationally to achieve ecstatic states to converse with spirits of the dead.
If this is the case, what about a witch that doesn't do these things?

I cannot really know much about witches that do not use drugs. All I know is the word for drugs and witches became associated with one another.

I think that being a witch demands that you use potions (drugs), otherwise the spell may not work.

Also, when you look at Galatians 5:19-20, how he states that Sorcery is a "Work of the Flesh".
"Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20idolatry, sorcery, hatred, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions,  divisions, 21envy, 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." (Galatians 5:19-20 ESV)

When he says that Sorcery is "A Work of The Flesh", we must believe that the witch will be using mind altering potions (drugs) for the magical arts.

Could be wrong tho. Maybe they don't always need drugs to do their spells. Maybe there is power in their flesh alone to enact the magic.

Or maybe he was only referring to the use of drugs alone and not witchcraft.
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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2011, 09:11:30 PM »

From the many interpretations I've seen, sorcerers/witches/wizards are:
1) "Black Magicians"
2) poisoners
3) Those that use or make potions
4) Mediums

As I stated before, this doesn't seem to fit with most definitions of witchcraft. Doing spellwork in a "white" setting does not seem to be hinted at in these verses.
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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2011, 09:13:04 PM »

From the many interpretations I've seen, sorcerers/witches/wizards are:
1) "Black Magicians"
2) poisoners
3) Those that use or make potions
4) Mediums

As I stated before, this doesn't seem to fit with most definitions of witchcraft. Doing spellwork in a "white" setting does not seem to be hinted at in these verses.

Is this an elaborate crypto-Harry Potter thread?
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« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2011, 09:30:46 PM »

Ha. No it is not. As a matter of fact, I've never seen the movies. I have some Christian Witch friends, and they argue in this manner. Now, I would never be a witch, but from what I've seen of the biblical passages, and how witches interpret them, I tend to agree with the witches point of view. That is why I am appealing to those here with knowledge of the languages of the OT, and what the words sorcery/witch/wizard meant to the authors of the various texts in question.
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« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2011, 11:54:36 AM »

Ha. No it is not. As a matter of fact, I've never seen the movies. I have some Christian Witch friends, and they argue in this manner. Now, I would never be a witch, but from what I've seen of the biblical passages, and how witches interpret them, I tend to agree with the witches point of view. That is why I am appealing to those here with knowledge of the languages of the OT, and what the words sorcery/witch/wizard meant to the authors of the various texts in question.
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« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2011, 12:43:48 PM »

Witchcraft excompasses a wide range of practices and beliefs, from medicinal properties of plants due to their 'energies' to necromancy.  The technical definition of a witch is someone who seeks to harness and manipulate 'energies' without Divine permission.  This is why witchcraft was a crime even in pagan societies.

Witches were, in Jewish law, those operating outside the Levitical order and thus against God's will.  Same is true of the Church's view of witchcarft.

The other problem is the ontology of 'energies,' which the Church does not recognize.  God's energy, the only real energy that matters, is Uncreated and linked to God' consciousness.  Therefore, His energy is not subject to manipulation, making witchcraft a hoax of demonic origin.  Otherwise, for witchcraft to be true, God would have to be unconscious or unaware of the witch's manipulations.
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« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2011, 03:02:19 PM »

The other problem is the ontology of 'energies,' which the Church does not recognize.  God's energy, the only real energy that matters, is Uncreated and linked to God' consciousness.  Therefore, His energy is not subject to manipulation, making witchcraft a hoax of demonic origin.  Otherwise, for witchcraft to be true, God would have to be unconscious or unaware of the witch's manipulations.

Well put, Father.
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« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2011, 03:33:29 PM »

From the many interpretations I've seen, sorcerers/witches/wizards are:
1) "Black Magicians"
2) poisoners
3) Those that use or make potions
4) Mediums

As I stated before, this doesn't seem to fit with most definitions of witchcraft. Doing spellwork in a "white" setting does not seem to be hinted at in these verses.

I think it's understood by historians and higher critics that the connection between witches and potions has to do with certain drugs, potions, etc being the means in which witches and Shaman's would go into a "trance" and supposedly speak to the spirits or gods etc. This is what the Oracle of Delphi did, she'd go in and smell the sulfur (or whatever it was) coming from the caverns, go into a trance (basically getting high) and then speak prophecies from Apollo. Hence 2-4 are accurate in so far as they are, but are simply incomplete. They'd make a potion, which enough of could actually poison someone to death...they had to take the right amount to induce a trance, but not too much as to kill them, and by going into this trance they would "mediate" between this world and the next talking to spirits/gods etc.

This is almost certainly what is being described here because anthropologists see it going on to this very day in tribal societies. Though I do not think Native medicine men are actually talking to evil spirits or gods, they are under the influence of a drug, nothing more. When I see my drunk neighbor seeing pink elephants it's because he's drunk, not because the elephant gods are coming to get him. (or how people who stop smoking often dream about cigarettes chasing them yelling "smoke me! smoke me!"

 I don't think anyone, is suggesting that today Christians and Jews should actually go kill Wiccans or tribal Shamans and if they do suggest that based on this verse, well Lord have mercy.

I think it's a valid interpretation to see this as God's way of explaining to an ancient people, who had no concept of how brain chemistry worked, that certain combinations of potions etc was dangerous. However, culturally the point of white/dark magic could be correct . . . remember this was aimed at Torah observant Jews, (for that's who the Torah was for, not for the pagans, but for the children of Israel) going astray and conjuring up foreign gods/spirits etc. A cautionary warning to not fall into idolatry perhaps? I don't think this was a suggestion for Israelites to hunt down pagan witches and kill them . . . probably to kill israelite witches/shaman's etc. Was it a literal command? Was it ever carried out? The Rabbis say lots of different things about that.

What ever it was saying 3000 years ago, I don't think the Torah is saying we need to kill Gandalf when he comes to our door to send us on a Quest to sleigh the dragon Smaug. Cheesy





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« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2011, 09:21:41 PM »

So, Jews and Christians should never consume any drug (including alcohol) at all?
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« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2011, 11:19:17 PM »

I appreciate the kind and thoughtful responses. From the Christian witch perspective, I think that there is a lot of wiggle room quite frankly. As long as a witch, does not use drugs/potions to communicate with the dead, or other gods, use magic for evil purposes, then it seems, like white magic is acceptable. As well, there does seem to be some hints of magic in the OT. The Urim and Thumim, Joseph's cup used for divining etc.
To answer specifically the energies issue that was raised, a Christian witch would say that all spells that they may perform, only happen by the Will of God (if they work), not in spite of it.
Thoughts?
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« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2011, 01:56:55 AM »

Quote
However, culturally the point of white/dark magic could be correct . . .
Then could it be that there may be room for Christian white magic? I tie this question to the ones below as well:
I appreciate the kind and thoughtful responses. From the Christian witch perspective, I think that there is a lot of wiggle room quite frankly. As long as a witch, does not use drugs/potions to communicate with the dead, or other gods, use magic for evil purposes, then it seems, like white magic is acceptable. As well, there does seem to be some hints of magic in the OT. The Urim and Thumim, Joseph's cup used for divining etc.
To answer specifically the energies issue that was raised, a Christian witch would say that all spells that they may perform, only happen by the Will of God (if they work), not in spite of it.
Thoughts?
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« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2011, 02:06:44 AM »

I have some Christian Witch friends, and they argue in this manner.

Sounds like you need to make some new friends!  Cheesy
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« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2011, 02:07:49 AM »

The Church does not recognize witchcraft and condemns all forms of it.  Therefore, a 'Christian witch' is an impossibility.  Period.  Witchcraft is not acceptable in any form, since it involves a heretical view of creation.

The assumption that witchcraft is compatable with Christianity is also historically unfounded.  From the earliest days of the Church, witchcarft has been condemned in all its forms.

The Old Testament references you made were material objects provided to the saints by God, not some weird amulet cooked up by a human.  There is no comparison.  Furthermore, these items were provided because the Holy Spirit had not yet come to dwell in men and thus provide the faithful with a true connection to God.

Another falsehood of witchcraft is that it assumes the witch has greater access to power than another Christian because of special knowledge.  Again, this is heresy at its worst: all those who believe in God have access to Him and His mercy through direct intercession rather than bizarre rites.  The saints also did not turn to special rituals, but rather humbled themselves before God and have their prayers directly considered rather than resorting to odd practices not sanctioned by the Church.

The Church has never written a book of spells.  The Church has no rite to ordain or even bless a witch. 

Please, don't say 'Christian witch.'  It makes no sense.



I appreciate the kind and thoughtful responses. From the Christian witch perspective, I think that there is a lot of wiggle room quite frankly. As long as a witch, does not use drugs/potions to communicate with the dead, or other gods, use magic for evil purposes, then it seems, like white magic is acceptable. As well, there does seem to be some hints of magic in the OT. The Urim and Thumim, Joseph's cup used for divining etc.
To answer specifically the energies issue that was raised, a Christian witch would say that all spells that they may perform, only happen by the Will of God (if they work), not in spite of it.
Thoughts?
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« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2011, 02:19:56 AM »

Ok we can refrain from the word witch. How about folk Orthodoxy? We see this in Catholicism, does it exist in Orthodoxy, and if it does, is it largely ignored by the Church?
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« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2011, 07:34:47 PM »

The Church does not have a history of 'witch trials' as found in the West, but witchcraft has never been tolerated.  You will find witchcraft in all cultures, including cultures that have largely embraced the Orthodox Faith.  At best, witchcraft can be considered a fallen human impulse, where men seek to control their environments through illicit means.

Ok we can refrain from the word witch. How about folk Orthodoxy? We see this in Catholicism, does it exist in Orthodoxy, and if it does, is it largely ignored by the Church?
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« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2011, 07:44:11 PM »

The Church does not have a history of 'witch trials' as found in the West, but witchcraft has never been tolerated.  You will find witchcraft in all cultures, including cultures that have largely embraced the Orthodox Faith.  At best, witchcraft can be considered a fallen human impulse, where men seek to control their environments through illicit means.
I thank you for the thorough replies, Father. I think folk Orthodoxy, I will refrain from the other term out of respect, fulfills a need for people, mainly a need to reconnect with nature. From some of the things I've seen, they in a way, perform a personalized akathist to a saint, sometimes based on the phases of the moon, and sometimes outside. The difficulty comes, for me anyway, in that the movement has no central teachings to it. So some practitioners, do things in my opinion, that are not crossing the line, while others clearly have destroyed all borders of Orthodoxy. Could you provide some sayings of the fathers regarding these issues if possible? Thanks!
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« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2011, 01:31:11 AM »

Quote
Exodus 22:18 (King James Version)

Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

I have seen it suggested that the correct interpretation of this passage is "poisoner". Is there any merit to this view?

As well, I have seen other verses pertaining to witchcraft, that suggest that black magic is being spoken of, NOT other forms of magic. For those of you with a background in languages, could you clear this up for me?
Thanks and God Bless!



The word "witch" is more properly translated as "Sorceress" in the NKJV. What I found interesting the that in the Greek Bible (any literal Greek-English translations), Sorceress is translated as "Administer of Potions".

The word "Sorcery" means "Pharmakeia" in Greek, "Pharmakia" means (in the Orthodox New Testament) "Users of Drugs Potions or Spells" (Revelation 21 : 8 )

That's where we get the word Pharmacy. Sorcerers would use the drugs to communicate with the spirit world, and this is why Sorcery means Pharmakeia.


Here's a website with some information about this:

http://www.letusreason.org/Curren10.htm

Maybe you all should start translating it as 'Thou shalt not suffer a pharmacist to live' Grin

But seriously, what did Moses have against penicillin? Was he rooting for TB or something?
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« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2011, 01:50:02 AM »

But seriously, what did Moses have against penicillin? Was he rooting for TB or something?

Aha! So you admit that there really was a person called Moses, and he really did write the book of Exodus? We're making progress!   Grin
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« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2011, 02:20:15 AM »

Here's a link for a book that you will find helpful: http://www.notofthisworldicons.com/ProductDetail.jsp?LISTID=80001061-1272665140



The Church does not have a history of 'witch trials' as found in the West, but witchcraft has never been tolerated.  You will find witchcraft in all cultures, including cultures that have largely embraced the Orthodox Faith.  At best, witchcraft can be considered a fallen human impulse, where men seek to control their environments through illicit means.
I thank you for the thorough replies, Father. I think folk Orthodoxy, I will refrain from the other term out of respect, fulfills a need for people, mainly a need to reconnect with nature. From some of the things I've seen, they in a way, perform a personalized akathist to a saint, sometimes based on the phases of the moon, and sometimes outside. The difficulty comes, for me anyway, in that the movement has no central teachings to it. So some practitioners, do things in my opinion, that are not crossing the line, while others clearly have destroyed all borders of Orthodoxy. Could you provide some sayings of the fathers regarding these issues if possible? Thanks!
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« Reply #23 on: February 07, 2011, 09:25:53 AM »

Father bless! I will order that book soon. I still believe that there are some major issues with how many have been interpreting the verses in the Old and New Testaments, as well as how they have been translated through the centuries.
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« Reply #24 on: February 07, 2011, 09:38:18 AM »

I found this to be an interesting article:
http://www.religioustolerance.org/wic_bibl3.htm
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« Reply #25 on: February 07, 2011, 09:54:06 AM »

I have a collection of the writings of Josephus translated by 17th c English scholar William Whiston who indicates that this means a poisoner far from the 17th c. understanding of his time of witchcraft. Josephus also has an interesting commentary regarding the hospitality extended by the witch of Endor to King Saul praising her humanitarian virtues.
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« Reply #26 on: February 07, 2011, 10:12:52 AM »

I have a collection of the writings of Josephus translated by 17th c English scholar William Whiston who indicates that this means a poisoner far from the 17th c. understanding of his time of witchcraft. Josephus also has an interesting commentary regarding the hospitality extended by the witch of Endor to King Saul praising her humanitarian virtues.
That is an interesting thought.
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« Reply #27 on: February 07, 2011, 11:24:16 AM »

Now if much of this is true:
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urim_and_Thummim?wasRedirected=true
Then the Urim and Thummim were/are tools used for divination. So it would seem that divination was only looked down upon if:
1) Outside the Priesthood
2) Employing other gods
I think this may have some bearing on the discussion of what the authors of the OT considered a witch.
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« Reply #28 on: February 07, 2011, 11:41:57 AM »

So, Jews and Christians should never consume any drug (including alcohol) at all?

I don't think anyone was saying that. I certainly wasn't anyway. Only that ancient Israelite culture connected "potions" with "witchcraft/shamanism". That's the connection. I was merely addressing the connection as to how so many translations can refer to 2 seemingly different issues. For the ancient world mixing potions AND being a witch went hand in hand. Frankly I think modern translations use "potion" instead of witch because Christians don't want atheists to think we believe in actual witches and warlocks. I think a more correct translation would be shaminism or witch doctor, but that's got it's own problems for obvious reasons.

Point being the ancient Israelites didn't have in mind modern Wiccans since that religion didn't exist until very recently.

Just to clarify from another post/question from PoorforNicholas, no I do knot think "white magic" is okay for Christians to participate it. Unless by that one means the Holy Spirit himself.

Of course I'm probably not the best person to discuss this topic. I Onlyintended to address the historical issue, nothing more.
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« Reply #29 on: February 07, 2011, 11:53:51 AM »

You must remember that by the time of Josephus, magic was much more commonly accepted by Jews than it has ever been amongst Christians.  Within a century or so of him, the Babylonian Talmud (3rd-5th c. AD) was already mentioning magical practices, and the oldest text of the Sepher Yetzirah dates to the tenth century, but was also cited in the Babylonian Talmud so one can assume that its precursor dates back at least to the fifth century.

By this time, Jewish medicine had also fallen into the trap of magic.  Medical practices began to include amulets with Torah passages and herbs collected or used in an arcane manner.  This is why the early canons forbid Christians from hiring Jewish doctors, but rather some of the methods they used based on the Sefer Yetzirah and other magical books.

Again, there are not really any questions regarding the translation of the Septuagint within the Orthodox Church.  The Church has been consistent in interpretation, and so you are using a Higher Criticism approach found amongst the non-Orthodox.  The Church is not wrong and does not misinterpret or mistranslate Scripture.  Period.

Again, the manipulation of energies and employment of rites not sanctioned by the Church for such purposes are abominations.  Rites not commanded by God are unacceptable to Him:

Leviticus 10:1-2 -  Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer, and put fire in it, and laid incense on it, and offered unholy fire before the LORD, such as he had not commanded them.
And fire came forth from the presence of the LORD and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.


By 'holy,' we are talking about what is of God.  Rites not sanctioned by the Church are inherently 'unholy' as they are not called for by Him and are not reflections of His will.  Witchcraft falls into this category, since there is absolutely no evidence that any magical practices of witches nor the witches themselves have ever been blessed by the Church.  Not even the nuttiest revisionist historian has ever made such a claim.  At best, such men accuse the Church of engaging in magic through its rites, but we all know that charge and how ludacrous it is.

The Church has never condemned legitimate pharmacology (please read the stories of the Unmercinary Healers for details).  Arcane pharmacology, however, draws the objection of the Church because it relies neither on God nor the natural physical properties of plants.



I have a collection of the writings of Josephus translated by 17th c English scholar William Whiston who indicates that this means a poisoner far from the 17th c. understanding of his time of witchcraft. Josephus also has an interesting commentary regarding the hospitality extended by the witch of Endor to King Saul praising her humanitarian virtues.
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« Reply #30 on: February 07, 2011, 12:11:10 PM »

You are forgetting a critical element: obedience to God.

Urim and Thummim were intentional gifts from God.  In Exodus 28, He commands the Urim and Thummim to be sewn into the breastplate of the High Priest.  At that time, the Holy Spirit had not come to dwell within men, and so such a tool seemed necessary.

As for Joseph's cup, this appeared to be part of a deception.  I'm not sure if the cup was actually used for that purpose, or to make the 'crime' of Benjamin more serious and warranting the death Joseph commanded for this sin.  Remember, the Egyptian steward is talking about the cup as being used for divining, not Joseph.  The Egyptians never convert to the God of Joseph, but retained their paganism.  Joseph may have offered oblations to God from the cup, but there is not enough evidence to suggest Joseph engaged in magic.

Don't forget Gideon, who used a fleece, but at the invitation of God because he doubted (c.f. Judges 6).  Gideon was pious and doubted his vision of the angel, and was thus invited to test the message.  This is different from putting God to the test.  Again, it was out of obedience to God rather than a magical practice he debveloped on his own.



Now if much of this is true:
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urim_and_Thummim?wasRedirected=true
Then the Urim and Thummim were/are tools used for divination. So it would seem that divination was only looked down upon if:
1) Outside the Priesthood
2) Employing other gods
I think this may have some bearing on the discussion of what the authors of the OT considered a witch.
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« Reply #31 on: February 07, 2011, 02:25:12 PM »

Quote
There are a number of instances in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) where respected biblical leaders were involved with various black magic, divination and occultic activities as a normal part of their daily activities -- apparently without any condemnations from God:

   In Genesis 44:5, Joseph's household manager refers to a silver drinking cup "...in which my lord drinketh and whereby indeed he devineth". Later, Joseph accuses his brothers of stealing the cup, saying "that such a man as I can certainly divine [the identity of the thieves]". These passages show that Joseph engaged in scrying. This is an ancient occultic method of divination in which a cup or other vessel is filled with water and gazed into. This technique of foretelling the future was used by Nostradamus and is still used today.
   Numbers 5:12-31 describes a ritual of black magic that the Priest would perform on a woman if her husband suspected that she he had committed adultery. Verse 17 says: "Then he shall take some holy water in a clay jar and put some dust from the tabernacle floor into the water.." She and her husband would go, with an offering of barley meal, to the tabernacle. The priest would make a magical drink consisting of holy water and sweepings from the tabernacle floor. He would have the woman drink the water while he recited a curse on her. The curse would state that her abdomen would swell and her thigh waste away if she had committed adultery. Otherwise, the curse would have no effect. If she were pregnant at this time, the curse would certainly induce an abortion. Yet nobody seems to have been concerned about the fate of any embryo or fetus that was present. There was no similar magical test that a woman could require her husband to take if she suspected him of adultery.
   The Urim and Thummim were two objects mentioned in Numbers 27:21 and 1 Samuel 28:6 of the Hebrew Scriptures. They were apparently devices (perhaps in the form of flat stones) that the high priest consulted to determine the will of God. They might have worked something like a pair of dice.
   Elisha was on his way to Bethel. Some small boys came out of the city and made fun of him because of his lack of hair; they called him "baldy". In a violent display of the power of black magic, Elisha cursed the children in the name of God. Two bears, apparently prompted by God, came out of the forest and tore 42 of the boys to shreds. The implication is that the children were all murdered. See 2 Kings 2:23-24.
   Lots -- pieces of wood or stone with markings -- were used to determine the will of God. They were similar to dice. See: Numbers 26:55; Proverbs 16:33 Proverbs 18:18.
   Daniel, the prophet, was employed for many years in Babylon as the chief occultist to the king. He was supervisor "of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans and soothsayers". See Daniel 5:11.
Found on the religioustolerance website.
Quote
You are forgetting a critical element: obedience to God.
I agree absolutely Father. From what I can see though, the only different in the focus of these rituals/divinations: God.
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« Reply #32 on: February 08, 2011, 11:39:47 AM »

*BUMP*
Quote
   
Re: Do not suffer a witch...
« Reply #31 on: Yesterday at 01:25:12 PM »
Quote
Quote
There are a number of instances in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) where respected biblical leaders were involved with various black magic, divination and occultic activities as a normal part of their daily activities -- apparently without any condemnations from God:

   In Genesis 44:5, Joseph's household manager refers to a silver drinking cup "...in which my lord drinketh and whereby indeed he devineth". Later, Joseph accuses his brothers of stealing the cup, saying "that such a man as I can certainly divine [the identity of the thieves]". These passages show that Joseph engaged in scrying. This is an ancient occultic method of divination in which a cup or other vessel is filled with water and gazed into. This technique of foretelling the future was used by Nostradamus and is still used today.
   Numbers 5:12-31 describes a ritual of black magic that the Priest would perform on a woman if her husband suspected that she he had committed adultery. Verse 17 says: "Then he shall take some holy water in a clay jar and put some dust from the tabernacle floor into the water.." She and her husband would go, with an offering of barley meal, to the tabernacle. The priest would make a magical drink consisting of holy water and sweepings from the tabernacle floor. He would have the woman drink the water while he recited a curse on her. The curse would state that her abdomen would swell and her thigh waste away if she had committed adultery. Otherwise, the curse would have no effect. If she were pregnant at this time, the curse would certainly induce an abortion. Yet nobody seems to have been concerned about the fate of any embryo or fetus that was present. There was no similar magical test that a woman could require her husband to take if she suspected him of adultery.
   The Urim and Thummim were two objects mentioned in Numbers 27:21 and 1 Samuel 28:6 of the Hebrew Scriptures. They were apparently devices (perhaps in the form of flat stones) that the high priest consulted to determine the will of God. They might have worked something like a pair of dice.
   Elisha was on his way to Bethel. Some small boys came out of the city and made fun of him because of his lack of hair; they called him "baldy". In a violent display of the power of black magic, Elisha cursed the children in the name of God. Two bears, apparently prompted by God, came out of the forest and tore 42 of the boys to shreds. The implication is that the children were all murdered. See 2 Kings 2:23-24.
   Lots -- pieces of wood or stone with markings -- were used to determine the will of God. They were similar to dice. See: Numbers 26:55; Proverbs 16:33 Proverbs 18:18.
   Daniel, the prophet, was employed for many years in Babylon as the chief occultist to the king. He was supervisor "of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans and soothsayers". See Daniel 5:11.
Found on the religioustolerance website.
Quote
You are forgetting a critical element: obedience to God.
I agree absolutely Father. From what I can see though, the only different is the focus of these rituals/divinations: God.
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« Reply #33 on: February 08, 2011, 11:54:27 AM »

Just because...

Romania may get even tougher on witches

Published February 08, 2011 | Associated Press

There's more bad news in the cards for Romania's beleaguered witches.

A month after Romanian authorities began taxing them for their trade, the country's soothsayers and fortune tellers are cursing a new bill that threatens fines or even prison if their predictions don't come true.

Superstition is a serious matter in the land of Dracula, and officials have turned to witches to help the recession-hit country collect more money and crack down on tax evasion.

Witches argue they shouldn't be blamed for the failure of their tools.

"They can't condemn witches, they should condemn the cards," Queen Witch Bratara Buzea told The Associated Press by telephone.

Critics say the proposal is a ruse to deflect public attention from the country's many problems. In 2009, Romania needed a euro20 billion ($27.31 billion) International Monetary Fund-led bailout loan to pay salaries and pensions when its economy contracted more than 7 percent. Last year, the economy shrank again. However, this year a slight recovery of 1.5 percent growth is forecast.

European Union and Romanian officials say local authorities are hampered by political bickering and bureaucracy. The centrist government is unpopular, the opposition is weak, the press thrives on conspiracy and personal attacks, and EU officials say the justice system needs to be reformed. Romanians are jaded and mistrustful.

"The government doesn't have real solutions, so it invents problems," said Stelian Tanase, a well-known Romanian political commentator. "This is the government that this country deserves."

In January, the government changed labor laws to officially recognize the centuries-old practice of witchcraft as a taxable profession, prompting angry witches to dump poisonous mandrake into the Danube in an attempt to put a hex on them.

The latest bill was passed in the Senate last week, but must still be approved by a financial and labor committee and by the Chamber of Deputies, the other house of Romania's parliament.

Bratara called the proposed bill overblown. "I will fight until my last breath for this not to be passed," she said.

Sometimes, she argued, people don't provide their real identities, dates of birth or other personal details, which could skew a seer's predictions. "What about when the client gives false details about themselves? We can't be blamed for that."

The new bill would also require witches to have a permit, to provide their customers with receipts and bar them from practicing near schools and churches.

Tanase has a solution.

"Maybe they should put a spell on (Prime Minister Emil) Boc and (President Traian) Basescu, so they can find the solutions," he said.



Link: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/02/08/romania-toughen-laws-witches/?test=latestnews
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« Reply #34 on: February 08, 2011, 01:15:11 PM »

Actually the only thing  I understand Josephus commended the witch of Endor for was the meal she served King Saul & not the summoning of Samuel. It just seemed that at least some of the Pharisees (like Josephus) just believed in being humane & seeing humanity in a given individual.
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« Reply #35 on: February 12, 2011, 11:00:46 PM »

From wikipedia under "cleromancy":
Quote
Casting of lots occurs relatively frequently in the Bible, and many biblical scholars think that the Urim and Thummim served this purpose.

In the Hebrew Bible, there are at least four cases where casting lots was invoked as a means of determining God's mind:

In the Book of Joshua 7:11-22, God commands that a thief be found by casting lots, first among the tribes of Israel, then among the families of that tribe, etc. Achan, the person identified in this way, confesses his guilt, and shows where he has buried the loot.
In the First book of Samuel 10:17-24, the people of Israel demand God to set a king over them, and God decrees a king to be found by a procedure similar to the above, leading to the selection of king Saul.
Also in the First book of Samuel 14:42, lots are used to determine that it was Jonathan, Saul's son, who broke the oath that Saul made, "Cursed be the man who eats food until its evening and I am avenged on my enemies".
In the Book of Jonah 1:7, casting of lots is used to determine that Jonah was the cause of the storm. He was subsequently cast overboard, and the storm dissipated.
Other places in the Hebrew Bible relevant to divination:

Book of Proverbs 16:33: The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from Yahweh and 18:18: The lot settles disputes, and keeps strong ones apart..
Book of Leviticus 16:7-10: On the Day of Atonement lots are cast over two goats to determine which will be the sacrifice and which will be the Scapegoat.
Leviticus 19:26: .... neither shall you practice [nahash] or [onan][1]. The literal meaning of nahash is hissing, though it can be extended to whispering, and it has historically been understood to refer to enchantment; onan literally translates as clouds, possibly referring to nephomancy. Some English translations render onan as augury (interpreting the flight patterns of birds), but others translate it as sorcery.
Deuteronomy 18:10 ..let no one be found among you who [qasam qesem], performs [onan], [nahash], or [kashaph][2]. qasam qesem literally means distributes distributions, and may possibly refer to cleromancy. kashaph seems to mean mutter, although the Septuagint renders the same phrase as pharmakia (poison), so it may refer to magic potions
In the Book of Esther, Haman casts lots to decide the date on which to exterminate the Jews of Shushan; the Jewish festival of Purim is a remembrance of the subsequent chain of events.
In I Chronicles 26:13 guard duties are assigned by lot.
Note that there are two distinct Hebrew concepts which are confused if both are translated by casting of lots. Although nahash literally means to hiss when used as a verb, as a noun it means serpent; the idea of divination, or fortune-telling, is conveyed through association with the breath [fig. spirit] of a serpent [fig. deceiver]. In contrast, the Hebrew word for lot-casting, gowral, merely means to assign portions, or allotments, in the interests of fairness.

The most notable example in the New Testament occurs in the Acts of the Apostles 1:23-26 where the eleven remaining apostles draw lots to determine whether Matthias or Barsabbas (surnamed Justus) would be chosen to replace Judas.

In the Eastern Orthodox Church this method of selection is still occasionally used. In 1917 Metropolitan Tikhon was elected Patriarch of Moscow by the drawing of lots.

So as I said previously, it seems that divination was allowed by God as long as it was done in His name and how He proscribed it (preisthood).
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