What does the Bible mean by 'passing through fire' in Deuteronomy 18:10?

Deuteronomy 18:10 is a verse that has been debated by scholars and theologians for centuries. The verse warns against various forms of divination, including passing through fire. But what does the phrase "passing through fire" actually mean?

There are several interpretations of this phrase, but the most commonly accepted one is that it refers to a ritualistic practice of passing children through flames as a form of sacrifice to pagan gods. This practice was common in many ancient societies, including those that were neighboring Israel. It was believed that passing a child through fire would purify them and make them more holy.

However, the practice of passing children through fire was completely forbidden in Israel, as it was considered an abomination to God. The verse in Deuteronomy 18:10 is part of a larger passage that warns against various forms of divination and magic, and it is clear that passing children through fire was seen as a form of magic or divination.

But the phrase "passing through fire" can also be interpreted more broadly as any form of ritualistic practice that involves fire. For example, some scholars believe that it could refer to the practice of burning incense or offering sacrifices on an altar, which was a common practice among many ancient cultures.

Despite the various interpretations of this phrase, one thing is clear: it is a warning against any form of magic or divination that goes against the teachings of God. It is a reminder that we should not put our faith in anything other than God, and that we should always seek to follow His will.

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Jamie Larson