Astrology, Divination, Spirituality, Tarot


To understand the Bible’s stance on divination, it is crucial to examine the hermeneutics of the word “divination” and how it relates to the original languages of the Bible. By understanding the etymology and context of the term, we can gain insight into how certain passages have been misinterpreted over time.

Etymology and Original Context

The English word “divination” has its roots in the Latin term “divinatio,” which means “to foresee” or “to be inspired by a god.” However, in the context of the original biblical languages, the term takes on different meanings.

In the Old Testament, written primarily in Hebrew, two main words are often translated as “divination”: “qesem” and “nachash.” “Qesem” refers to the act of seeking divine knowledge, while “nachash” implies the act of interpreting omens or signs. These words do not inherently carry negative connotations but instead reflect a wide range of spiritual practices.

In the New Testament, written in Koine Greek, the word “manteia” is used for divination. “Manteia” denotes the process of seeking divine revelation, guidance, or insight. Again, the term does not inherently imply a negative or sinful act.

Positive Examples of Divination in the Bible

  1. Genesis 44:5

“Is not this the one from which my lord drinks and which he indeed uses for divination? You have done wrong in doing this.”

In this passage, Joseph’s silver cup is described as being used for divination. While the context is centered on Joseph testing his brothers, the act of divination itself is not condemned or associated with evil.

  1. 1 Samuel 14:41

“Therefore, Saul said to the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Why have You not answered Your servant this day? If the fault is in me or my son Jonathan, respond with Urim, but if the men of Israel are at fault, respond with Thummim.’ Jonathan and Saul were taken by lot, and the men were cleared.”

Here, the use of Urim and Thummim – sacred objects employed for divination – is seen as a legitimate method of seeking divine guidance. Saul uses these tools to determine the cause of the Lord’s silence and is not condemned for doing so.

  1. Numbers 27:21

“He is to stand before Eleazar the priest, who will obtain decisions for him by inquiring of the Urim before the Lord. At his command, he and the entire community of the Israelites will go out, and at his command, they will come in.”

In this passage, the use of the Urim and Thummim is again portrayed as an acceptable means of seeking God’s guidance. Eleazar, the high priest, is instructed to use these sacred objects to obtain divine decisions for Joshua and the Israelites.


By examining the hermeneutics and etymology of the word “divination” in the context of the Bible’s original languages, we can see that the term does not inherently imply a sinful or prohibited practice. While certain passages condemn specific, harmful practices associated with divination, other verses show instances where divination is used positively to seek divine guidance or insight. It is essential to approach the Bible with an open mind and carefully consider the context and language in which it was written.

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May 2024