Familiar Spirit: Sorcerers or necormancers, who professed to call up the dead to
answer questions, were said to have a "familiar spirit"
(2 Kings 21:6; 2 Chronicles 33:6; Leviticus 19:31; 20:6; Isaiah 8:19; 29:4) Such a person was
called by the Hebrews an 'ob, which properly means a leathern
bottle; for sorcerers were regarded as vessels containing the
inspiring demon. This Hebrew word was equivalent to the pytho of the
Greeks, and was used to denote both the person and the spirit which
(Leviticus 20:27; 1 Samuel 28:8) comp.
(Acts 16:16) The word
"familiar" is from the Latin familiaris, meaning a "household
servant," and was intended to express the idea that sorcerers had
spirits as their servants ready to obey their commands.