by H. Crosthwaite
This book began with a study of augury and of oracles. The inquiry spread from Rome and Delphi to many other parts of the Mediterranean world, from caves to the sky. On the journey we met the Egyptian concept of the ka, or double, a manifestation of the electrical force, or god. The ka may help us to a greater understanding of the terminology employed at Greek oracles.
One of the most commonly used words in ancient Greek is chre, 'it is necessary'. It comes from the verb chrao, 'I give an answer'. This word is used of an oracle giving an answer, and it is thought that theos, the god, must be understood as the subject of the verb, i. e. chre means 'the god answers'.
In the middle voice, chraomai means 'I consult', i. e., I get an answer from the god. It also means 'I use'. Chreon is regarded as a neuter participle, meaning 'that which the oracle says', and so 'fate', and 'destiny'.
There is an obsolete root rheo, 'I say', which appears in the classical Greek rhema, 'utterance'. It appears in ero, the future tense of the verb lego, 'say', in Attic Greek. The verb rheo also means 'flow'.
The Greek word chresterion means 'oracle'.
I suggest that the priest's answer to inquirers was "Ka rhei.."
(becoming "chre.."), "The God says.."