Witches during biblical times

There are reports of witches from the time described in the Hebrew Bible

In the Hebrew Bible references to witchcraft are frequent, and the strong condemnations of such practices which we read there do not seem to be based so much upon the supposition of fraud as upon the "abomination" of the magic in itself. (See Deuteronomy 18:11-12; Exodus 22:18, "wizards thou shalt not suffer to live" - A.V. "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live".)

Many bible scholars have noted that in the original Hebrew the word "M'khasephah" (מכשפה)(translated in the King James as "witch") means "someone who malevolently uses spoken curses to hurt people", which the modern Wiccan Rede specifically forbids its practitioners to do.

Be that as it may, it is well-known that this verse was in later times to provide Scripural justification for Christian witch hunters. But the Bible also provides some evidence that the commandment was taken seriously and implemented at the time itself, as seen from the account in (I Samuel 28):

"And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee. And the woman said unto him, Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life, to cause me to die?"(The Hebrew verb "Hichrit" (הכרית) translated in the King James as "cut off", can also be translated as "kill wholesale" or "exterminate")

The whole narrative of this visit by Saul to the Witch of En Dor implies belief in the reality of the witch's evocation of the shade of Samuel. However, the witch responds with shocked surprise at the manifestation, denoting that the witch had actually expected something different -- presumably either nothing real at all or a lying ("familiar") spirit.

From Leviticus 20:27: "A man or woman in whom there is a pythonical or divining spirit, dying let them die: they shall stone them: Their blood be upon them", we should naturally infer that the divining spirit was not believed to be a mere imposture.

In Modern Day Witchcraft one of the most popular and effective forms is Wicca. It uses a number of materials and rituals taken from books of magickal lore (Grimmoires). This site has further information regarding these issues. We also provide links to KNOWN professional services and suppliers to fulfill all your needs.