A black and white photo of an open Bible, with specific verses highlighted, alongside a vintage cauldron and spellbook, symbolizing the contrasting beliefs surrounding witchcraft in the KJV.

What Does The Bible Say About Witchcraft?

Witchcraft and sorcery have captivated people for ages. Many faiths and cultures condemn the practice as evil. The Bible contains multiple admonitions against witchcraft and considers it a grave sin.

If you’re short on time, the Bible clearly prohibits all forms of witchcraft and considers it an abomination against God. Those who practice it face harsh judgment.

In this comprehensive article, we will examine all the major Bible verses about witchcraft, analyze their meaning, and provide context around these passages to understand why witchcraft earns such strong condemnation.

Clear Biblical Prohibitions Against Witchcraft

Exodus 22:18 – ‘Thou Shalt Not Suffer a Witch to Live’

This verse makes it abundantly clear that witchcraft is detestable to God. Under the Law of Moses, witches were to be put to death. This shows how seriously God takes the occult practices associated with witchcraft.

While we are no longer under the Law, this verse still demonstrates God’s displeasure with all forms of witchcraft.

Deuteronomy 18:10-12 – Detestable Practices

In this passage, God specifically forbids a number of occult practices including witchcraft, sorcery, divination, spell casting, mediumship, and necromancy. He considers these practices “detestable” and an “abomination.”

Partaking in any of these demonic activities was cause for being cut off from God’s people under the Old Covenant.

Today, while we are under the New Covenant, witchcraft and occultism are still dangerous demonic practices that can give Satan a foothold in a person’s life. Christians should absolutely avoid any involvement with these things.

Galatians 5:19-21 – Acts of the Flesh

In Galatians, the apostle Paul lists witchcraft as one of the “acts of the flesh.” Along with idolatry, hatred, and sexual immorality, witchcraft will prevent someone from inheriting the kingdom of God.

This shows that witchcraft is a sinful practice that is incompatible with a genuine Christian life.

Paul was deeply concerned that the Galatian church was dabbling in witchcraft and sorcery. He urged them to reject these things and walk by the spirit instead. This is an important warning for Christians today to have nothing to do with witchcraft in any shape or form.

Biblical Accounts of Witchcraft and God’s Response

1 Samuel 15:23 – Rebellion is Like the Sin of Divination

In 1 Samuel 15, Saul disobeys God’s command to completely destroy the Amalekites. The prophet Samuel rebukes Saul, stating that “rebellion is like the sin of divination” (v. 23). This associates witchcraft and rebellion as similar sins.

Just as witches try to manipulate spiritual forces, rebellion tries to manipulate God’s will. Samuel makes clear that stubbornness and rejecting God’s word is as evil as witchcraft.

2 Kings 21:1-6 – Manasseh’s Sin of Sorcery

2 Kings 21 documents King Manasseh’s evil deeds. Verses 1-6 describe how Manasseh rebuilt the pagan altars his father Hezekiah had demolished. He worshipped idols, practiced child sacrifice, consulted mediums, and committed sorcery. As punishment, God vows to wipe out Jerusalem (v. 12-15).

This shows that witchcraft provokes God’s judgment on both individual practitioners and nations that tolerate it.

Acts 8:9-25 – Simon the Sorcerer Rebuked by Peter

Acts 8 tells how Simon the Sorcerer amazed people with magic arts. But when Philip preaches Christ, many Samaritans believe and are baptized, including Simon. Seeing the apostles impart the Holy Spirit, Simon tries to buy this power.

But Peter rebukes him, saying his heart is not right with God and he should repent (v. 20-23). Though Simon himself doesn’t seem to repent, this story demonstrates witchcraft’s incompatibility with genuine faith.

Acts 13:4-12 – Elymas the Sorcerer Struck Blind by Paul

In Acts 13, Paul and Barnabas travel to Cyprus bringing the gospel to governor Sergius Paulus. But the Jewish sorcerer Elymas tries to steer the governor from faith. As punishment, Paul temporarily strikes Elymas blind, while Sergius Paulus believes (v. 12).

This underscores that magic is no match for God’s real power. By blinding Elymas, God confirms Paul’s authority and the truth he preaches in contrast to the deception of sorcery.

Research shows over half of Nigerians believe in witchcraft, while about three-fourths of Americans believe in the paranormal. But the Bible strongly condemns magical arts and links them to demonic influence (Deuteronomy 18:9-14).

As the above passages demonstrate, Scripture portrays witchcraft as provoking God’s judgment, being incompatible with genuine faith, and no match for God’s real spiritual power.

Spiritual Dangers and Judgment Against Witchcraft

Leviticus 20:6 – God Set Against Those Who Turn to Mediums

In Leviticus 20:6, God plainly states that He is set against those who turn to mediums and spiritists. Consulting with mediums was strictly forbidden under Mosaic law. Those who practiced witchcraft were to be cut off from God’s people (Exodus 22:18).

The spiritual danger is clear – witchcraft provokes God to anger and invites His judgment.

Micah 5:12 – God Will Destroy Witchcraft from Among His People

The prophet Micah foretold a day when God would destroy all witchcraft from among His people (Micah 5:12). As the people waited for the coming Messiah, they were to rid witchcraft from their midst. Even today, those who follow Jesus the Messiah must forsake involvement in witchcraft in any way.

Nahum 3:4 – Judgment for the Constant Practice of Sorcery

The pronouncement of coming judgment on Nineveh in Nahum 3 highlights their guilt in the constant practice of sorcery and witchcraft. Their hearts were set on evil, trusting in the power of occult arts rather than God.

Like Nineveh, any culture or society that condones witchcraft invites severe judgment.

16% Increase in Americans who believe casting spells is morally acceptable (2013 to 2017).
21% Of Americans who have a “New Age” belief in 2020.

There is a growing openness to witchcraft and occult beliefs in American culture. However, the Bible is clear that witchcraft provokes God’s judgment.

Revelation 9:20-21 – Still Did Not Repent of Sorcery

In Revelation 9, even after God pours out plagues and judgments on the earth, mankind still refuses to repent of sorcery and witchcraft. Their hearts are so hardened, they persist in the very things that invoke God’s wrath. The danger could not be more serious.

The united testimony of Scripture makes it clear – witchcraft is deeply offensive to God. Those who practice it face dire spiritual consequences both in this life and the next. God promises to rid it completely from the lives of those who follow Him.

bible verses on magic, sorcery, astrology, and pagan practices as forbidden

Isaiah 47:12-14 – Stand Now with Your Spells and Sorceries

In Isaiah 47:12-14, God pronounces judgment on the kingdom of Babylon for its many sins, including an over-reliance on magic, sorcery, and astrology. God challenges the astrologers and sorcerers to use their occult arts to save themselves from His judgment, but says their spells and sorceries will be useless.

This shows that magic, sorcery, astrology, and other occult practices are forbidden in Scripture.

The passage states: “Stand fast in your enchantments and your many sorceries, with which you have labored from your youth; perhaps you may be able to succeed; perhaps you may inspire terror. You are wearied with your many counsels; let them stand forth and save you, those who divide the heavens, who gaze at the stars, who at the new moons make known what shall come upon you.

Behold, they are like stubble; the fire consumes them; they cannot deliver themselves from the power of the flame.”

Jeremiah 27:9-10 – Do Not Listen to Your Diviners

Jeremiah 27:9-10 contains God’s command, through the prophet Jeremiah, not to listen to diviners, enchanters, sorcerers, augurers, and soothsayers. These practices involved occult methods of trying to gain hidden knowledge or predict the future, often by consulting the dead or spiritual forces.

But God forbids relying on such sources, stating: “So do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your dreamers, your fortune-tellers, or your sorcerers, who are saying to you, ‘You shall not serve the king of Babylon.’

For it is a lie that they are prophesying to you, with the result that you will be removed far from your land, and I will drive you out, and you will perish.”

Daniel 2:27 – Daniel Says Mystery Revealed Not by Sorcerers

In Daniel 2, King Nebuchadnezzar has a disturbing dream that none of his occult advisors are able to interpret. But Daniel, relying on insight from the true God, is able to reveal the meaning of the dream. Daniel makes an important statement in verse 27:

“Daniel answered the king and said, ‘No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days.'”

This demonstrates that occult arts and pagan practices are ungodly methods of seeking knowledge. The one true God is the only reliable source of supernatural revelation and insight.

For further study, sites like GotQuestions.org provide expanded commentary on bible verses forbidding witchcraft and related practices.

Cautions Against False Prophets and Miracle Workers

Matthew 7:15-23 – Beware of False Prophets

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus cautioned his followers to beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are actually vicious wolves (Matthew 7:15). These dangerous individuals will be recognized by their bad “fruit” (verses 16-20).

Despite seeming righteous, their words and actions will not accord with God’s true message.

Later in the passage, Jesus warns that on judgement day, even miracle workers and preachers who invoke Jesus’ name may be rejected if they are false believers who practice lawlessness (verses 21-23). The crucial factor is not displays of power but obedience to God.

So believers must carefully discern if self-proclaimed prophets truly speak and act according to biblical principles.

Matthew 24:24 – False Christs and False Prophets Will Arise

In His Olivet Discourse about end times events, Jesus warns that deceitful messianic pretenders and fraudulent ministers will emerge, working awe-inspiring signs and wonders (Matthew 24:24). But true believers need not be deceived since Jesus has foretold these imposters’ coming.

The alarming prevalence of false christs and prophets may tempt Christ’s followers astray. But Jesus reassures believers that adherence to His true message safeguards against deception (Matthew 24:25).

So while dazzling displays of power may seem to validate these fraud’s claims, Christians must test all teachings against Scripture and the Holy Spirit’s wisdom (1 John 4:1-3).

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 – Powerful Signs and Wonders of the Lawless One

Paul confirms Jesus’ Olivet prophecy, warning of a coming “man of lawlessness” who will deceive through false signs and wonders, even claiming messianic authority (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12). This anti-Christ figure and his prophet will dazzle people with “counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders” (verse 9), deluding those who “refused to love the truth” (verses 10-11).

So despite miraculous displays, God allows deception to overcome unbelievers who reject the gospel.

Paul thus underscores that wondrous feats alone do not confirm truth claims. Discerning spiritual validity requires evaluating teaching against God’s Word (Acts 17:11; Isaiah 8:20). So believers must interpret all miracle claims and prophecies through lenses of scriptural fidelity, not by dramatic power displays which evil forces can mimic (Exodus 7:10-13).


As we have seen, the Bible contains uncompromising prohibitions against all forms of witchcraft, sorcery, and pagan magic arts. God condemns these practices as detestable sins, spiritual adultery, and rebellion against Him.

While the curiosity around such arts is understandable, the spiritual deception and danger are very real for those who pursue them. We must guard our hearts and stick to God’s commands that forbid these occult practices.

Rather than turn to mediums, psychics or astrology for guidance, the Bible exhorts us to seek counsel from God, wisdom from His Word, and power from His Holy Spirit. This is the only sure path to truth and blessing.

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