by Priscilla Van Sutphin

Divination - qasam  (7080 Strongs - Hebrew) appears 31 times in biblical Hebrew. 
Divination was a parallet pagan practice to otherwards a counterfeit.
Qasam is a seeking after the will of the gods, in an effort to learn about the future
especially their action or "divine" blessing on some future event. (Joshua 13:22)

It is evident that diviners conversed with demons. (1 Cor.10:20)  We can see this in modern times in Wicca, Satanism, and Hinduism (not exclusively, but these are the best examples.  Hindus will chant the name of a demon "deity" over and over till it comes and takes over them...and they writhe on the floor....they do this to gain "power" from these whom they see as "gods".
When Jesus said...."do not pray as the heathen do"...repetitious prayers..
.I think this is partly what He meant.

( 1 Corinthians 10:20 - "But I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons ."
This is the reason we are asked to not eat food sacrificed to it is cursed...and can bring
severe consequence to us....causing us to be tormented.

Do not eat food sacrificed to BUDDHA...if you see a buddha in the restaurant, chances are the food there might to him....and in Hindu restaurants...the same.  It is one of the few things new Christians in the new testament were cautioned against even though they were exempt from circumcision, so it must have been important to God.

The practice of divination may involve the offering of sacrifices to the deity on an altar as in Numbers 23:1+.  It may also involve the use of a hole in the ground, through which the diviner spoke to the spirits of the dead ( 1 Samuel 28:8).  At other times a diviner would shake arrow, stones, consult with household idols, or study the livers of dead animals.
( as the witch in "Robinhood Prince of Thieves")  
[Ezekial 21:21 - augury]

Divination was one of man's attempts to know and CONTROL the world around him and people, or the future, apart from the true God.  It was the opposite of true prophecy, which is essentially submission to God's sovreignity. (Deut. 18:14)

The tribe of Dan in Judges 18 and 19 is a good example of people wanting to have their own way apart from God...worshipping idols...the works of their own hands...and for this Dan was blotted from the list of the twelve tribes of Israel....and the tribe of Joseph's son took that tribes place as we see in the new testament list in Revelation.

Divination is used of Balaam in Numbers 22, and once his own resolve to make money was replaced with submission, God sent him on his way. There are many today who need to resolve to not practice their gifts for money. In the NEW TESTAMENT the Greek word for divination is puthon (4436 Strongs) ,
which in English is python !

In Greek mythology puthon was the name of the Pythian serpent of dragon, dwelling in Pytho, at the foot of Mt Parnassus, guarding the oracle of Delphi, and slain by apollo.  THence the name was transferred to Apollo himself.  Later the word was gven to diviners or soothsayers.  since Demons are the agents inspiring idolatry, (1 Corinthians 10:20), the young woman in Acts 16 was possessed by a demon instigating the cult of Apollo, and thus had a spirit of divination.

The following is from Zondervan's Bible Encyclopedia on Divination....

"Divination is related to MAGIC, but is distinct from it mainly in that the latter attempts to produce certain effects, while the former seeks knowledge.  Nevertheless practitioners of one also might engage in the other. (like Houdini)

a) Chresmology - Prognostication by seers and through oracles may be divination
to the extent that information is sought out.
Prophets were formerly called seers, and were sought to ascertain God's will. [ 1 Samuel 9:9 ]   Seers like prophets could be false, and Micah 3:7 links them with diviners, to whom God refuses to answer.  Oracles were messages from a deity.  The word also signified the person or place who transmitted them.  ( Ouija boards would be this)

b)  Oneiromancy Dreams were thought to convey divine messages.  these frequently needed interpretation( [ie Joseph, and Daniel ] .   In the false interpretation, one would sleep in a temple (incubation) hoping for a dream from the resident deity.  The god of healing, Asclepius, was thought especially communicative in this regard.  Aelius Aristedes, a hypochondriac orator, has related in his "Sacred Discourses" how Asclepius instructed him regarding treatment.

Edgar Cayce would be a modern day example of such a person...
He was  appeared to by a beautiful woman (satan disguises himself as an angel of light- and in this case the woman I believe was a spirit of divination) as  a child and instantly...he became able to remember things on the pages of books he was studying when before he had much difficulty in learning.  Then as an adult, would lay on a couch...fall into a trance....after praying for a sick person...and he would say  "WE are going down the street.  WE are going up to the house.  WE see the liver is diseased."  The extras...were demons...he was moving in divination.  And anyone who received healing from him received a spirit of divination and familiar spirits most probably even though  they were miraculously healed....He is a good example of what we will see in FALSE signs and wonders in the days ahead.

c)  Astrology
was an ancient means which gained popularity in the Hellenic period. 
On the assumption that stars and planets were in harmony with earth and mankind,
the character and fate of an individual, or even a whole nation,
were determined through a horoscope based on the signs of the Zodiac.
Reading horoscopes [ I call them horriblescopes due to the spirits that come with practicing this]  or having anything to do with astrology and psychics is forbidden in Mosaic law.

Isaiah 47:13 NKJ says:
"You are wearied in your multitude of your counsels; Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, and the monthly prognosticators stand up and save you from these things that shall come upon you.....v. 14...Behold they shall be as stubble, the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame; it shall not be a coal to be warmed by, nor a fire to sit before ! "  {Hell}

was consultation with the dead.  This was done through a medium, who received messages through a "familiar spirit", and was severely condemned.

Modern terms would be attending a seance, practicing ouija board, or practicing "channeling", or "getting in touch with your spirit guide" common in Native Indian religions and Hinduism, Buddhism, and "New Age";  which is really old age Hinduism.

e) Haruspicy
   was the study of the entrails of animals and especialy hepatoscopy,
study of livers, provided a means of impersonal divination used widely from the Babylonians
to the Romans.  At one time the liver was considered the seat of life
and since sacrificial animals were used, hepatoscopy was a religious practice.
The Encyclopedia Brittanica mentions it as a part of the Etruscan diviners practices.  "They also interpreted all portents of unusual phenomena  of nature especially thunder and lightening.  They were said to have learned it from a being named TAGES.  It never  became part of the state religion, although augurs were.  Later the "art" fell into disrepute.  Under the empire, however, there existed a collegium of 60 haruspicers; however it was never a state priestood but a body of salaried expert advisors." PUKE !

f) Augury
Was the analysis of the movement of animals, especially birds.  Encyclopedia Brittanica states that augur comes from  Augustus and "It seems therefore originally to have meant an expert in fertility magic, rather than a diviner...the natural region to look to for signs of the will of Jupiter was the sky, where lightening and the flight of birds seemed directed by him as counsel to men....The mere appearance of certain birds indicated good or ill luck..."
It was the singing also and the sounds of birds made that were important to them.

g)  Omens and Portents
were of many kinds including e. and f. above.  A portent was an omen of great
or supernatural character, such as earthquakes or heavenly phenomena (ie an eclipse)
Typical omens were involuntary human actions ie; a cough or hiccup, the actions of animals or other impersonal occurences. 
Divination by human signs is called cledonomancy.
Since one who had decided on a course of action would be more affected by a contary omen, they and especially portents, frequently took on a negative character.

h)  mechanical means
          a)  hydromancy - divination by water
          b)  pyromancy  -  the observation of fire as divination
          c)  cleromancy -  which includes the use of plates or rods drawn at random (sortilege)
          d)  rhabdomancy - interpretation of the position of objects ie. sticks, straws, rods or  arrows . And in general, any casting of lots, or of dice, drawing straws, etc.

Micah 5: 12-13  NIV I will destoy your witchcraft and you will no longer cast spells.
I will destoy your carved images and your sacred stones from among you; you will no longer bow down to the work of your hands.

Isaiah 44: 23-26 NKJV
Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has done it!
Shout, you lower parts of the earth;
Break forth into singing, you mountains
O forest, and every tree in it !
For the Lord has redeemed Jacob, and glorified Himself in Israel .
Thus says the Lord, Your Redeemer, and He who formed you from the womb; 
" I am the Lord, who makes all things,
Who stretches out the heavens all alone,
Who spreads abroad the earth by Myself;
Who frustrates the signs of the babbler, and drives diviners mad;
Who turns wise men backward, and makes their knowledge foolishness;
Who confirms the word of HIS servant,
and performs the counsel of HIS messengers;
Who says to Jerusalem, 'You shall be inhabited.'
To the cities of Judah, ' You shall be built.'
And I will raise up her waste places;

We are grafted into the vine...
Jerusalem is symbolic of the dwelling place of God and His saints...
the Foundation of Peace.