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Study & Research Ancient Mesopotamia 3300-331 B.C.E.: Religion and Philosophy

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Terms referring to magical practices are found throughout the Hebrew Bible. The Book of Deuteronomy preserves a particularly detailed and specialized technical vocabulary that sheds light on contemporary practices of the ancient Near East that came to be rejected by the Israelites:

When you enter the land that the Lord your God gave to you, you shall not learn to imitate the abhorrent practices of those nations. Let there not be found among you one who makes his son or daughter pass through the fire, an augur, a soothsayer, a diviner, a sorcerer, one who casts spells, one who consults ghosts or familiar spirits, or one who calls up the dead. (Deuteronomy 18: 9-11)

Source: Brian B. Schmidt, Israel's Beneficent Dead. Ancestor Cult and Necromancy in Ancient Israelite Religion and Tradition (Winona Lake, Ind: Eiscnbrauns, 1996), pp. 179-190

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This section contains 138 words
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Purchase our Ancient Mesopotamia 3300-331 B.C.E.: Religion and Philosophy Encyclopedia Article
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