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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

MIPC: Urim and Thummim


"Take these," said the old man, holding out a white stone and a black stone that had been embedded at the center of the breastplate. "They are called Urim and Thummim. The black signified 'yes,' and the white 'no.' When you are unable to read the omens, they will help you to do so. Always ask an objective question.

The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
© 1993 softcover ed.  page 31

Commentary: Urim and Thummim is a phrase commonly associated with the breastplate of the Jewish High Priest. They are known to be objects which are held in the breastplate and which are associated with a system of casting lots mentioned in the bible (1 Samuel Chapter 14).

While there is no description as to the Urim and Thummim's form, it has been theorized that they are two dissimilar stones which can be distinguished from one another by their color, type of stone, or words which have been engraved upon them (1 Samuel 28:6).

Again, while the precise manner in which to operate the Urim and Thummim is largely unknown it has been theorized that the Urim (a white stone) represents 'no'; while Thummim (a black stone) represent yes. To use the stones, they are placed in a bag, a objective question is asked and a stone is drawn unseen from the bag.

It is interesting to note that the ancient Hebrews believed in only three forms of communication with God. They are through dreams, through prophets, and through Urim and Thummim. This would make Urim and Thummim the only form of divination sanctioned by the Judiasm, and therefore God.


Carolina Dean

Link:

My Review of The Alchemist

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

so does this mean that the Christian God approves of divination with just those stones or any stones used for this purpose?

Carolina Dean said...

It means that the Ancient Hebrews (Jewish People) believed that Urim and Thummim were the only form of casting lots sanctioned by God.

Christianity, which is an offshoot of Jewish teachings, believes that all forms of divination is a sin.


Carolina Dean