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J. LUST, On wizards and prophets

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Chapter Summary

The structure and the terminology of the story are important for a comparison with the later narratives concerning prophetic consultation. The occasion for the consultation is a situation of crisis: War is at hand. One goes to the medium for information and guidance. An answer is given, foretelling what is going to happen. A comparison with Hittite, Assyrian and Sumerian parallels has called to attention a vocable ab with the meaning of a ritual hole in the ground, dug to give infernal deities or spirits of the deceased access to the upper world for a brief interval of time. According to the author, 'obôt and jiddeônim were no sacred pits nor wizards, but the ghosts of the deceased fathers and the instruments representing them. The consultation of those ghosts was forbidden as a foreign practice. It was replaced by the typical Israelite practice of consulting Jahweh through the prophets.

Keywords: Jahweh; prophets; wizards



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