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For the king of Babylon stands at the parting of the road, at the beginning of the two roads, to use divination: he shakes the arrows, he consults the teraphim, he looks at the liver. Bible other translations

“shakes the arrows.” A form of divination that seems to have included shaking arrows and dropping them and receiving guidance from the way they landed.

“he consults the teraphim.” Teraphim were household gods and were seemingly associated with ancestors, so consulting the teraphim seems to be the equivalent to asking of one’s ancestors. [For more on teraphim, see commentary on Gen. 31:19].

“looks at the liver.” A common form of divination in the biblical world, as well as among the Romans, was to kill an animal and look at the liver and/or intestines and receive guidance from them. This practice is still occurring in a few parts of the world today.


Commentary for: Ezekiel 21:21