The Art of Divination in the Ancient Near East

The art of divination in the ancient Near East : reading the signs of heaven and earth by Stefan M. Maul (2018).

Author: Stefan M. Maul

Publisher: Baylor University Press

ISBN: 1481308599

Category: History

Page: 358

View: 415


You stars of Anu, I call on you! You stars of Enlil, turn to me!You stars of Ea, all of you together, gather around me!I have offered you a pure sacrifice,I have scattered pure incense to you,I have poured out pure beer for you.Eat what is pure, drink what is sweet!With these words, the Babylonians cried to the gods of the night as they prepared their sacrifices under a clear, starry sky.Discovering divine will was a part of everyday life for the people of the ancient Near East. Every state action and every military campaign was preceded by a king's meticulous ritual that petitioned the gods for a sure answer about the outcome of their endeavors. But royals were not alone in their quest. Wealthy merchants, simple craftsmen, poor widows--everyone wanted and needed to know the will of the gods. Those who could afford it sacrificed a flawless sheep, whose liver was used by the ritual priest to divine the answer.Others sought guidance in oil and flour. The desire for certainty in the face of an unknown future unified all classes in the ancient world.Stefan M. Maul, a noted expert on soothsaying in the ancient Middle East, offers an overview of this fascinating subject. Maul surveys the "art" of divination as it expanded from Sumerian roots to Babylonian mastery, cataloging its evolving methodology--from entrails to astrology--and the class of experts who performed it. He argues that the discernment of the will of the gods, far from being a cynical ploy of the elite, was a genuine attempt to unite Mesopotamian cultures under a common purpose. What seems to the post-Enlightenment world a mere superstition was, in its own way and to its own ends, a robust scientific enterprise that lent these ancient peoples a sense of control over a world populated by fickle forces. These rituals remind us that the desire to know the future is a part of what it means to be human, regardless of time or place.

Divination in Ancient Israel and its Near Eastern Environment

If it was the case that the ancient Near East knew of a hierarchy of ominous knowledge, then access to such knowledge was clearly directly proportional to income and social status: most could afford oil, while not everyone could manage ...

Author: Frederick H. Cryer

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 9780567059635

Category: Religion

Page: 367

View: 614


In this revealing study, the author suggests that ancient Israel was a 'magic society' like those around it, and similar in many respects to a number of magic-using 'savage' societies studied by modern social anthropology. Although the Old Testament attempts to distinguish between priestly and prophetic divination, this distinction was not sharply drawn in ancient times. References to divination in fact are found in all genres of Israelite literature, implying that many of these practices were performed throughout Israelite society. 'Cryer's investigation of divination in ancient Israel is a masterful synthesis of social and historical analyses of an important yet neglected topic' (Ronald E. Simkins, Catholic Biblical Quarterly).

Magic and Divination in the Ancient World

Inquiring for the State in the Ancient Near East : Delineating Political Location Joel Sweek In this paper I offer a preliminary examination of the “ political location " of divination in ancient Mesopotamia and Syria - Palestine .

Author: Leda Jean Ciraolo

Publisher: BRILL

ISBN: 9004124063

Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Page: 152

View: 524


This collection of essays focuses on divination across the Ancient World from early Mesopotamia to late antiquity. The authors deal with the forms, theory and poetics of this important and still poorly understood ancient phenomenon.

Divination in the Ancient Near East

This volume contains a collection of revised papers given in the workshop Divination im Alten Orient that was convened on July 22, 2008, as part of the 54th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale in Würzburg.

Author: Jeanette C. Fincke

Publisher: Penn State Press

ISBN: 9781575068794

Category: History

Page: 144

View: 989


This volume contains a collection of revised papers given in the workshop Divination im Alten Orient that was convened on July 22, 2008, as part of the 54th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale in Würzburg. The aim of this workshop was to bring together Assyriologists and Hittitologists in order to present and discuss the divination methods of their respective fields, most of which had not been studied until recently. The large audience that attended the workshop confirmed how wide is the interest in this subject.

Prophecy in the Ancient Near East

... divination can be upheld as two subcat- egories within the field of divination in general.118 1.5 Summary In the preceding we have seen that prophecy is an integral part of the divi- natory system in the ancient near east.119 It was ...

Author: Jonathan Stökl

Publisher: BRILL

ISBN: 9789004229938

Category: History

Page: 316

View: 751


Prophecy in the Ancient Near East is the first book-length study that compares all evidence of ancient Near Eastern prophecy, focusing on the Mari texts. It re-evaluates recent scholarship and concludes that prophecy was a widespread phenomenon integrated into divination in general.

Music in Religious Cults of the Ancient Near East

Benko, Stephen, and Powell, Mark Allan (2011) 'Divination', HCBD: 199–200. Boda, Mark J., and Beal, ... Braun, Joachim (2002) Music in Ancient Israel/Palestine: Archaeological, Written, and Comparative Sources. trans. Douglas W. Stott.

Author: John Arthur Smith

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781000210309

Category: Music

Page: 194

View: 201


Music in Religious Cults of the Ancient Near East presents the first extended discussion of the relationship between music and cultic worship in ancient western Asia. The book covers ancient Israel and Judah, the Levant, Anatolia, Mesopotamia, Elam, and ancient Egypt, focusing on the period from approximately 3000 BCE to around 586 BCE. This wide-ranging book brings together insights from ancient archaeological, iconographic, written, and musical sources, as well as from modern scholarship. Through careful analysis, comparison, and evaluation of those sources, the author builds a picture of a world where religious culture was predominant and where music was intrinsic to common cultic activity.

Isaiah among the Ancient Near Eastern Prophets

Prophets as Part of the Religious Establishment As was the case elsewhere in the ancient Near East, prophecy in Judah and Israel represented one form of divination among others.249 Prophecy is mentioned among other forms of divinatory ...

Author: Matthijs de Jong

Publisher: BRILL

ISBN: 9789047422617

Category: Religion

Page: 536

View: 914


Offering a comparison between the earliest parts of the book of Isaiah and the Assyrian prophecies, this book maintains that ancient Israelite prophecy, of which Isaiah was an exponent, was much in conformity with ancient Near Eastern prophecy in general.

Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament

The Assyrian dream book was published by A. L. Oppenheim, The Interpretation of Dreams in the Ancient Near East, Transactions of the American Philosophical ... A. M. Kitz, “Prophecy as Divination,” CBQ 65 (2003): 22–42, quotation on 24.

Author: John H. Walton

Publisher: Baker Academic

ISBN: 9781493414369

Category: Religion

Page: 384

View: 706


Leading evangelical scholar John Walton surveys the cultural context of the ancient Near East, bringing insight to the interpretation of specific Old Testament passages. This new edition of a top-selling textbook has been thoroughly updated and revised throughout to reflect the refined thinking of a mature scholar. It includes over 30 illustrations. Students and pastors who want to deepen their understanding of the Old Testament will find this a helpful and instructive study.

Prophetic Divination

Essays in Ancient Near Eastern Prophecy Martti Nissinen. ity of prophecy,7 ecstatic or charismatic qualities,8 or the use of specific literary forms.9 This does not mean that the definition is above criticism.

Author: Martti Nissinen

Publisher: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG

ISBN: 9783110467765

Category: Religion

Page: 804

View: 458


Prophecy was a wide-spread phenomenon in the ancient world - not only in ancient Israel but in the whole Eastern Mediterranean cultural sphere. This is demonstrated by documents from the ancient Near East, that have been the object of Martti Nissinen’s research for more than twenty years. Nissinen's studies have had a formative influence on the study of the prophetic phenomenon. The present volume presents a selection of thirty-one essays, bringing together essential aspects of prophetic divination in the ancient Near East. The first section of the volume discusses prophecy from theoretical perspectives. The second sections contains studies on prophecy in texts from Mari and Assyria and other cuneiform sources. The third section discusses biblical prophecy in its ancient Near Eastern context, while the fourth section focuses on prophets and prophecy in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. Even prophecy in the Dead Sea Scrolls is discussed in the fifth section. The articles are essential reading for anyone studying ancient prophetic phenomenon.