divination


divination
A supposed method of obtaining information. Divination was widely practised in the ancient world. In 5th–4th cent. BCE Greece the priestess, called Pythia, uttered oracles at Delphi after inhaling the vapour believed to contain the revelations of the god Apollo. Other divinations were made by observing the flight of birds or scrutinizing the liver of slaughtered animals. Paul and Silas encountered a slave girl who had a spirit of divination (‘soothsayer’, NJB) at Philippi (Acts 16:16 ff.). In Greek, the girl is said to be possessed by ‘a spirit, a python’; she may have even been a ventriloquist, or possibly she gave utterances while in a state of trance.
Forms of divination were certainly practised in Israel, as when the people ‘enquired of the Lord’ after the death of Joshua (Judg. 1:1), and Urim and Thummim were the means of communication of oracles. The disclosure of the divine will by dreams is common in both OT and NT, but divination is strongly condemned both in the OT (e.g. 1 Sam. 15:23) and in the NT (Acts 19:19). The reason is that believers have immediate access to God and have no need of intermediaries or magical devices to discover what his will is. (Divination pretends to ascertain the future or the deity's will; magic to change it.)

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  • DIVINATION — Quel que soit l’intérêt des classifications anciennes et modernes des techniques divinatoires, il convient de ne pas donner un cadre systématique trop rigide à des phénomènes encore mal connus. Il est toujours difficile, en effet, dans les… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Divination — • The seeking after knowledge of future or hidden things by inadequate means Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Divination     Divination      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Divination — Div i*na tion, n. [L. divinatio, fr. divinare, divinatum, to foresee, foretell, fr. divinus: cf. F. divination. See {Divine}.] 1. The act of divining; a foreseeing or foretelling of future events; the pretended art discovering secret or future by …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • divination — DIVINATION. s. f. L art prétendu de prédire l avenir. La divination a toujours été condamnée par l Église. [b]f♛/b] Il signifie aussi Les moyens dont on se servoit pour deviner, pour prédire. Les Païens avoient plusieurs sortes de divinations, la …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • divination — Divination. s. f. v. Art de deviner. La divination est un art fort trompeur. Il signifie aussi, L action par laquelle on devine, Prediction. La divination se faisoit anciennement par le vol des oiseaux ou par l inspection des entrailles des… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • divination — late 14c., from O.Fr. divination (13c.), from L. divinationem (nom. divinatio) the power of foreseeing, prediction, noun of action from pp. stem of divinare, lit. to be inspired by a god (see DIVINE (Cf. divine) (adj.)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • divination — Divination, Auspicium, Auguratio, Effata, Diuinatio. Divinations et cognoissances precedentes les choses à advenir, Praescita. Divination faite par invocation des esprits trespassez, Necromantia …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • Divinatĭon — (v. lat. Divinatio), 1) Weissagung, s.d.; daher Divinationsvermögen, das Vermögen, gewisse zukünftige Begebenheiten durch ein dunkles Gefühl voraus zu empfinden, od. auf Grund feststehender Thatsachen namentlich in der Politik, die zukünftige… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Divination — (lat.), Ahnungsvermögen, Weissagungskraft, bei den Römern Inbegriff aller auf die Mantik bezüglichen Erscheinungen und Institute, Prodigien, Orakel, Augurien etc. (s. Mantik); in der altrömischen Rechtssprache ist D. die richterliche Untersuchung …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Divination — (lat.), Ahnung künftiger Ereignisse, auf Grund abergläubischer Vorstellungen oder scharfsinniger Kombination aller Umstände; divinatōrisch, auf Divinationsgabe beruhend; divinieren, ahnen …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Divination — Divination, lat., mit deus, Gott, zusammenhängend, heißt die Deutung von Zeichen, durch welche nach dem Glauben der Alten die Götter den Menschen Warnungen und Winke über die Zukunft zukommen ließen. Cicero behandelte die verschiedenen Arten der… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon