What Is Urim And Thummim In The Bible

Origin of Urim and Thummim

Urim and Thummim are enigmatic objects mentioned in the Bible and believed to have been used for divination. The origin of Urim and Thummim is shrouded in mystery – some sources contend that it is an antediluvian form of communication with the gods, whereas others regard it as a tool for communication with angels or spirits. Scholars generally agree that the origins of Urim and Thummim remain obscure.
The Biblical references to Urim and Thummim are usually ambiguous, leaving much to interpretation. Several passages mention that the Urim and Thummim are associated with truth, justice and knowledge. This can be seen in Exodus 28:30, where they were said to be placed in the breastpiece of the high priest in order to assist in the decision making process. In 1 Samuel 28:6, the witch at Endor was said to be able to call up spirits by using a Urim and Thummim.


The nature of Urim and Thummim has been subject to much debate among Biblical scholars. Some suggest that it is a form of divination, based on ancient Mesopotamian and Biblical practices, in which objects or symbols are used to gain insight into the future. Others regard it as a magical tool used for communication with spiritual beings.
Most scholars agree that the exact nature of Urim and Thummim is uncertain. However, some of the interpretations of the Urim and Thummim in the Bible have been accepted as viable theories. For example, some suggest that the Urim and Thummim is a form of oracle, where symbols are used to gain insight into the will of God.

Usage in Ancient Judaism

Urim and Thummim were believed to be associated with the office of high priest in Ancient Judaism. The high priest of the tabernacle was expected to use the Urim and Thummim for obtaining divine guidance or for making decisions about legal matters. The high priest was believed to have consulted the Urim and Thummim to receive guidance from God.
In the Talmud, references are made to the Urim and Thummim being consulted for decisions pertaining to matters of religious law and justice. In Deuteronomy 33:8, Moses is described as using the Urim and Thummim to obtain God’s guidance. It is also accepted by Jewish scholars that the Urim and Thummim were used in the Temple.

Symbolic Interpretation

It has also been suggested that the Urim and Thummim symbolically represent the two sides of God’s decision-making. Urim, meaning “light”, symbolizes judgement, while Thummim, meaning “perfection”, symbolizes mercy. This interpretation suggests that when making a decision, the high priest used the Urim and Thummim as a means of finding a balance between justice and mercy.

Modern Usage

The use of the Urim and Thummim in modern times is limited, though some scholars believe that the objects can still be used for divination. Some modern practitioners might use the Urim and Thummim in a ritual or ceremony for the purpose of seeking guidance or for gaining insight into the future.
Regardless of its modern usage, the Urim and Thummim remain an enigma, shrouded in mystery. While its exact nature remains ambiguous, the enigmatic objects and the interpretations associated with them are sure to remain part of ancient history and religious tradition.

Influence in Pop Culture

The Urim and Thummim have been featured in literature, television, and film. Perhaps the most famous example is Indiana Jones’s search for the biblical “Ark of the Covenant”, in which the Ark supposedly contained the Urim and Thummim. In the popular television series Supernatural, a pocket version of the Urim and Thummim is used for benevolent or malevolent purposes.
Multiple video games also feature the Urim and Thummim as either a source of power or an element of the game’s backdrop. The role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons includes the Urim and Thummim as part of the treasure trove of magical objects available for players to find. The language of Urim and Thummim has even been noted in a variety of manga and anime.

Role in Christian Beliefs

The Urim and Thummim have long been associated with the Abrahamic faiths, particularly within the Christian tradition. The Roman Catholic Church holds the objects in high regard and references them in its teachings. In the 1600s, Antonio de Montezinos, a Spanish traveler to the Americas, claimed to have discovered the Urim and Thummim within the Incan language and culture.
Within Christian Beliefs, the Urim and Thummim is usually seen as an instrument of divine providence used to reveal God’s will. Urim and Thummim were also thought to be used to ascertain the innocence or guilt of a person accused of a crime: if the person was innocent, the Urim and Thummim would return a “yes” answer, and the accused person would be acquitted.


Urim and Thummim remain a source of intrigue and debate among many religious scholars and enthusiasts. Its exact origin and function remain shrouded in mystery, although various interpretations have been suggested. Urim and Thummim have been featured in literature, television, and film and has been linked to a variety of religious traditions, primarily within the Abrahamic faiths. Despite its enigmatic nature, Urim and Thummim continues to captivate the collective psyche over centuries.

Hilda Scott is an avid explorer of the Bible and inteprator of its gospel. She is passionate about researching and uncovering the mysteries that lie in this sacred book. She hopes to use her knowledge and expertise to bring faith and God closer to people all around the world.

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