[b-hebrew] nevi

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Sat Aug 20 15:36:01 EDT 2005

On 8/19/05, Ben Crick wrote:
> [quoting me]
> > ...  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.

I would prefer not to make any assumptions or identify an )ob or yd(ny with 
each other or with astrology lacking any evidence for such.  Why would you 
assume that astrology implies going into a trance? Or that an )ob or yd(ny 
implies casting horoscopes or going into trances? And even if we suppose 
that both of them go into trances, why do you presume that this means both 
are not allowed?  Perhaps even if an ")ob" does enter a trance, it is not the 
trance itself that is not proper but the performance of it in an ")ob" way.  
Perhaps an ")ob trance" is the wrong way to inquire of God, and astrology 
is a proper way?  In any case, none of the above that you quoted suggests
that astrologers would go into trances, or that an )ob or yd(ny or any other
listed "abomination" relates to astrology.  

I don't believe in astrology but it is my impression that at the time,
for a lunisolar calendar as most likely existed in Israelite and
Judaean society,
astrology was indispensible.  For example, astronomical observations were 
used to compute which month should be made a leap month, the leap month 
carrying with it astrological omens as well.  

Yitzhak Sapir

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