Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries
(pharmakia), nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts. Revelation 9:21
The Bible refers to drug use. Furthermore, it refers to the use of drugs in
occult magic. Those of you who are familiar with the Bible may be
wondering, "Where does it say that?"
The references are there, but they are not evident in English Bibles. In
order to find them one has to refer to the original Greek versions.
The Greek translation of the Old Testament (Septuagint), and a Greek New
Testament contain the word "pharmakia" (far-mak-í-ah) in nine passages.
Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words gives the
PHARMAKIA (or -EIA) (Eng., pharmacy etc.) primarily signified the use
of medicine, drugs, spells; then, poisoning; then sorcery. . . . In sorcery, the
use of drugs, whether simple or potent, was generally accompanied by
incantations and appeals to occult powers, with the provision of various
charms, amulets, etc.
Depending on the context, "pharmakia" may refer to (1) the strictly
medicinal use of drugs, (2) the medicinal use of drugs along with spells for
healing, (3) poisoning someone, or (4) the use of drugs in occult magic.
Notice that according to Vine, when drugs are used in magic they are
typically used along with elements of ritual magic-incantations, charms,
amulets, etc. Thus, when "pharmakia" is used to refer to magic, it generally
refers to ritual, and not simple magic. Vine's definition is consistent with the
use of drugs throughout history.
Another closely related word, "pharmakos," (far-mak-os') is found twice in
a Greek New Testament.
PHARMAKOS, an adjective signifying 'devoted to magical arts', is used as
a noun, a sorcerer, especially one who uses drugs, potions, spells,
"Pharmakos" can be used as an adjective to distinguish a drug-using
magician from other types. It can also be used as a noun, to refer to the
magician who uses drugs. To put it simply: A pharmakos practices
"Pharmakia" is the root word of the English words "pharmacy" and
"pharmacist" and it may be used to describe the practice of legitimate
medicine. The only way the word is used in the Bible, however, is in
reference to the use of drugs in the practice of occult ritual magic.
The first references to pharmakia appear in the Old Testament book of
Exodus. In Exodus 7:11, 7:22, 8:7, and 8:18, "pharmakia" is translated
The Egyptian magicians used drugs in their magic. They may have used
them at the very time that they were attempting to imitate the works of
God. (The Scriptures give no details about their rituals.) If they did not use
drugs during their encounters, they used them at other times to establish
contact with the spirits they used to mimic the works of God.
The next references to pharmakia are found in the Old Testament book of
Isaiah. In Isaiah 47:9 and 47:12, God pronounces judgment on the ancient
city of Babylon, and he mocks the efforts of those living in Babylon to use
pharmakia to save them from his coming wrath. (In Isaiah, "pharmakia" is
Both of these will overtake you in a moment, on a single day: loss of
children and widowhood. They will come upon you in full measure, in
spite of your many sorceries [pharmakia] and all your potent spells...
Keep on then, with your magic spells and with your many sorceries
[pharmakia], which you have labored at since childhood. Perhaps you
will succeed. Isaiah 47:9-12
The remaining three passages containing "pharmakia" and the two
containing "pharmakos" are found in the New Testament. The whole world
turns to pharmaceutical drugs more and more on a daily basis, yet people
have no idea of the spiritual repercussions of those drugs.
|Hooked On Pharmaceuticals