Star gazer (חֹזֶה בִכּוֹכָבַים, Isa 47:13), an astronomical observer, for which the Chaldaeans were famous. SEE ASTRONOMY. In Da 2:27; Da 4:7; Da 5:7,11, the professed astrologers or calculators of nativities (Gazerin , Chald. גָּזרַין, "soothsayers") are named. (The term there rendered "astrologers," אִשָּׁפַים, ashshaphim , means conjecturers only.) Diodorus Siculus (2, 30, 31) says of the Chaldaeans, "They assert that the greatest, attention is given to the five stars called planets, which they name interpreters; so called because, while the other stars have a fixed path, they alone, by forming their own course, show what things will come to pass, thus interpreting to men the will of the gods; for to those who study them carefully they foretell events, partly by their rising, partly by their setting, and also by their color. Sometimes they show heavy winds, at others rains, at others excess of heat. The appearance of comets, eclipses of the sun, earthquakes, and, in general, anything extraordinary, has, in their opinion, an injurious or beneficial effect, not only on nations and countries, but kings and even common individuals; and they consider that those stars contribute very much of good or of ill in relation to the births of men; and in consequence of the nature of these things, and of the study of the stars, they think they know accurately the events that befall mortals." Comets were, for the most part, considered heralds of evil tidings (Josephus, War, 6, 5, 3). The Orientals of the present day hold astrology in honor (Niebuhr,
Bed. p. 120), and stipendiary astrologers form a part of their court (Kämpfer, Amoen. p. 57, 82). SEE ASTROLOGY.