Magician (Chald. חִרטֹם, chartom'; Heb. plural חִרטֻמַּים, chartumminm', thought by Gesenius, Thesaurp. 520, to be of Heb. origin, signifying "sacred scribe"), a title "applied to the 'wise men' of Egypt (Ge 41:8,22; Ex 7:11; Ex 8:7,18-19; Ex 9:11) and of Babylon (Da 1:20; Da 2:2). The word 'magicians' is not in either case properly applied, as the magi proper are usually assigned to Persia rather than to Babylon or Egypt, and should be altogether avoided in such application, seeing that it has acquired a sense different from that which it once bore. The term rather denotes 'wise men,' as they called themselves and were called by others; but, as we should call them, 'men eminent in learning and science,' their exclusive possession of which in their several countries enabled them occasionally to produce effects which were accounted supernatural by the people. Pythagoras, who was acquainted with Egypt and the East, and who was not unaware of the unfathomable depths of ignorance which lie under the highest attainable conditions of human knowledge, thought the modest title of philosopher (φιλόσοφος), 'lover of wisdom,' more becoming, and accordingly he brought it into use; but that of 'wise men' still retained its hold in the East. It is thought that the Egyptian chartumninz were those of the Egyptian priests who had charge of the sacred records. There can be little doubt that they belonged to some branch of the priesthood, seeing that the more recondite departments of learning and science were cultivated exclusively in that powerful caste." SEE MAGI. See Jablonski, Proleg. in Panth. AEgypt. p. 91 sq.; Creuzer, Mythologie und Symbolik, 1:245; Wilkinson, Anc. Egyptians, 2:316 sq.; Kenrick, Egypt under the Pharaohs, 1:382. SEE MAGIC.

Bible concordance for MAGICIAN.

Definition of magician

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

Topical Outlines Nave's Bible Topics International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online King James Bible King James Dictionary

Verse reference tagging and popups powered by VerseClick™.