What is sorcery according to the Bible?

by Matt Slick

Sorcery is the practice of using occult supernatural means, such as incantations and/or spells, in order to control forces in the spiritual realm with the intention of influencing the physical realm. Sorcery was used, and still is used, in order to gain control of the environment and/or people, to foretell the future, to summon spirits, to harm others, and/or benefit one's self. It is often associated with magic, whether it be black or white. Black magic is the attempt to produce harm upon someone through curses and spells. White magic is the attempt to use incantations and spells for personal benefit.

God forbade the Israelites to practice sorcery (Deut. 18:10) and instituted the death penalty for involvement with it (Exodus 22:18).

Following are some of the verses listed in the Bible that deal with various aspects of sorcery and bad practices associated with it.

  1. Astrology (Isaiah 47:13)
  2. Divination, witchcraft, omens, sorcery (Deut. 18:10; 2 Chron. 33:6; Ezek. 21:21; Galatians 5:20; Rev. 18:23)
  3. Magic and Magicians (Gen. 41:8; Acts 8:9; 13:6)
  4. Mediums (Deut. 18:11)
  5. Necromancy (Deut. 18:11)
  6. Sorceries and spells (Isaiah 47:9)
  7. Sorcerers and magicians (Exodus 7:11; Jer. 27:9; Dan. 2:2; Rev. 21:8; 22:15)
  8. Sorcerers are to die (Exodus 22:18)
  9. Spells (Psalm 58:5; Isaiah 47:9, 12)

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.