Black screen, there is a low, menacing single chord playing. Suddenly the screen is filled with a cute picture of a tortilla wrapped puppy, it slowly fades to black. Now there are three high impact words revealed in rapid succession; Boom! Boom! BOOM!
Torture. Is. Bad.
The Hebrew word here translated "witch" is kashaph — it does not refer to a "poisoner" or "poisoner of wells," but to one who performs incantations. The root of the word means "To mutter, to murmur," and is consistently used in Hebrew and Ugaritic manuscripts to refer to witchcraft, not to poisoning.
In the Septuagint, the word was translated pharmakeia, which can mean poisoner, but more frequently means "one who makes magic potions."
It may be a great advance in knowledge not to believe in witches: there is no moral advance in not executing them when you do not think they are there.
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