What does the BIBLE say about astrology?
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Question: What does the BIBLE say about what we call astrology? Is it a SIN?
Answer: Before we cover what God's word has to say about seeking to predict the future through the heavens, let's take a brief look at its origin. Although not found in scripture, the belief system that underlies horoscope casting (predicting the future), began in ancient Mesopotamia among the Babylonians. The Encyclopedia Britannica says this occurred in the third millennium B.C. while the International Bible Encyclopedia does not quite agree. They quote a warning based on the stars given to King Ashurbanipal of Assyria (7th century B.C.):
"The planet Venus is approaching the constellation Virgo. The appearance of the planet Mercury is near. Great wrath will come."
The Britannica states the current form of horoscopes is really a Greek addition to these earlier ideas, such as seeing the sun's path in the sky move through the twelve houses from east to west, which are each named for a constellation or sign of the zodiac (the Bible alludes to the zodiac in Job 38:32, etc.). Ptolemy (c. 150 A.D.), the ancient Greek astronomer who put into place the system of earth-centered astronomy, wrote a major book on this subject. Interestingly, the word horoscope is a word derived from the Greek meaning "one who observes the hour."
The Bible does make references to astrologers serving at the court of Nebuchadnezzar:
"Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, 'The secret which the king has demanded, the wise men, the ASTROLOGERS, the magicians, and the soothsayers cannot declare to the king . . .'" (Daniel 2:27, NKJV)
"Then the magicians, the ASTROLOGERS, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers came in, and I told them the dream; but they did not make known to me its interpretation. " (Daniel 4:7)
The idea that heavenly bodies control our destiny, rather than the true God, is an ancient delusion. Augustine, the famous Catholic theologian and philosopher who lived when Rome was in decline, and Cicero, the pagan orator of the Roman Republic in the first century B.C., made a point of attacking belief in it.