Maps are essential for any serious Bible study. Our collection of maps are simple and they are free.
Certain types of divination were more common than others and the two most popular were the observation of the stars and planets, astrology and the observation of the entrails of sacrificial animals, extispicy. In the latter type of divination the focus of concern were the liver and lungs and the diviners drew up long lists of possible malformations and discolorations in every minute part. They even went so far as to make models of the livers in clay and mark the various parts with appropriate cuneiform inscriptions. The variations and possible combinations of formations were almost endless. But each had an interpretation. For example:
'If there is a "weapon-mark" on the sibtu (liver part) and it rises from right to left: the army will enjoy the spoil of the enemy army."
The interpretation, which is often expressed in historical terms as here, was not taken literally but simply as 'good' or 'bad'. In this case the enemy army suffers and so the meaning is good. A number of observations could be
gleaned from any given animal and the interpretations, good, bad or confused, tabulated to determine the response. The Babylonians did use their knowledge of astrology for another purpose than observing the doings of the gods. This was for their calendar.
Their months were based on the lunar cycles. This calendar was essential for agriculture because the farmers needed to know when, for example, to water their crops.