2 occurrences in 2 dictionaries

Reference: Exorcism


(See DEVIL; DIVINATION.) Practiced with spells, as the name of Solomon, magic charms, and incantations among the Jews. Ac 19:13-16; the profane use of Jesus' name as a mere spell was punished by the demon turning on the would be exorcists; these "vagabond Jews" were pretenders. But our Lord implies that some Jews actually cast out demons (Mt 12:27), probably by demoniacal help; others in the name of Jesus, without saving faith in Him (Mt 7:22; Mr 9:38). He gave the power to the twelve, the seventy, and to other disciples after His ascension (Mt 10:8; Lu 10:17-19; Mr 16:17; Ac 16:18). The term "exorcise" is never up. plied in Scripture to the Christian casting out of demons. In the end of the 3rd century "exorcists" were made an order in the Christian church, much to the fostering of superstition, especially in connection with baptism.

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The word may be defined as denoting the action of expelling an evil spirit by the performance of certain rites, including almost always the invocation of a reputedly holy name. An anticipation of the later methods occurs in David's attempt to expel Saul's melancholia by means of music (1Sa 16:16,23); and in the perception of the benefit of music may possibly be found the origin of the incantations that became a marked feature of the process. A more complicated method is prescribed by the angel Raphael (Tob 6:16 f., Tob 8:2). In NT times the art had developed; professional exorcists had become numerous (Ac 19:13,19), whilst other persons were adepts, and practised as occasion needed (Mt 12:27; Lu 11:19). An old division of the Babylonian religious literature (cf. Cuneif. Texts from, Tablets in Brit. Mus., pts. xvi., xvii.) contains many specimens of incantations; and the connexion of the Jews with that country, especially during the Exile, is an obvious explanation of the great extension both of the conception of the influence of demons and of the means adopted for their treatment. Exorcism was a recognized occupation and need in the Jewish life of the first century, as it became afterwards in certain sections of the Christian Church.

In the procedure and formul

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