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Psychic phenomena and Ecclesiastes 10:20

Posted by Eddie Miller on Tuesday 24th April 2001 at 11:10:39
3 comments on this post - most recent Friday 15th November 2002 at 16:51:44

Dear Discussion,

 From the outset may I emphasize that I do not believe in experimenting with spiritual matters such as psychic phenomena (see Leviticus 19:31).

 However, some time ago Eccl 10:20 caught my eye and remembering a discourse on the ability of prayer to reduce the ability of psychics to 'transmit' and some other conversations, I have some questions, but first let me say what I discovered about Eccl 10:20:

 The King James states:"Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber:for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter."

 On looking in Matthew Henry's commentary I found that they had an interpretation not involving the supernatural - the king gets to hear via spies, for instance.

 However might it not appear a little odd that in the King James version it talks of a 'bird of the air' carrying the voice? Why not just say 'a bird' and omit the 'air' part?

My concordance has 20 places where a bird is mentioned under "bird", but only at Eccl 10:20 is a bird connected with 'air'.

(There are however places where the plural 'birds' is connected with 'air' as in 'birds of the air').

The use of 'bird of the air' therefore causes me to wonder whether 'air' does not have a special meaning.

On looking in my Bible dictionary I found this:"the prince of the power of the air" is the devil, the prince of the demons that fill the realm of the air.

 Sometimes the Bible uses "voice" in a supernatural way as in the case where thunder is called the voice of God.

 Wouldn't a psychic interpretation fit in quite well with the way Eccl 10:20 is stated in the King James version?

 My questions: 

  1. Could it not be that God would use a voice to protect or comfort people and that evil forces could use voices for bad purposes?

  2. Could it be that the 'carrying of a voice' was a commonly experienced phenomena?

  3. I have heard various people in churches talk of having a sort of psychic experience where they have heard or seen things, but what is the significance of this?

May God bless any insight people may have on this matter and I'm hoping somebody will comment.

Thank you

Eddie Miller


Comment submitted by Amos Copp on Friday 15th November 2002 at 16:51:44

Dear "Eddie Miller",

I am inclined to agree with your original thoughts regarding Ecclesiastes chapter 10 verse 20. I know witches and wizards use familiar spirits to ascertain information about someone or something. This is nothing more than sending out evil spirits to eavesdrop on people's conversations or spy on their activities and reporting their findings back to the medium. There is also a practice called "Astral Projection" or "Out of Body Experience" where the mediums own spirit does the reconnaissance work.

Could these spirits be referred to as "birds of the air"? I think the idea arises from the parable Jesus spoke in Mark chapter 4 and Luke chapter 8 where Jesus refers to "the fowls of the air" as Satan who takes away the Word when it is sown. Obviously, Satan is not omnipresent. He can not be everywhere at once stealing away the Word, but the power of Satan can be in many places at once because of his myriads of evil spirits, or demons, that reside in the atmosphere and travel very quickly to steal away God's Words from a persons heart. This is the only scripture I can find that may support the notion of "birds of the air" as being evil spirits.

I also find it interesting that Ecclesiastes 10:1 refers to dead flies. Beelzebub is lord of the flies (Matthew 12:24) Could these flies be a reference to evil spirits?

Was not Solomon's spiritual demise fostered by the pagan religions of his many wives? With this in mind, I am inclined to look a little deeper into these texts than than their face value.

In Christ,
Amos

Comment submitted by Eddie Miller on Friday 19th October 2001 at 16:14:59

Dear Discussion,

Following comments from Christian ministers to my questions on Ecclesiastes 10:20, I decided to approach a Jewish organisation and received the following information from Rabbi Eldad Zamir:

Among Jewish commentators there are two main schools of thought on Eccl 10:20
1) The verse is talking about God rather than an earthly king.
2) The verse is talking about an earthly king.

With regard to "that which hath wings shall tell the matter" it refers either to:
1) a bird
2) a saraf (kind of angel)
3) fortune tellers using birds to predict the future.

The most common interpretation however is that one should not say wrong things even in hidden places because it will eventually be heard.

Thanks
Eddie Miller

Comment submitted by Ron Johnson on Sunday 30th September 2001 at 16:43:09

Dear brother in Christ

Please advise your correspondent Eddie Miller that there is no "deeper meaning" to the Hebrew expression "The Birds of the Air". It is a typical Hebrew expression not normally found in English. It would be similar in expression to "The fish of the Sea". The English translation of Hebrew is full of such peculiarities. The expression "Truly, truly" used by our Lord Jesus is a translation of "Amen, amen" which He used for emphasis, and is typically a Jewish term. Sometimes the translations from Greek to English of a typically Aramaic/Hebrew expression can suffer greatly in meaning in the Scriptures.

I have found that a study of some of the books available of Biblical Hebrew written by Messianic Jews lend wonderfully fuller meaning to the total glory of the word of God!

Yours in Yeshua's name
Ron Johnson, Oxford, UK

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