Who Practiced Magic According to the Bible?
The Bible narrates of several groups of people associated with magical practices. Sorcerers, magicians, and mediums were particularly prevalent in places like Babylon and Egypt, where magic was part of the cultural and religious practice. These individuals supposedly had powers beyond the natural, which they used to conjure spirits, foresee the future, or perform other supernatural acts. An example is the Egyptian magicians who matched Moses’ miracles before Pharaoh, at least until the latter stages of the plagues. In another case, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon consulted with magicians and diviners when he had unsettling dreams.
What was the Effect of Magic in Biblical Times?
Magic seemed to hold a significant sway over the course of events in the Bible. For instance, the magicians in Pharaoh’s court were able to imitate certain plagues, prolonging Pharaoh’s hardness of heart and the subsequent suffering of the Israelites. In Acts, a magician named Elymas opposed Paul and Barnabas and tried to turn a proconsul from faith. However, his magic was not powerful enough to withstand God’s apostles. In general, magic was portrayed as a force that could cause short-term changes or distractions but was ultimately powerless against God’s will.
Where was Magic in Relation to God’s Laws?
In the Israelite religious law, magic was heavily frowned upon. God’s commands to the Israelites in the Old Testament were clear about avoiding sorcery, divination, necromancy, and other similar practices. These laws were intended to keep them set apart from the surrounding nations who engaged in such rituals. Sorcerers were often mentioned alongside prostitutes, adulterers, liars, and other violators of God’s laws, indicating a negative moral judgment on magic. Magic, in this context, represented reliance on forces apart from God and thus, was seen as unfaithfulness to His commandments.
Why were Some Instances of Magic Treated Differently?
There were some instances in the Bible where magic was seemingly treated with ambiguity. The “wise men” or “magi” who visited Jesus after His birth were possibly Eastern astrologers, which bears similarity to those often categorized as practitioners of Magic. They were, however, depicted positively, as they recognized Jesus as king and brought Him gifts. The transformative rod of Moses, which performed miracles, can be argued to be closely related to Magic. Yet, it was presented not as an abomination but as a tool in aiding Moses. These variations highlight the complexity of the Bible’s portrayal of magic, often linked directly to the intent or the source of the magical act.
When Did The Bible Move from Miracles to Magic?
The Bible’s perspective on magic is often contrasted with its depiction of miracles, which are acts of God through His chosen individuals. Differences seem to lie in the source and purpose of the power. Miracles, such as those performed by Jesus and His apostles, were carried out through the power of God and for His glory. Magic, on the other hand, appears to be sourced from forces other than God, and its purposes often countered or distracted from God’s divine plan. Critical discernment is required in distinguishing between miracles and magic within the biblical narrative.
Below is the full list of bible verses on magic (King James Version – KJV). The list is ranked in order of popularity and we hope you find the inspiration you need.
Most Popular Bible Verses About Magic
“31 Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.”
“8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
1 John 4:1
“1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”
2 Kings 21:6
“6 And he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.”
“18 Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.”
“19 And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?”
“10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.”
“19 Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.”
“8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”
“9 But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:10 To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.11 And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.”
Related Themes: Fortune
“20 Wherefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against your pillows, wherewith ye there hunt the souls to make them fly, and I will tear them from your arms, and will let the souls go, even the souls that ye hunt to make them fly.”
“9 When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.13 Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God.14 For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do.”
“10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,”
“26 Ye shall not eat any thing with the blood: neither shall ye use enchantment, nor observe times.”
“27 A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.”
“19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
“6 And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.”
“3 And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof; and I will destroy the counsel thereof: and they shall seek to the idols, and to the charmers, and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards.”
“12 And I will cut off witchcrafts out of thine hand; and thou shalt have no more soothsayers:”
Related Themes: Fortune
“18 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe to the women that sew pillows to all armholes, and make kerchiefs upon the head of every stature to hunt souls! Will ye hunt the souls of my people, and will ye save the souls alive that come unto you?”
“11 Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments.”
“12 Stand now with thine enchantments, and with the multitude of thy sorceries, wherein thou hast laboured from thy youth; if so be thou shalt be able to profit, if so be thou mayest prevail.13 Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee.14 Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it.”
2 Chronicles 33:6
“6 And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.”
1 Chronicles 10:13-14
“13 So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to inquire of it;14 And inquired not of the LORD: therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse.”
“15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.”
“23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.”
Related Themes: Drugs
“2 For the idols have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams; they comfort in vain: therefore they went their way as a flock, they were troubled, because there was no shepherd.”
“7 And the magicians did so with their enchantments, and brought up frogs upon the land of Egypt.”
1 Samuel 15:23
“23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.”
“9 Therefore hearken not ye to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, which speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon:”