DIVINATION AND PROPHECY IN THE OLD TESTAMENT: CONVERGENCE AND DIVERGENCE

DIVINATION AND PROPHECY IN THE OLD TESTAMENT: CONVERGENCE AND DIVERGENCE

Author by Dr. Ucheawaji Josiah

Journal/Publisher: Contemporary Humanities

Volume/Edition: 8

Language: English

Pages: 47 - 62

Abstract

This work examined the dividing and rallying points between divination and prophecy in the Old Testament, using the comparative approach to study. It observed the use ofqesem (divination as means to discovering the will of deity), with its connectedness to chozeh (seer or visionary) and ro'eh (seer) in Zechariah 10:2 as suggestive of a nexus between divination and prophecy which could be in form of an oracular pronouncement by the nab/' (a spokesperson for a divine superior). It further opined that 'prophecy' in the Old Testament sometimes could be an outcome of'provoked1 and 'unprovoked-divination' (Numbers 23:I-8; 1 Kings 3:5-15) although the difference between the two lies within the ambit of the medium's application ofepistemology that is, what they believe they could know and how they could know it; theology, that is, how they perceive God; semiotics that is, how they perceive the world around them and hermeneutics which deals with how the divine communication was interpreted. In conclusion, to the devout Israelites, the rejection of'provoked complex non-binary deductive divination as a means to know the likely outcome of events was invariable. For them God made known what he wished them to know - either through acceptable divinatory means such as the sacred Urim and Thummim of the priests, or by his servants the prophets who sometimes could see (dream, vision) and then, proclaim.


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