Messages from deities, as from Apollo at Delphi in classical Greece, where the priestess uttered after inhaling vapours. Kings and generals sought advice at such sanctuaries and paid well when the advice was favourable. In the OT oracles by means of lot ( Urim and Thummim) were known (1 Sam. 14: 41). Oracles uttered by the OT prophets in the 8th to 6th cents. BCE were preserved in writing and attained recognizable forms such as parables and songs, e.g. Isa. 13. In the NT messages from God guided Joseph (Matt. 1: 20; 2: 13) and the early Church (Acts 10: 10). An oracle was conveyed to Paul after he had appealed three times to the Lord about his thorn in the flesh (2 Cor. 12: 9).