Dropsie College Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-10-1966

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Theodor H. Gaster

Second Advisor

Moshe Held


The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between prophecy and mantic (divination) in the ANE in general, with special reference to the enigmatic personality of Balaam, as described in the Bible (Nu 22:2 - 24). It was formerly believed that prophecy and magic were two entirely different, even mutually exclusive, phenomena which had almost nothing in common. This somewhat simple fundamentalist view asserted that the prophet spoke God's word, whereas the magician carried out, so to speak, the Devil's work. Modern research has shown that such a view is an unpermissible oversimplification. It can be shown that both prophecy and mantic have a common source and background in divination, in that time-honored answer to the very natural human desire of obtaining a knowledge of the future Both of them go a long way together, in spite of their very different methods employed.


Library at the Katz Center - Archives Room Manuscript. BS580.B3 W563 1966.

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