Acts 16:16
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling.

King James Bible
And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:

American Standard Version
And it came to pass, as we were going to the place of prayer, that a certain maid having a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much gain by soothsaying.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain girl, having a pythonical spirit, met us, who brought to her masters much gain by divining.

English Revised Version
And it came to pass, as we were going to the place of prayer, that a certain maid having a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying.

Webster's Bible Translation
And it came to pass as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination, met us, who brought her masters much gain by sooth-saying:

Weymouth New Testament
One day, as we were on our way to the place of prayer, a slave girl met us who claimed to be inspired and was accustomed to bring her owners large profits by telling fortunes.

Acts 16:16 Parallel
Commentary
Vincent's Word Studies

Damsel

See on Acts 12:13.

Spirit of divination (πνεῦμα Πύθωνα)

Lit., a spirit, a Python. Python, in the Greek mythology, was the serpent which guarded Delphi. According to the legend, as related in the Homeric hymn, Apollo descended from Olympus in order to select a site for his shrine and oracle. Having fixed upon a spot on the southern side of Mount Parnassus, he found it guarded by a vast and terrific serpent, which he slew with an arrow, and suffered its body to rot (πυθεῖν) in the sun. Hence the name of the serpent Python (rotting); Pytho, the name of the place, and the epithet Pythian, applied to Apollo. The name Python was subsequently used to denote a prophetic demon, and was also used of soothsayers who practised ventriloquism, or speaking from the belly. The word ἐγγαστρίμυθος, ventriloquist, occurs in the Septuagint, and is rendered having a familiar spirit (see Leviticus 19:31; Leviticus 20:6, 27; 1 Samuel 28:7, 8). The heathen inhabitants of Philippi regarded the woman as inspired by Apollo; and Luke, in recording this ease, which came under his own observation, uses the term which would naturally suggest itself to a Greek physician, a Python-spirit, presenting phenomena identical with the convulsive movements and wild cries of the Pythian priestess at Delphi.

Soothsaying (μαντευομένη)

Akin to μαίνομαι, to rave, in allusion to the temporary madness which possessed the priestess or sibyl while under the influence of the god. Compare Virgil's description of the Cumaean Sibyl:

"And as the word she spake

Within the door, all suddenly her visage and her hue

Were changed, and all her sleeked hair and gasping breath she drew,

And with the rage her wild heart swelled, and greater was she grown,

Nor mortal-voiced; for breath of god upon her heart was blown

As he drew nigher."

Aeneid, vi., 45 sq.

Acts 16:16 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

as.

Acts 16:13 And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down...

possessed.

Acts 16:18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit...

Acts 8:9-11 But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria...

Exodus 7:11,12 Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt...

Deuteronomy 13:1-3 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and gives you a sign or a wonder...

Deuteronomy 18:9-11 When you are come into the land which the LORD your God gives you, you shall not learn to do after the abominations of those nations...

1 Samuel 28:7 Then said Saul to his servants, Seek me a woman that has a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and inquire of her...

1 Chronicles 10:13 So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not...

Isaiah 8:19 And when they shall say to you, Seek to them that have familiar spirits, and to wizards that peep, and that mutter...

Galatians 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, jealousies, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

2 Timothy 3:8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

divination. or, Python. which.

Acts 19:24 For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain to the craftsmen;

1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith...

2 Peter 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingers not...

Revelation 18:11-13 And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buys their merchandise any more...

Cross References
Leviticus 19:31
"Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the LORD your God.

Leviticus 20:6
"If a person turns to mediums and necromancers, whoring after them, I will set my face against that person and will cut him off from among his people.

Leviticus 20:27
"A man or a woman who is a medium or a necromancer shall surely be put to death. They shall be stoned with stones; their blood shall be upon them."

Deuteronomy 18:11
or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead,

1 Samuel 28:3
Now Samuel had died, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in Ramah, his own city. And Saul had put the mediums and the necromancers out of the land.

1 Samuel 28:7
Then Saul said to his servants, "Seek out for 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 medium at En-dor."

2 Kings 21:6
And he burned his son as an offering and used fortune-telling and omens and dealt with mediums and with necromancers. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking him to anger.

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Accustomed Claimed Damsel Deal Divination Earned Fortune Fortunes Future Gain Girl Great Inspired Large Masters Met Once Owners Possessed Prayer Predicted Profit Profits Slave Slave-Girl Soothsaying Spirit Telling Way
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Accustomed Claimed Damsel Deal Divination Earned Fortune Fortunes Future Gain Girl Great Inspired Large Masters Met Once Owners Possessed Prayer Predicted Profit Profits Slave Slave-Girl Soothsaying Spirit Telling Way
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