Magician may refer to:
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The Jews seem early to have consulted the teraphim for oracular answers (Jdg 18:5f; Zech 10:2). There is a remarkable illustration of this divining by teraphim in Ezek 21:19ff. We read also of the divining cup of Joseph (Gen 44:5). The magicians of Egypt are frequently referred to in the history of the Exodus. Magic was an inherent part of the ancient Egyptian religion, and entered largely into their daily life.
All magical arts were distinctly prohibited under penalty of death in the Mosaic law. The Jews were commanded not to learn the "abomination" of the people of the Promised Land (Lev 19:31; Deut 18:9ff). The history of Saul's consulting the witch of Endor (1Sam 28:3ff) gives no warrant for attributing supernatural power to magicians. From the first the witch is here only a bystander. The practice of magic lingered among the people till after the Captivity, when they gradually abandoned it.
It is not much referred to in the New Testament. The Magi mentioned in Mt 2:1ff were not magicians in the ordinary sense of the word. They belonged to a religious caste, the followers of Zoroaster, the astrologers of the East. Simon, a magician, was found by Philip at Samaria (Acts 8:9ff); and Paul and Barnabas encountered Elymas, a Jewish sorcerer, at Paphos (Acts 13:6ff). At Ephesus there was a great destruction of magical books (Acts 19:18f).
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A magician is an entertainer who does illusions and magic tricks by learning about the tricks of the mind and using them to his/her advantage; magicians will occasionally use props, such as a pack of cards.
The most famous magicians are: