The Bible and the Occult
(This is a work that has been added to
our Bible and the Paranormal Article)
mainstream Christian Church has always been known as the chief source of
condemnation of anything not approved by the pulpit that is spiritual,
paranormal, or anomalous; stuffing it all into the catch-all pigeon-hole called
"the occult". The alleged "Holy Grail" of biblical condemnations of the occult
is three short verses in the book of Deuteronomy. There is enough in those few
verses to make any spiritual inquisitor smile, condemning everything from
contact with the dead to fortune telling. But, on closer examination, and using
some simple logic all these condemnations are brought into clear focus and
Some important questions need to be answered about logical concepts like,
whether modern non-Hebrews are even liable under these ancient directives. What
was magic over 3000 years ago? What were these witches, wizards, conjurers, and
enchanters these verses supposedly condemn. And, who were these ancient beings
the Bible is saying not to emulate. The answers are amazing and a key to a
better understanding about why the Church is wrong in its condemnation of the
18th chapter of Deuteronomy is the false dogmatic justification for all
witch-hunters and inquisitors of our modern age. It appears to be clear
damnation of everything that may even "seem" to be related to the occult arts,
new age practices, or anything not dripping with Christian approval. As with all
things theological or doctrinal, the church simply takes this literally, though
ignoring other literal realities in scripture. If you need condemnation for
divination, witches, and wizards, charmers and enchanters, conjurors,
necromancers, and even cloud readers and worshippers of Moloch, then Deuteronomy
18 is your ticket. What may be even more revealing is that the restrictions
presented in these verses refer to a very strange race of beings 3300 years ago
and were given to the ancient Hebrew nation. How relevant that is to
non-Hebrews, 33 centuries later, is a matter for strong consideration.
order to properly understand what is being said in these verses, one must have a
partial understanding of what is being discussed. The Hebrews are being told not
to follow the beliefs of a people that occupied the land they have just been
given. The peoples, whose beliefs they are being warned not to copy must be
known, who they were and what is this land that God gave them. To do this we
will take each verse and carefully consider what is actually being said.
Where are They?
Deuteronomy 18:9 "When thou art come into the land
which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the
abominations of those nations."
Here God is telling the Hebrew nation that it must not follow the practices of
the nations they found in the land God "gave" them. This was an obvious
reference to the land of "milk and honey" they were promised after they had been
led on a 40-year journey through the wilderness after their release from Egypt,
aka, the Exodus. So, what is this land and who are the people?
The Land of Milk and Honey
Many believe, incorrectly that the Hebrews never found that land of "milk and
honey" and will find it in the future, but scripture contradicts this notion.
These verses prove that not only did they find it, but God actually names it and
details a team to explore it: "And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Send thou
men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of
Israel: of every tribe of their fathers shall ye send a man, every one a ruler
among them. And Moses by the commandment of the LORD sent them from the
wilderness of Paran: all those men were heads of the children of Israel. (Numbers
land God gave to the Hebrew nation was Canaan, and was located in the now highly
volatile and disputed area known as Palestine. Of course, it is a far cry from
its original beauty and bounty, but even more interesting is the nature of the
people that inhabited that land. Here is what they said the found: "And they
told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it
floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. Nevertheless the
people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very
great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in
the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites,
dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of
Jordan." (Numbers 13:27-29)
A "Strong" People
This team of scouts was no ordinary group because they were chosen from the
leaders of the 12 tribes of Israel; a group not known to shirk from battle. Yet
they reported the people were "strong" and their walled cities were "great". It
is the milk and honey and in verse 25 we see they were there for 40 days. And,
there is good reason why they gave the following warning: "But the men that went
up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are
stronger than we." (Numbers 13:31)
The Land of the Giants
What is truly amazing is that the following verses have been in the collection
of books we call the Bible for almost 1700 years and nobody seemed to notice
their amazing implications. "And they brought up an evil report of the land
which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through
which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants
thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. And
there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were
in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight." (Numbers
Even considering that this may be an exaggeration, we can presume that these
giants must have been at least three times as large as a man, or between 15 and
20 feet tall. Now we are confronted with the strange proposition that the
peoples God is warning the Hebrews about are around two stories tall. To sum it
up, God is about to give the Hebrew people a warning concerning practices of a
race of giants that these Hebrews conquered and displaced from the land called
Canaan, around 3300 years ago.
Some Realities to Ponder
had a contract with the nation of Israel that we know as the Old Testament, or
covenant. Jesus came along about 1300 years after this all occurred and made a
New Testament, or covenant with the remnant of Israel, the Jews, which extended
to all mankind. The rest of the world, known as the Gentiles, were not party to
that first contract and not bound by it. We are not sure why Non-Hebrew people,
which includes most Christians, believe they are subject to every nuance of
Hebrew law given by God specifically to the 12 tribes of Israel. The first thing
to consider, therefore, has to be; is a person, not of Hebrew origin, required
to restrain from the practices laid out in these verses?
next thing to consider is what did all these things mean over 3000 years ago? It
almost seems ridiculous to consider that our modern dictionaries and social
concepts about "occult" practices would be anything like those of 30 centuries
past. And, aren't we talking about the "religious" practices of an ancient tribe
of giant humans? How much more bizarre could that make it? Before even seeing
what God is telling the Hebrews they should not do, we hope this initial
information will create some question about who is under these restrictions, and
exactly what those restrictions are.
Here are the main verses in Deuteronomy 18 that seem to condemn all things
occult and explanations about why this concept is NOT cast in stone.
Deuteronomy 18:10-11"There shall not be found among
you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or
that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch. Or
a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer."
* The first
concept is clear and probably refers to the practice by the worshippers of the
god Moloch that included a particular kind of propitiatory child sacrifice by
fire conducted by parents. It is doubtful that anyone would disagree that this
is evil to the core and unacceptable to say the least.
Then there are 8 practices listed that the Hebrews are told not to do. We will
list the Hebrew word and original meaning of each, plus a comment about each
from the Hebrew word qecem, pronounced kaw-sam'; properly, to distribute, i.e.
determine by lot or magical scroll
It should be noted here that the casting of lots may have been restricted in
1300 BC, but lots were acceptable in the time of the apostles as they were cast
to determine that Matthias would replace Judas after his betrayal of Jesus. (Acts
* observer of
times, from the Hebrew word anan, pronounced aw-nan'; to cover, to cloud over
This seems to be referring to an ancient and very vague practice of "cloud
reading" As far as we are able to ascertain, there are no modern cloud readers,
so this is moot.
from the Hebrew word nachash, pronounced naw-khash'; properly, to hiss, i.e.
whisper a spell; generally, to prognosticate
To prognosticate means: to foretell from signs or symptoms, predict. In our
modern age one could wonder who doesn't make some kind of prediction about
everything from the weather to the performance of athletes. As to how evil such
practices are today is strictly a matter of opinion. Jesus said the law of love
is the litmus test for everything, so might this be a judgment call depending on
intent rather than the act itself?
* witch, from
the Hebrew word kashaph, pronounced kaw-shaf'; properly, to whisper a spell,
i.e. to incant or practice magic:
First, the word "witch" only appears twice in the Bible. With the strong focus
by the church on witches over the ages one would think the Bible was filled with
their dastardly deeds; but not in reality. And, this does not refer to an
individual, but a practice, which means that the Bible never mentions witches,
only magic. That, of course brings us the definition of magic. Unfortunately the
word magic appears nowhere in the Bible
from the Hebrew word chabar, pronounced khaw-bar'; to join (literally or
figuratively); specifically to fascinate.
There is no clear understanding theologically exactly what is meant by the term
"charmer", which is a root word. It is also used in other scripture to describe
fellowship, bringing couples together, and other normal and acceptable concepts.
with familiar spirits, from the Hebrew word sha'al, pronounced shaw-al'; to
inquire. And the Hebrew word 'owb, pronounced obe; properly, a mumble, a
Again, rather confusing in its clear meaning but seeming to refer to a conjurer.
from the Hebrew word yidd`oniy, pronounced yid-deh-o-nee'; properly, a knowing
one; specifically, a conjurer; (by implication) a ghost:
Although in our modern age a wizard is believed to be a male witch, this is not
true. We cannot be sure whether this is referring to condemning one who summons
a ghost or the ghost itself.
necromancer, from the Hebrew word darash, pronounced daw-rash'; properly, to
tread or frequent. and the Hebrew word muwth, pronounced mooth: to die.
Along with the last two this seems to be referring to communicating with the
dead. It must be pointed out that Jesus actually raised the dead during his
ministry and uncounted number after his death. Again intent seems to be the key
as it relates to modern times. Surely the conjurer at Endor commissioned by the
King of Israel to wake Samuel from the dead is a good example of what not to do.
(I Samuel 28)
Again, we must emphasize that the things, which are restricted in these verses
are vague at best and confusing at worst. Not surprising considering these are
the practices of an ancient race of giants 3300 years ago. We are not only
unsure about what it is the Hebrews were told to avoid, but surely non-Hebrews
must question why they are told they must obey ancient Hebrew laws. If one tries
to argue that all laws in the Bible must be followed, including those in
Deuteronomy, then we have a few simple questions for them.
haven't they killed everyone who curses their parents or commits adultery, any
girl who is not a virgin, or anyone caught working on Saturday? Why hasn't this
government slaughtered every man, woman and child in Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea,
Japan, Germany, or Viet Nam, or for that matter anyone with a different religion
anywhere in the world? And, why don't we allow slavery in this and every other
country in the world? Why am I asking such ridiculous questions? It is because
these and several other harsh and bizarre laws are in that same Bible and were
given directly to the Hebrew nation, so why aren't they abiding by these laws.
Are the simply hypocrites or just picking and choosing which laws they want to
finally, don't they know that they are in serious violation of Hebrew law if
they wear two articles of clothing together that are made from different
materials or plant more than one type of flower or vegetable in their gardens?
At least the pagans have an excuse, they don't read the Old Testament, and so
they have the excuse of ignorance. Pastors that don't enforce these laws and
church members who now know these laws are there have no excuse. They better
hope Jesus practices what he preaches and will forgive them for this obviously
gross violation of Hebrew law; they certainly don't forgive anyone for anything.
in the Bible
The Bible and the Paranormal