Does the Bible speak in any way toward the practice of dowsing?

I have a Christian friend who has engaged in the practice of dowsing, using a divining rod to find a water source. He believes there is nothing wrong with it and has even used this process at his work. I don’t think the practice is right, but I can’t say precisely why.

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I also think it’s questionable at best, and seems to have some ties to the occult.

The hard part is having a constructive conversation about it with your friend if you are concerned. Perhaps ask what his views are on the historical roots of the practice, and if he knows of any scientific explanation for ‘how it works’. Questions are always best rather than statements.

The British society of dowsers ( is a not for profit promoting dowsing in all it’s forms and in their code of ethics state:

Only dowse for information that concerns you personally or that lies within an area of public concern, unless you are asked or given permission by other people to dowse either for them personally or for groups or organisations of which they are members. Do not dowse for information about other people or their concerns without their permission, unless it is clearly in the interest of the highest common good to do so, and do not make unsolicited comments about other people or their concerns based on your dowsing.
Always treat people requesting information about dowsing or who ask you to dowse politely and considerately. When dowsing for others, respect their views, their dignity and their privacy, and protect personal or confidential information of which you may become aware. Explain what you are doing, give your conclusions and advice in a manner that they can understand, and respect their right to consent to or to decline what you offer or advise.

The publication ‘Dowsing Today: March 2019’ ( there are articles regarding ‘house healing’, ‘human energy’, and a number of other mentions to do with spiritist practices.



Since my relationship with the Lord was restored a couple of years ago, and for a year or so even before that, it seems I and my friend speak a different language. He does not answer questions. Often he misinterprets what I write or say, plus he seems to believe leftist ideology conveniently rejecting any evidence to the contrary. Personally, I have come to believe it is because he is led by his intellect, rather than the Spirit. I have often encouraged him to seek the real truth from God, but he remains unchanged to the point where he sees no need to repent. He is a self-described skeptic and cynic, but claims he is a Christian because when he was 14 he “believed the nuns”. However now, he doesn’t believe me or what I say, never mind about anything from Eph. 6. I love him, but know we have come to “loggerheads”. My wife and I pray for him and his wife believing that God has led us to a better way with new mercies every morning. I would appreciate any prayers that would help them in their relationship with God because in the end, that’s what I believe is most important.


Thankyou for sharing about your friend.

I’m also a fairly skeptical person by nature - and I think I identify with Thomas who refused to believe that Jesus had risen from the dead until he physically saw and touched Him. The Lord did not tell Thomas off for lack of belief, but met him where he was. Perhaps Thomas was genuinely wanting to believe but was really struggling, similar to the man who cried ‘I believe Lord, help my unbelief’.

Perhaps this issue about dowsing is not one to bring up with your friend, but rather continue to show Christ’s love for him as you pray.

If he is a Christian, perhaps he has not grown at all in the faith, not really interested in reading the Bible. Is he interested in science?

Maybe just out of the blue, buy him a book for his birthday or Christmas such as ‘Can science explain everything?’ by John Lennox which hopefully will whet his appetite to think more about the claims of Jesus. The reason I suggest this book, is because towards the back there is a section explaining the difference between religion and Christianity (excerpt in the link below).

Hosea 4:12 is the one place I have found a diviner’s rod is mentioned. The Complete Jewish Bible and New American Standard translates it as “diviner’s wand”. It seems clear by the entire context that God desires that people direct their inquiries toward him, and that these other sources are illegitimate methods which in the end bring undesirable consequences.


Yes I agree completely - that is the reference referred to in the ‘got questions’ article.

Interesting that it seems in the original language that word is not used elsewhere? (I’m no Hebrew or Greek scholar I just google and look at commentaries and the like :slight_smile: )

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Yup, that’s where I found the quote. It’s pretty much what I believed already but couldn’t quite put into words. it’s always good to have another source. I e-mailed that particular site to my friend. I’ve brought all this up before to him, but I pray that the Holy Spirit will lead him to the truth. Thanks for your help.

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