In the Bible, the concept of soothsaying and divination is addressed in various verses, shedding light on the spiritual significance and consequences of seeking guidance from soothsayers.
These passages reveal profound insights into the divine perspective on this practice and offer valuable lessons on faith and trust in God’s guidance.
Let us explore some key Bible verses that illuminate the subject of soothsayers and provide wisdom for believers today.
Bible Verses About Soothsayers
“When they say to you, ‘Consult the mediums and the spiritists who whisper and mutter,’ should not a people consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living?”
This verse is a critique of those who seek guidance from soothsayers, mediums, or spiritists rather than from God. The prophet Isaiah emphasizes the inherent impropriety of the living seeking counsel from the dead. The verse underscores the biblical principle that only God, the creator of life, should be consulted for wisdom and guidance.
“There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For whoever does these things is detestable to the LORD.”
Deuteronomy sternly warns against any form of witchcraft or sorcery, including soothsaying. It categorically states that these practices are detestable to God. This verse reinforces the notion of monotheism and the exclusive worship of God, insisting that trust should be placed in Him alone, not in supernatural intermediaries or practices.
“Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God.”
Leviticus cautions the Israelites against consulting mediums or spiritists, linking such practices to defilement. The verse emphasizes that God alone should be the source of guidance and wisdom for His people. By directing their focus away from soothsayers and towards God, the people of Israel maintain their spiritual purity and sanctity.
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1 Samuel 28:7
“Then Saul said to his servants, ‘Find me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her.’ And his servants said to him, ‘Behold, there is a woman who is a medium at Endor.'”
This verse showcases Saul’s desperation as he seeks guidance from a medium, rather than from God. Saul’s actions directly contradict God’s commandments and set a precedent for his downfall. His actions remind readers of the dangers of straying from God’s guidance and the dire consequences of seeking wisdom from illegitimate sources.
“It happened that as we were going to the place of prayer, a slave girl having a spirit of divination met us, who was bringing her masters much profit by fortune-telling. Following after Paul and us, she kept crying out, saying, ‘These men are bond-servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation.’ She continued doing this for many days. But Paul was greatly annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, ‘I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!’ And it came out at that very moment.”
This passage from Acts highlights the exploitation of a slave girl’s soothsaying abilities for financial gain. However, it also demonstrates the power of God through Paul, who exorcises the spirit from her. The episode reaffirms the biblical stance against soothsaying and underscores the superior power of God over such spirits.
“I will cut off sorceries from your hand, And you will have fortune-tellers no more.”
This verse from Micah depicts God’s promise to eliminate sorcery and fortune-telling, a declaration of His intent to purify His people. The verse underscores God’s omnipotence, implying His ability to expunge practices that counter His commandments, thus leading His people back to a path of righteousness.
“As for the person who turns to mediums and to spiritists, to play the harlot after them, I will also set My face against that person and will cut him off from among his people.”
In this verse from Leviticus, God expresses His disdain for those who consult mediums and spiritists, equating it to spiritual adultery. The harsh punishment serves as a deterrent, warning the Israelites against deviating from God’s commandments and engaging in forbidden practices.
2 Kings 21:6
“He made his son pass through the fire, practiced witchcraft and used divination, and dealt with mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD provoking Him to anger.”
This verse recounts the actions of King Manasseh of Judah, who is condemned for his engagement in practices such as witchcraft, divination, and consulting mediums and spiritists. His deeds are labeled as ‘evil’, underlining the biblical admonition of such practices that provoke the anger of God.
“Then the spirit of the Egyptians will be demoralized within them; And I will confound their strategy, So that they will resort to idols and ghosts of the dead And to mediums and spiritists.”
Isaiah prophesies about the Egyptians turning to idols, ghosts, mediums, and spiritists in their desperation. This verse serves as a stark reminder of the spiritual decline and moral bankruptcy that results from relying on such practices instead of seeking guidance from God.
“So My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations. They will have no place in the council of My people, nor will they be written down in the register of the house of Israel, nor will they enter the land of Israel, that you may know that I am the Lord GOD.”
Ezekiel warns against false prophets who claim to see visions and tell fortunes. The verse underscores God’s punishment for those who mislead His people through such practices. It reiterates the importance of truthfulness and the severe consequences of deception in the name of prophecy.
“Daniel answered before the king and said, ‘As for the mystery about which the king has inquired, neither wise men, enchanters, magicians nor diviners are able to declare it to the king.'”
Daniel, in this verse, asserts that the King’s dream’s interpretation cannot be revealed by human means like wise men, enchanters, magicians, or diviners. It emphasizes the limitations of human knowledge and the inherent power and wisdom of God, who reveals the dream’s meaning to Daniel.
“And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver.”
This verse from Acts chronicles the repentance of new converts who had previously practiced magic. They burned their expensive books publicly, demonstrating their commitment to renounce their past and embrace the teachings of Christ. It is a powerful testament to the transformative power of faith.
“Idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,”
Paul’s list of sinful behaviors in this verse includes sorcery, reaffirming its incompatibility with Christian living. He places sorcery alongside other destructive behaviors, emphasizing the spiritual and moral harm these practices inflict. The verse underscores the importance of adopting behaviors that align with the teachings of Christ.
“But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
Revelation warns about the severe punishment awaiting those who engage in sinful behaviors, including sorcery. This verse categorizes sorcerers with murderers and liars, highlighting the gravity of such practices in the biblical perspective. The warning serves as a potent reminder of the spiritual cost of engaging in forbidden practices.
“But there was a man named Simon, who had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he himself was somebody great. They all paid attention to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, ‘This man is the power of God that is called Great.’ And they paid attention to him because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic.”
The passage from Acts describes Simon, a man who practiced magic and used it to gain influence over people. Despite his initial success, Simon’s story ultimately reveals the futility of seeking power and validation outside of God. Simon’s eventual belief in the Gospel and baptism underscores the transformative power of faith in Christ.
1 Chronicles 10:13-14
“So Saul died for his breach of faith. He broke faith with the LORD in that he did not keep the command of the LORD, and also consulted a medium, seeking guidance. He did not seek guidance from the LORD. Therefore the LORD put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse.”
Saul’s tragic end, as recounted in 1 Chronicles, is attributed to his disobedience to God’s commands, particularly his consultation with a medium. Saul’s demise is a stark reminder of the spiritual, moral, and physical cost of turning away from God’s guidance and seeking wisdom from illegitimate sources.
“So do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your dreamers, your fortune-tellers, or your sorcerers, who are saying to you, ‘You shall not serve the king of Babylon.’ For it is a lie that they are prophesying to you, with the result that you will be removed far from your land, and I will drive you out, and you will perish.”
Jeremiah warns the people of Judah not to heed the words of prophets, diviners, dreamers, fortune-tellers, or sorcerers who are propagating falsehoods about their fate. The verse serves as a reminder of the destructive consequences of trusting in false prophets and the importance of discerning truth from lies in spiritual matters.
“Because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the well-favored harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that sells nations through her whoredoms, and families through her witchcrafts.”
This verse from Nahum uses the metaphor of a harlot engaging in witchcraft to condemn the city of Nineveh for its sins. The verse serves as a critique of the practices that lead people away from God, like witchcraft, and the destructive impact they have on societies and families.
2 Timothy 3:8
“Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith.”
In this verse, Paul compares those who oppose the truth to Jannes and Jambres, traditionally believed to be the Egyptian magicians who opposed Moses. Paul’s comparison underscores the ongoing battle against falsehood in the Christian faith, reminding believers of the importance of standing firm in truth.
“For there will no longer be any false vision or flattering divination within the house of Israel.”
Ezekiel prophesies the end of false visions and flattering divinations in Israel, a promise of spiritual purification. The verse underscores God’s intent to rid His people of deceptive practices that lead them away from His truth, reaffirming His commitment to their spiritual well-being.
1 John 4:1
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
In this verse, John advises believers not to readily believe every spirit but to test them to ascertain if they are from God. This warning is particularly relevant to the discussion on soothsayers as it cautions against the potential deception that such individuals could perpetrate under the guise of spiritual insight. It underscores the necessity of discernment in spiritual matters.
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In conclusion, the Bible provides various verses about soothsaying and divination. These verses convey a clear message that seeking knowledge of the future through these means is not only futile but also displeasing to God.
The Bible encourages us to seek wisdom and guidance solely from God through prayer and meditation on His Word. Let us heed the warnings against soothsaying and trust in God for our present and future needs.