Jeremiah Unterman describes the use of the Urim and Thummim in the Bible.

Jeremiah Unterman

Jeremiah Unterman, "Urim," in The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary, ed. Mark Allan Powell (New York: HarperOne, 2011), 1082

Jeremiah Unterman
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Urim (yoor'im) and Thummim (thum'im), a device consulted by the chief priest (in an unexplained manner) to determine God's response to "yes" or "no" questions asked by the leader of the people (Num. 27:21; 1 Sam. 14:41; 28:6). There is no way of knowing exactly what the Urim and Thummim were, though it is usually presumed that they were some sort of divining stones. They were small enough to be carried in a pouch worn over the priest's heart, on the garment known as the ephod (Exod. 28:30). In the Bible, use of the Urim and Thummim is sometimes indicated by references to the ephod (1 Sam. 23:9-12; 30:7-8; in such passages, it was understood that the person did not consult the ephod itself, but the Urim and Thummim that the ephod contained. Likewise, when Judg. 20:27 says, "The Israelites inquired of the LORD (for the ark of the covenant of God was there in those days)," the point may be that the Urm and Thummim were typically used in the presence of the ark (since the ark itself was not used for divination). Elsewhere people are said to have "inquired of the LORD" when neither the ephod nor the ark is mentioned (1 Sam. 23:2, 4); in such instances, use of the Urim and Thummim may nevertheless be assumed. After the time of David, the Urim and Thummim may have been superseded by prophetic oracles; by postexilic times, use of the Urim and Thummim was regarded as an element of Israel's past (and possible future) that was not presently available (Ezra 2:63; Neh. 7:65).

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