Jewish Magic Bibliography

Posted By on June 25, 2009

Here’s a very nice 131 page bibliography on Jewish magical practices (all eras – biblical, the ANE background to the biblical, and later Judaism). Just came up on the ABZU blog.

You say you’ve never heard of “Jewish magic”? Well, that’s what the bibliography is for. “Magic” (in ancient terms — not David Copperfield) is broadly defined is the idea of soliciting a deity through various ritual means to get the deity to do or not do something, or to get knowledge from the deity. The most obvious biblical example are the Urim and Thummim. Another is the water ritual in Numbers 5 — an example of “sympathetic magic.”

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17 Responses to “Jewish Magic Bibliography”

  1. Ilia Panayotov says:

    What did the Urim and Thummim really “do”? I never fully got it ever since I read the Pentateuch.

    Also, isn’t “magic” forbidden in the Bible?

  2. michael green says:

    mike-could you please email me the paper you did on magic to me also. thanks

  3. Bart Chapman says:

    Mr. Mike – I’m really fascinated by all that I’ve learned on your site. Thanks so much for your service and ministry. If possible, could you please email me the paper on magic used by prophets and priests, mentioned above? Thanks! Grazie~

  4. Bran says:

    I would be interested in the paper as well. I am a student and have access through my university library if it can be found through such a resource.

    I always understood the biblical prohibitions against “magic” to be quite specific. E.G. Things like summoning angels or demons and attempting to summon the spirits of the dead.

  5. Dave Wise says:

    Michael,
    Hope to not impose on your grace but I would love to have a copy emailed to me as well. Thank you for all you are doing.

  6. Chris says:

    Could you either email me the file or tell me the name of the paper so I can find it online?

    Thanks so much.

    I’ve read both “The Old Testament Response to Ancient Near Eastern Pagan Divination Practices” and “Moses as High Priest and Sorcerer? A Response to Graham Hancock’s
    Egyptian Explanation for the Ark of the Covenant.” Is it one of these?

  7. Teri says:

    Read your book excerpt on Elohim. Which book is that a part of? Also, I am interested in reading your paper on divination. Am sending you a request via email. Thank you.

  8. Brigitte says:

    “(a) we aren’t told; (b) no — prophets and priests did things that pagans did that come under our label “magic”. I wrote a paper on this subject. You can email me for it.” ~ May I have a copy of your paper please? My e-mail (non published) has been included.

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