Oracle

Concise Bible Dictionary:

It was said of Ahithophel that his counsel was “as if a man had inquired at the oracle of God,” or at the “word” of God (2 Sam. 16:2323And the counsel of Ahithophel, which he counselled in those days, was as if a man had inquired at the oracle of God: so was all the counsel of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom. (2 Samuel 16:23)). In all other places in the Old Testament the word “oracle” applies to the holy of holies. It is doubtless so called because God said, “There I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel” (Exod. 25:2222And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel. (Exodus 25:22)). And it was from there that Moses received many of the laws (1 Kings 6:5-315And against the wall of the house he built chambers round about, against the walls of the house round about, both of the temple and of the oracle: and he made chambers round about: 6The nethermost chamber was five cubits broad, and the middle was six cubits broad, and the third was seven cubits broad: for without in the wall of the house he made narrowed rests round about, that the beams should not be fastened in the walls of the house. 7And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building. 8The door for the middle chamber was in the right side of the house: and they went up with winding stairs into the middle chamber, and out of the middle into the third. 9So he built the house, and finished it; and covered the house with beams and boards of cedar. 10And then he built chambers against all the house, five cubits high: and they rested on the house with timber of cedar. 11And the word of the Lord came to Solomon, saying, 12Concerning this house which thou art in building, if thou wilt walk in my statutes, and execute my judgments, and keep all my commandments to walk in them; then will I perform my word with thee, which I spake unto David thy father: 13And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake my people Israel. 14So Solomon built the house, and finished it. 15And he built the walls of the house within with boards of cedar, both the floor of the house, and the walls of the cieling: and he covered them on the inside with wood, and covered the floor of the house with planks of fir. 16And he built twenty cubits on the sides of the house, both the floor and the walls with boards of cedar: he even built them for it within, even for the oracle, even for the most holy place. 17And the house, that is, the temple before it, was forty cubits long. 18And the cedar of the house within was carved with knops and open flowers: all was cedar; there was no stone seen. 19And the oracle he prepared in the house within, to set there the ark of the covenant of the Lord. 20And the oracle in the forepart was twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in the height thereof: and he overlaid it with pure gold; and so covered the altar which was of cedar. 21So Solomon overlaid the house within with pure gold: and he made a partition by the chains of gold before the oracle; and he overlaid it with gold. 22And the whole house he overlaid with gold, until he had finished all the house: also the whole altar that was by the oracle he overlaid with gold. 23And within the oracle he made two cherubims of olive tree, each ten cubits high. 24And five cubits was the one wing of the cherub, and five cubits the other wing of the cherub: from the uttermost part of the one wing unto the uttermost part of the other were ten cubits. 25And the other cherub was ten cubits: both the cherubims were of one measure and one size. 26The height of the one cherub was ten cubits, and so was it of the other cherub. 27And he set the cherubims within the inner house: and they stretched forth the wings of the cherubims, so that the wing of the one touched the one wall, and the wing of the other cherub touched the other wall; and their wings touched one another in the midst of the house. 28And he overlaid the cherubims with gold. 29And he carved all the walls of the house round about with carved figures of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, within and without. 30And the floor of the house he overlaid with gold, within and without. 31And for the entering of the oracle he made doors of olive tree: the lintel and side posts were a fifth part of the wall. (1 Kings 6:5‑31); 1 Kings 7:4949And the candlesticks of pure gold, five on the right side, and five on the left, before the oracle, with the flowers, and the lamps, and the tongs of gold, (1 Kings 7:49); 1 Kings 8:6,86And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the Lord unto his place, into the oracle of the house, to the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims. (1 Kings 8:6)
8And they drew out the staves, that the ends of the staves were seen out in the holy place before the oracle, and they were not seen without: and there they are unto this day. (1 Kings 8:8)
; 2 Chron. 3:1616And he made chains, as in the oracle, and put them on the heads of the pillars; and made an hundred pomegranates, and put them on the chains. (2 Chronicles 3:16); 2 Chron. 4:2020Moreover the candlesticks with their lamps, that they should burn after the manner before the oracle, of pure gold; (2 Chronicles 4:20); 2 Chron. 5:7,97And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the Lord unto his place, to the oracle of the house, into the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims: (2 Chronicles 5:7)
9And they drew out the staves of the ark, that the ends of the staves were seen from the ark before the oracle; but they were not seen without. And there it is unto this day. (2 Chronicles 5:9)
; Psa. 28:22Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle. (Psalm 28:2)).
In the learned heathen world, Satan had places in imitation of this, at which it was professed that an answer from their gods could be obtained; but the answers were often purposely vague in order that afterward they could be interpreted differently according as the event turned out. Thus the persons were duped who asked the questions.