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Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary


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בתאּ?קול , daughter of the voice. By this name the Jewish writers distinguish what they called a revelation from God, after verbal prophecy had ceased in Israel; that is, after the prophets Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. The generality of their traditions and customs are founded on this Bath-Kol. They pretend that God revealed them to their elders, not by prophecy, but by the daughter of the voice. The Bath-Kol, as Dr. Prideaux shows, was a fantastical way of divination, invented by the Jews, like the Sortes Virgilianae [divination by the works of Virgil] among the Heathen. For, as with them, the words first opened upon in the works of that poet, was the oracle whereby they prognosticated those future events which they desired to be informed of; so with the Jews when they appealed to Bath- Kol, the next words which they should hear drop from any one's mouth were taken as the desired oracle. With some it is probable that Bath-Kol, the daughter of the voice, was only an elegant personification of tradition. Others, however, more bold, said that it was a voice from heaven, sometimes attended by a clap of thunder.

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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Bath-Kol'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. 1831-2.

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