In the religious literature they are almost exclusively represented as magicians and diviners opposing the Christian missionaries, though we find two of them acting as tutors to the daughters of Laegaire, the high-king, at the coming of St Patrick.
If a man accused of this denies it, other diviners are called, and if these concur, he is beheaded and his sons slain and his goods given to the diviners.
But if a majority of diviners decide against the accusers, the latter are set upon a wagon-load of brushwood and burned to death.
Since the absorption of the aborigines in Israel Canaanite ideas had exercised great influence over the sanctuaries - so much so that the reforming prophets of the 8th century regarded the national religion as having become wholly heathenish; and this influence the ordinary prophets, whom a man like Micah regards as mere diviners, had certainly not escaped.
Although there was no proper priesthood, the idol-keepers, the diviners, the day-declarers and some others formed a class of people closely connected with heathen customs and interested in their continued observance.