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Charles Buck Theological Dictionary

Divination

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Is a conjecture or surmise formed concerning some future event from something which is supposed to be a presage of it; but between which there is no real connection, only what the imagination of the diviner is pleased to assign in order to deceive. Divination of all kinds being the offspring of credulity, nursed by imposture, and strengthened by superstition, was necessarily an occult science, retained in the hands of the priests and priestesses, the magi, the soothsayers, the augurs, the visionaries, the priests of the oracles, the false prophets, and other like professors, till the coming of Jesus Christ, when the light of the Gospel dissipated much of this darkness. The vogue for these pretended sciences and arts is nearly past, at least in the enlightened parts of the world. There are nine different kinds of divination mentioned in Scripture. These are,

1. Those whom Moses calls Meonen of Anan, a cloud, Deuteronomy 18:10 .

2. Those whom the prophet calls, in the same place, Menachesch, which the Vulgate and generality of interpreters render Augur.

3. Those who in the same place are called Mecasheph, which the Septuagint and Vulgate translate "a man given to ill practices."

4. Those whom in the same chapter, ver.11. he calls Hhober.

5. Those who consult the spirits, called Python.

6. Witches, or magicians, called Judeoni.

7. Necromancers, who consult the dead.

8. Such as consult staves, Hosea 4:12 . called by some Rhabdomancy.

9. Hepatoscopy, or the consideration of the liver.

Different kinds of divination which have passed for sciences, we have had:

1. Aeromancy, divining by the air.

2. Astrology, by the heavens.

3. Augury, by the flight and singing of birds, &c.

4. Chiromancy by inspecting the hand.

5. Geomancy, by observing of cracks or clefts in the earth.

6. Haruspicy, by inspecting the bowels of animals.

7. Horoscopy, a branch of astrology, marking the position of the heavens when a man is born.

8. Hydromancy, by water.

9. Physiognomy, by the countenance. (This, however, is considered by some as of a different nature, and worthy of being rescued from the rubbish of superstition, and placed among the useful sciences. Lavater has written a celebrated treatise on it.).

10. Pyromancy, a divination made by fire. Thus we see what arts have been practised to deceive, and how designing men have made use of all the four elements to impose upon weak minds.


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Bibliography Information
Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Divination'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/cbd/d/divination.html. 1802.

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