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Beginning with Deut. 18:9ff and its condemnation of magicians and diviners, this book explores the window that this text gives us into magic and divination in Ancient Palestine and Syria. Investigating the wealth of language combined with the archaeological and historical evidence, it seeks to place the influence of these factors in the emerging Israelite religion. An integral part of Ancient Near Eastern cosmology and culture, magic and divination are never completely eradicated despite the ideological warfare led by the Old Testament writers.
The first part examines the function of various magicians and diviners. This is followed by a chapter on dreams and visions. The third chapter looks at the techniques and devices used by the oracular practitioners. Other subjects covered include magic in warfare, in the treatment of diseases, and blessing and cursing.