What does the Bible say about jinx?

Author: BibleAsk Team


Jinx

Jinx is defined as “a person or thing that is believed to bring bad luck.” “Jinx,” with that specific spelling, is first attested in American English in 1911. The Online Etymology Dictionary states that “jynx,” meaning a charm or spell, was in usage in English as early as the 1690s. The word “jinx” also generally arises when a person does not want to say something positive about an incomplete situation out of fear of “jinxing it.” The superstition goes that speaking positively about one’s current situation will cause it to be “jinxed,”and things will not work out.

The Latin iynx came from the Greek name of the wryneck bird, iunx, associated with sorcery; not only was the bird used in the casting of spells and in divination, but the Ancient Romans and Greeks traced the bird’s mythological origins to a sorceress named Iynx, who was transformed into this bird to punish her for a spell cast on the god Zeus.

The Bible and Jinx

The concept of “jinx” is not explicitly addressed in the Bible, as jinx is a term rooted in occult magic and superstition rather than in biblical theology. However, the Bible contains principles and teachings that touch on related topics such as curses, magic and sorcery.

The Old Testament

In the Book of Numbers, we read about the pagan King Balak of Moab asking Balaam to curse Israel (Numbers 23:7–8). Thankfully, God overruled the curse of Balaam and blessings came out of his mouth instead of curses. God strictly warned the Israelites against being involved with witchcraft, divination and sorcery:

“And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people” (Leviticus 20:6).

“When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire [an ancient occult practice], or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination [detestable] to the LORD” (Deuteronomy 18:9-12).

The Bible condemned the following Occult Practices: Astrology (Jeremiah 10:2; 27:9-10; Daniel 2:1-4; 4:7; 5:7-9), Witchcraft, sorcery (Deuteronomy 18:10-12; 2 Kings 21:6; Micah 5:12; Isaiah 47:12; Ezekiel 13:18, 20; Acts 8:11-24; Leviticus 20:27; Exodus 7:11; Revelation 9:21; 22:15), Divination, fortune-telling, mediums, necromancy, wizardry and clairvoyance, (Deuteronomy 18:9-14; Isaiah 44:25; Jeremiah 27:9; 2 Kings 21:6; 23:24).
The New Testament

In the New Testament, believers were also warned that the occult will be one of the signs of the end, “The [Holy] Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons” (1 Timothy 4:1). The apostles, during their ministry, encountered Simon the sorcerer and rebuked him (Acts 8:22).

Paul listed sorcery as one of the works of the flesh: “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: [d]adultery, [e]fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,  envy, [f]murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21). John also includes sorcery among the sins of those who are finally shut out from God’s presence (Revelation 21:8; 9:21; 18:23).

Ancient sorcery and modern Spiritualism have much in common. Modern spiritualism, a prominent example of the “doctrines of devils,” is basically a revival of the demon worship and witchcraft of the past. Christians today are exhorted to “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). They are to put on the “full armor of God” to reject all occult practices and be holy (Ephesians 6:10–18).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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