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Re: 4Q318

On October 11, 1996, David Kaufmann wrote:

> Jim,
>      Is. 47:13-14 does not prohibit this, it just says that it won't work and
> that statement may have only referred to the particular situation discussed.
> Furthermore, the fact that this statement is mentioned indicates thatsome
> people did indeed consult the stars in some fashion at the time. Now, if you
> find a statement that says, "You shall not consult the stars...." That would
> be a different story.
> -David Jay Kaufman
> HUC-JIR Jerusalem
> Rabbinical Student

    In the immediate context, i.e., the condemnation oracle against 
Babylon, sorcery (v. 12) is mentioned as condemnable in Exod. 22:18, 
spiritism, a like concept is condemned in Lev. 20:6, 20:27.  Isa. 
8:19 asks the question:  should not a people consult their G'd 
(instead of mediums and spiritists)?  In Isa. 47, is not G'd mocking 
the practices of the Babylonians which will not deliver them from His 
coming wrath?  It seems to make sense then that He would desire for 
His people to avoid practices which would lead to self-deception.  
Including astrology in a passage which also condemns sorcery, which 
is clearly forbidden for Israel, seems to be a good case for guilt by 


Dave Fouts
Bryan College