According to J, Balaam was among his own people the BneAmmon when Balak sent messengers to him with presents such as soothsayers generally received, asking him to come and curse a people that had come up out of Egypt.
Many of these pieces remind us of the oracles of the old heathen soothsayers, whose style is known to us from imitations, although we have perhaps not a single genuine specimen.
Belief in the evil eye or shadow is universal, and spirit-raisers, soothsayers and rain-doctors are in repute.
In the rejuvenescence of the nation the old stays of that oppressive kingship which began with Solomon, the strongholds, the fortified cities, the chariots and horses so foreign to the life of ancient Israel, are no more known; they disappear together with the divinations, the soothsayers, the idols, the mazzebah and asherah of the high places.
The Scyths had a method of divination with sticks, and the Enarees, who claimed to be soothsayers by grant of the goddess who had afflicted them, used another method by splitting bast fibres.