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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n.) The act of enchanting; the production of certain wonderful effects by the aid of demons, or the agency of supposed spirits; the use of magic arts, spells, or charms; incantation.

2. (n.) The effect produced by the act; the state of being enchanted; as, to break an enchantment.

3. (n.) That which captivates the heart and senses; an influence or power which fascinates or highly delights.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia


The occult arts, either supposedly or pretentiously supernatural, were common to all oriental races. They included enchantment, sorcery, witchcraft, sooth-saying, augury, necromancy, divination in numberless forms, and all kinds of magic article Nine varieties are mentioned in one single passage in the Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 18:10, 11); other varieties in many passages both in the Old Testament and New Testament, eg. Leviticus 19:26, 31 Isaiah 2:6; Isaiah 57:3 Jeremiah 27:9 Micah 5:12 Acts 8:9, 11; Acts 13:6, 8 Galatians 5:20 Revelation 9:21.

The extent of the magic arts (forbidden under Judaism and Christianity) may incidentally be seen from the fact that the Scriptures alone refer to their being practiced in Chaldea (Daniel 5:11), Babylon (Ezekiel 21:21), Assyria (2 Kings 17:17), Egypt (Exodus 7:11), Canaan (Leviticus 18:3, 11; Leviticus 19:26, 31), Asia (Ephesus, Acts 19:13, 19), Greece (Acts 16:16), Arabia also, as "customs from the East," etc. (Isaiah 2:6) indicates. These secret arts were prohibited by the laws of Moses (Deuteronomy 18:9-12), inasmuch as they constituted a peculiar temptation to Israel to apostatize. They were a constant incentive to idolatry, clouded the mind with superstition, tended and were closely allied to imposture (Matthew 24:24). The term "enchantment" is found only in the Old Testament and its Hebrew originals indicate its varieties.

(1) laTim, and lehaTim "to wrap up," "muffie," "cover," hence, "clandestine," "secret." It was this hidden element that enabled the magicians of Egypt to impose on the credulity of Pharaoh in imitating or reproducing the miracles of Moses and Aaron; "They. did in like manner with their enchantments" (Exodus 7:11, 22). Their inability to perform a genuine miracle is shown by Exodus 8:18.

(2) nachash, "to hiss," "whisper" referring to the mutterings of sorcerers in their incantations. Used as a derivative noun this Hebrew word means "a serpent." This involves the idea of cunning and subtlety. Although employed in the wider sense of augury or prognostication, its fundamental meaning is divination by serpents. This was the form of enchantment sought by Balaam (Numbers 24:1). Its impotence against the people of God is shown by Numbers 23:23 m. Shalmaneser forced this forbidden art upon the Israelites whom he carried captive to Assyria (2 Kings 17:17). It was also one of the heathen practices introduced during the apostasy under Ahab, against which Elijah protested (compare 1 Kings 21:20).

(3) lachash, "to whisper," "mutter," an onomatopoetic word, like the above, in imitation of the hiss of serpents. It is used of the offensive practice of serpent charming referred to in Ecclesiastes 10:11, and as Delitzsch says, in the place cited., "signifies the whispering of formulas of charming." See also Isaiah 3:3, "skilful enchanter"; Jeremiah 8:17, "serpents, cockatrices (the Revised Version (British and American) "adders"). which will not be charmed"; Psalm 58:4, 5, "the voice of charmers (the Revised Version, margin "enchanters"), charming never so wisely." Ophiomancy, the art of charming serpents, is still practiced in the East.

(4) chebher, "spell," from chabhar, "to bind," hence, "to bind with spells," "fascinate," "charm," descriptive of a species of magic practiced by binding knots. That this method of imposture, eg. the use of the magic knot for exorcism and other purposes, was common, is indicated by the monuments of the East. The moral mischief and uselessness of this and other forms of enchantment are clearly shown in Isaiah 47:9, 12. This word is also used of the charming of serpents (Deuteronomy 18:11 Psalm 58:5).

(5) `anan, "to cover," "to cloud," hence, "to use covert arts." This form of divination was especially associated with idolatry (so Gesenius, Hebrew Lexicon). Delitzsch, however, in a note on this word (Isaiah 2:6), doubts the meaning "conceal" and thinks that it signifies rather "to gather auguries from the clouds." He translates it "cloud-interpretive" (Micah 5:12). This view is not generally supported. Rendered "enchanters" (Jeremiah 27:9, the Revised Version (British and American) "soothsayers"; so also in Isaiah 2:6). Often translated in the Revised Version (British and American) "practice augury," as in Leviticus 19:26 Deuteronomy 18:10, 14 2 Kings 21:6; 2 Chronicles 33:6; a form of magical art corresponding in many respects to that of the Greek mantis, who uttered oracles in a state of divine frenzy. Septuagint kledonizomai, i.e. augury through the reading or acceptance of a sign or omen. A kindred form of enchantment is mentioned in the New Testament (2 Timothy 3:13; Greek goetes, "enchanters," "jugglers," the original indicating that the incantations were uttered in a kind of howl; rendered "seducers" the King James Version, "impostors" the Revised Version (British and American); compare Revelation 19:20). The New Testament records the names of several magicians who belonged to this class of conscious impostors: Simon Magus (Acts 8:9); Bar-Jesus and Elymas (Acts 13:6, 8); the slave girl with the spirit of Python ("divination," Acts 16:16); "vagabond (the Revised Version (British and American) "strolling") Jews, exorcists" (Acts 19:13; compare Luke 11:19); also the magicians of Moses' day, named Jannes and Jambres (2 Timothy 3:8).

All these forms of enchantment claimed access through supernatural insight or aid, to the will of the gods and the secrets of the spirit world. In turning away faith and expectation from the living God, they struck a deadly blow at the heart of true religion. From the enchanters of the ancient Orient to the medicine-men of today, all exponents of the "black art" exercise a cruel tyranny over the benighted people, and multitudes of innocent victims perish in body and soul under their subtle impostures. In no respect is the exalted nature of the Hebrew and Christian faiths more clearly seen than in their power to emancipate the human mind and spirit from the mental and moral darkness, the superstition and fear, and the darkening effect of these occult and deadly articles.

For more detailed study see DIVINATION; ASTROLOGY.

Dwight M. Pratt

5331. pharmakeia -- the use of medicine, drugs or spells
... Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine Transliteration: pharmakeia Phonetic Spelling:
(far-mak-i'-ah) Short Definition: magic, sorcery, enchantment Definition: magic ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/5331.htm - 7k
Strong's Hebrew
5173. nachash -- divination, enchantment
... 5172, 5173. nachash. 5174 . divination, enchantment. Transliteration: nachash
Phonetic Spelling: (nakh'-ash) Short Definition: omen. ... enchantment. ...
/hebrew/5173.htm - 6k

5172. nachash -- to practice divination, observe signs
... certainly, divine, enchanter, use enchantment, learn by experience, diligently
observe. A primitive root; properly, to hiss, ie Whisper ...
/hebrew/5172.htm - 6k

3858. lahat -- a flame
... flaming, enchantment From lahat; a blaze; also (from the idea of enwrapping) magic
(as covert) -- flaming, enchantment. see HEBREW lahat. 3857, 3858. ...
/hebrew/3858.htm - 5k

3908. lachash -- a whispering, charming
... prayer (1). charmed, earring, enchantment, orator, prayer. From lachash;
properly, a whisper, ie By implication, (in a good sense ...
/hebrew/3908.htm - 6k

2267. cheber -- company, association, spell
... charmer company, enchantment, wide. From chabar; a society; also a spell -- + charmer(-
ing), company, enchantment, X wide. see HEBREW chabar. 2266, 2267. ...
/hebrew/2267.htm - 6k

825. ashshaph -- a conjurer, necromancer
... astrologer. From an unused root (probably meaning to lisp, ie Practice enchantment);
a conjurer -- astrologer. 824, 825. ashshaph. 826 . Strong's Numbers.
/hebrew/825.htm - 6k


The Enchantment Dissolved.
... IV. CREATION. Hymn 100 The enchantment dissolved. John Newton 8,8,6,8,8,6.
The enchantment dissolved. Blinded in youth by Satan's arts,. ...
/.../newton/olney hymns/hymn 100 the enchantment dissolved.htm

The Second Part the Enchantment of Carthage
amari. "To love and to be loved." Confessions, III, i. ...
/.../bertrand/saint augustin/the second part the enchantment.htm

The General Service to Two or Many Martyrs.
... for having justly preached before the enemies the Uncreated Trinity, they have
extinguished with the outpouring of their blood the enchantment of polytheism ...
/.../anonymous/the general menaion/chapter xv the general service.htm

The Law of Love
... There is an old legend spread through many lands, which tells how a princess who
had been changed by enchantment into a loathly serpent, was set free by being ...
/.../maclaren/expositions of holy scripture a/the law of love.htm

Saint George Kills the Enchanter Osmond.
... "Now, by my halidom, but I will fetter this monster and break the enchantment, or
never see this place again." In vain the Princess Sabra entreated him not to ...
/.../the seven champions of christendom/chapter thirteen saint george kills.htm

The General Service to Two or Many Hieromartyrs.
... Kindled mentally with the fire of the Comforter, ye have, O hieromartyrs, extinguished
the flames of enchantment of the wicked one, rejoicing thereat. ...
/.../anonymous/the general menaion/chapter xvii the general service.htm

General Service to a Nun-Martyr.
... Tone 2: With the voice of gladness and in loud psalmodies let us hymn the holy martyr
(mentioned by name), since she hath put down the enchantment of idols and ...
/.../anonymous/the general menaion/chapter xxiv general service to.htm

The General Service to one Hieromartyr
... Thou hast put an end to the heterodoxy of the enchantment, having put to shame the
godlessness of idol-worship, and having been made a divine burnt offering ...
/.../anonymous/the general menaion/chapter xvi the general service.htm

The General Service to one Martyr.
... The Stavro-theotokion: By the cross of thy Son, O full of God's grace, the enchantment
of idols hath been done away with and the might of demons vanquished. ...
/.../anonymous/the general menaion/chapter xiv the general service.htm

The Ancestral Home
... father, David T. Talmage. He says: "I have stood, for the last few days,
as under the power of an enchantment. Last Friday-a-week ...
/.../christianbookshelf.org/fagg/forty years in south china/i the ancestral home.htm

Enchantment (4 Occurrences)
... 2. (n.) The effect produced by the act; the state of being enchanted; as, to break
an enchantment. ... Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. ENCHANTMENT. ...
/e/enchantment.htm - 16k

Magic (12 Occurrences)
... beings, or departed spirits, or by a mastery of secret forces in nature attained
by a study of occult science, including enchantment, conjuration, witchcraft ...
/m/magic.htm - 29k

... 1. (n.) The act or process of using formulas sung or spoken, with occult ceremonies,
for the purpose of raising spirits, producing enchantment, or affecting ...
/i/incantation.htm - 6k

Magician (5 Occurrences)
... 1. Hostility to Magic 2. Potency of Magical Words 3. Influence of Charms V. MAGICAL
TERMS USED IN THE BIBLE 1. Divination 2. Sorcery 3. Enchantment 4. Amulets 5 ...
/m/magician.htm - 24k

Enchanters (9 Occurrences)

/e/enchanters.htm - 9k

Enchantments (12 Occurrences)

/e/enchantments.htm - 11k

... (n.) The art of revealing future events by means of communication with the dead;
the black art; hence, magic in general; conjuration; enchantment. ...
/n/necromancy.htm - 6k

Omen (6 Occurrences)
... God. (Root in WEY RSV). Numbers 23:23 Surely there is no enchantment with
Jacob; Neither is there any divination with Israel. Now ...
/o/omen.htm - 8k

Enchant (1 Occurrence)
... Noah Webster's Dictionary 1. (vt) To charm by sorcery; to act on by
enchantment; to get control of by magical words and rites. 2 ...
/e/enchant.htm - 6k

Enchanter (5 Occurrences)
... Noah Webster's Dictionary (n.) One who enchants; a sorcerer or magician; also,
one who delights as by an enchantment. Multi-Version Concordance ...
/e/enchanter.htm - 8k

What does the Bible say about enchantment? | GotQuestions.org

Topical: Alternative Spirituality ' Article Index | GotQuestions.org

What does the Bible say about sorcery? | GotQuestions.org

Enchantment: Dictionary and Thesaurus | Clyx.com

Bible ConcordanceBible DictionaryBible EncyclopediaTopical BibleBible Thesuarus
Enchantment (4 Occurrences)

Leviticus 19:26
"'You shall not eat any meat with the blood still in it; neither shall you use enchantments, nor practice sorcery.

Numbers 23:23
Surely there is no enchantment with Jacob; Neither is there any divination with Israel. Now it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, What has God done!

2 Kings 21:6
He made his son to pass through the fire, and practiced sorcery, and used enchantments, and dealt with those who had familiar spirits, and with wizards: he worked much evil in the sight of Yahweh, to provoke him to anger.

Ecclesiastes 10:11
Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment; and a babbler is no better.



Related Terms

Magic (12 Occurrences)


Magician (5 Occurrences)

Enchanters (9 Occurrences)

Enchantments (12 Occurrences)


Omen (6 Occurrences)

Enchant (1 Occurrence)

Enchanter (5 Occurrences)

Earrings (14 Occurrences)

Magical (1 Occurrence)

Babbler (4 Occurrences)

Biteth (5 Occurrences)

Charmer (5 Occurrences)

Auguries (4 Occurrences)

Sorcery (10 Occurrences)

Clouds (99 Occurrences)

Multiplied (109 Occurrences)

Divination (25 Occurrences)

Wrought (186 Occurrences)

Observe (216 Occurrences)

Orator (3 Occurrences)


Serpent (40 Occurrences)

Proper (62 Occurrences)

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