Easton's Bible Dictionary (1897)/Charmer

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“Charmer”
Easton's Bible Dictionary (1897)
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See the modern Wikipedia entry at Charmer.

Charmer: one who practises serpent-charming (Psalm 58:5; Jeremiah 8:17; Ecclesiastes 10:11). It was an early and universal opinion that the most venomous reptiles could be made harmless by certain charms or by sweet sounds. It is well known that there are jugglers in India and in other Eastern lands who practise this art at the present day.

In Isaiah 19:3 the word "charmers" is the rendering of the Hebrew 'ittim, meaning, properly, necromancers (R.V. marg., "whisperers"). In Deuteronomy 18:11 the word "charmer" means a dealer in spells, especially one who, by binding certain knots, was supposed thereby to bind a curse or a blessing on its object. In Isaiah 3:3 the words "eloquent orator" should be, as in the Revised Version, "skilful enchanter."