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Why does the Bible call divination (that is fortelling the future) abominable, yet people like Joseph and Daniel could interpret dreams by inspiration from God?

Deuteronomy 18:9-12

Deuteronomy 18:9 - 12

ESV - 9 When you come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. 10 There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer

Clarify Share Report Asked March 24 2020 Photo John Moyo

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
In my opinion, the key phrase in the question is "by inspiration from God".

Dreams are phenomena over which humans have no control, whereas all other means of supposedly foretelling the future (and which the Bible groups and condemns under the heading of "divination") are inventions or interpretations arrived at through conscious human thought and action.

The Bible refers repeatedly (including the cases mentioned in the question involving Joseph and Daniel) of God speaking through dreams (even to individuals such as Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar who were not His followers).

Sometimes, the meaning of such dreams is unmistakable, as when Joseph was warned in a dream to take Mary and the infant Jesus to Egypt to escape the forthcoming attempt of Herod the Great to kill Jesus (Matthew 2:13).

However, the meaning of the dream may also not be as clear. In those cases (as Joseph noted in Genesis 41:16), the power to correctly interpret the dream comes from God.

(I would also say that dreams can potentially be deceptive, and that any significance or meaning attached to the dream must be consistent with the principles, and with the information about God, that He Himself has included or revealed in the Bible.)

March 24 2020 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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