Familiar spirit

Familiar spirit
   Sorcerers or necormancers, who professed to call up the dead to answer questions, were said to have a "familiar spirit" (Deut. 18:11; 2 Kings 21:6; 2 Chr. 33:6; Lev. 19:31; 20:6; Isa. 8:19; 29:4). Such a person was called by the Hebrews an 'ob, which properly means a leathern bottle; for sorcerers were regarded as vessels containing the inspiring demon. This Hebrew word was equivalent to the pytho of the Greeks, and was used to denote both the person and the spirit which possessed him (Lev. 20:27; 1 Sam. 28:8; comp. Acts 16:16). The word "familiar" is from the Latin familiaris, meaning a "household servant," and was intended to express the idea that sorcerers had spirits as their servants ready to obey their commands.

Easton's Bible Dictionary. . 1897.

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  • Familiar spirit — Familiar Fa*mil iar, a. [OE. familer, familier, F. familier, fr. L. familiaris, fr. familia family. See {Family}.] 1. Of or pertaining to a family; domestic. Familiar feuds. Byron. Syn: familial. [1913 Webster] 2. Closely acquainted or intimate,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • familiar spirit — n. FAMILIAR (n. 2) …   English World dictionary

  • Familiar spirit — In early modern English superstition, a familiar spirit, imp, or familiar (from Middle English familiar , related to family) is an animal shaped spirit who serves for witchery, a demon, or other magician related subjects. Familiars were imagined… …   Wikipedia

  • familiar spirit — noun a spirit (usually in animal form) that acts as an assistant to a witch or wizard • Syn: ↑familiar • Hypernyms: ↑spirit, ↑disembodied spirit * * * noun 1. : a supernatural often malignant spirit in the service of an individual …   Useful english dictionary

  • familiar spirit — a supernatural spirit or demon supposed to attend on or serve a person. Also called familiar. [1555 65] * * * …   Universalium

  • familiar spirit — noun Date: 1565 1. a spirit or demon that serves or prompts an individual 2. the spirit of a dead person invoked by a medium to advise or prophesy …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • familiar spirit — famil′iar spir′it n. myt familiar 9) • Etymology: 1555–65 …   From formal English to slang

  • familiar spirit — /fəmɪljə ˈspɪrət/ (say fuhmilyuh spiruht) noun a supernatural spirit or demon supposed to attend on or serve a person …  

  • Pyewacket (familiar spirit) — Pyewacket was one of the familiar spirits of a witch detected by the witchfinder general Matthew Hopkins in March 1644 in the town of Manningtree, Essex, England. Hopkins claimed he spied on the witches as they held their meeting close by his… …   Wikipedia

  • Familiar — Fa*mil iar, a. [OE. familer, familier, F. familier, fr. L. familiaris, fr. familia family. See {Family}.] 1. Of or pertaining to a family; domestic. Familiar feuds. Byron. Syn: familial. [1913 Webster] 2. Closely acquainted or intimate, as a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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