ben.crick at argonet.co.uk
Fri Aug 19 12:47:25 EDT 2005
On Fri 19 Aug 2005 (00:52:58 +0000), yitzhaksapir at gmail.com wrote:
> ... At the time, astrology was inseparable from astronomy,
> and calendar computations depended on astronomical sightings. Are
> you sure that Isaiah 8:19 includes astrology? This would really make
> no sense if Isaiah is an astrologer, as Isaiah 38:8 might suggest (but
> not necessarily although I think it definitely raises the issue).
> Perhaps only certain forms of occultism were not allowed.
Astrology in the occult sense would imply casting horoscopes or going into
trances, which was presumably the stock-in-trade of the 'oBoWT and the
YiDD:`oNiYM with their familiar spirits. Micah 3:11 talks of professional
soothsayers who divine for reward, root QSM. This would include practices
such as hepatoscopy, mentioned in Ezekiel 21:21. Deuteronomy 18:9-12 gives
a list of the abominations of the nations.
The true prophet of YHWH is not an occultist, but one who has stood in the
Council of YHWH, SoWD-YHWH (Jeremiah 23:18, 22; cf Job 1:6; 2:1). Prophets
did not volunteer; they were called. Each biblical Prophet features his Call
Vision in his book.
Jeremiah had big trouble with the false prophets; how could one distinguish
between the true and the false? Chapters 23, 28 and 29 provide the answer.
True prophets did not commit adultery or "walk in lies" (Jeremiah 23:14),
neither did they encourage sin (23:17, 22; 29:23).
Isaiah provides the criterion of Future Prophecy. YHWH challenges the
prophets of the Baals to foretell the future (Isaiah 41:21-24). Deuteronomy
18:21-22 lays down accurate future prophecy as the criterion of a true
prophet. Jeremiah 28:9 echoes this.
It seems that prophecy has two functions: (1) as a Present Persuader to
urge God's people to mend their ways, etc; (2) as a Future Confirmer, so
that when it happens everyone will recognise what is happening, and take
the prescribed steps to avoid disaster. These functions are those we label
Forthtelling and Foretelling respectively.
Well, James, if you are reading this: we've come a long way from Abraham.
But even Enoch was a prophet, in that he named his some Methuselah, "when
I die it happens". The year the oldest of them all died, the Flood came.
Revd Ben Crick, BA CF ZFC Hf
<ben.crick at NOSPAM.argonet.co.uk>
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