1Samuel 28

by PSacramento 27 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • PSacramento

    Saul and the Witch of Endor

    28 In those days the Philistines gathered their forces to fight against Israel. Achish said to David, “You must understand that you and your men will accompany me in the army.”

    2 David said, “Then you will see for yourself what your servant can do.”

    Achish replied, “Very well, I will make you my bodyguard for life.”

    3 Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in his own town of Ramah. Saul had expelled the mediums and spiritists from the land.

    4 The Philistines assembled and came and set up camp at Shunem, while Saul gathered all the Israelites and set up camp at Gilboa. 5 When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was afraid; terror filled his heart. 6 He inquired of the Lord , but the Lord did not answer him by dreams or Urim or prophets. 7 Saul then said to his attendants, “Find me a woman who is a medium, so I may go and inquire of her.”

    “There is one in Endor,” they said.

    8 So Saul disguised himself, putting on other clothes, and at night he and two men went to the woman. “Consult a spirit for me,” he said, “and bring up for me the one I name.”

    9 But the woman said to him, “Surely you know what Saul has done. He has cut off the mediums and spiritists from the land. Why have you set a trap for my life to bring about my death?”

    10 Saul swore to her by the Lord , “As surely as the Lord lives, you will not be punished for this.”

    11 Then the woman asked, “Whom shall I bring up for you?”

    “Bring up Samuel,” he said.

    12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out at the top of her voice and said to Saul, “Why have you deceived me? You are Saul!”

    13 The king said to her, “Don’t be afraid. What do you see?”

    The woman said, “I see a spirit a coming up out of the ground.”

    14 “What does he look like?” he asked.

    “An old man wearing a robe is coming up,” she said.

    Then Saul knew it was Samuel, and he bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground.

    15 Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?”

    “I am in great distress,” Saul said. “The Philistines are fighting against me, and God has turned away from me. He no longer answers me, either by prophets or by dreams. So I have called on you to tell me what to do.”

    16 Samuel said, “Why do you consult me, now that the Lord has turned away from you and become your enemy? 17 The Lord has done what he predicted through me. The Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hands and given it to one of your neighbors—to David. 18 Because you did not obey the Lord or carry out his fierce wrath against the Amalekites, the Lord has done this to you today. 19 The Lord will hand over both Israel and you to the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. The Lord will also hand over the army of Israel to the Philistines.”

    20 Immediately Saul fell full length on the ground, filled with fear because of Samuel’s words. His strength was gone, for he had eaten nothing all that day and night.

    21 When the woman came to Saul and saw that he was greatly shaken, she said, “Look, your maidservant has obeyed you. I took my life in my hands and did what you told me to do. 22 Now please listen to your servant and let me give you some food so you may eat and have the strength to go on your way.”

    23 He refused and said, “I will not eat.”

    But his men joined the woman in urging him, and he listened to them. He got up from the ground and sat on the couch.

    24 The woman had a fattened calf at the house, which she butchered at once. She took some flour, kneaded it and baked bread without yeast. 25 Then she set it before Saul and his men, and they ate. That same night they got up and left.

  • RubaDub

    Thank you PSacramento ... thank you.

    Rub a Dub

  • PSacramento

    While Ipersonally don't agree with the term "witch" for a medium, neocromancer (sp?) in reality, the issue in this interesting chapter is what Saul does.

    He has fallen do far from God that he breaks not only God's law but his very OWN law, he is so desperate to speak with God or someone still "with" God that he resorts to visiting a medium, to try to speak with the very person ewhat was against him ( though also the one that made him King).

    Now, there is some debate to WHO Saul actualy talks too, JW's say that it is really a demon and not Samuel, though there is no indication of that.

    Some say that the woman was a fraud but there is also no indication of that, on the contrary, her sheer surprise and fear of seeing Samuel leads us to think that IF she was a fraud ( which was quite possible) then she was being used also.

    The issue is that Saul BELIEVED that he was speaking to Samuel, he believed in the ability to contact the dead and SPECFIC dead people and who ever t was that did show up, He certainly KNEW Saul and KNEW what was gonna happen, KNEW God's plan for the future and what would happen to Saul and his children.

    Now, there isn't any reason to believe that Samuel was NOT who is speaking to Saul, but does this "prove" that there was "something" after death or at least that it was possible to contact the dead? if not, what does it mean?

  • Leolaia

    Notice how the NWT places "Samuel" in 'scare' quotation marks throughout the chapter. This quite clearly inserts an interpretation of the identity of Samuel (i.e. that Samuel was not really Samuel) into the text itself. There is no justification for this interpretation in the text, which only makes sense if the spirit was really Samuel. He speaks with the authority of a prophet of Yahweh (v. 16-17), as Yahweh's representative he explains to Saul the reason why Yahweh has not responded to his prayers (v. 18), and Samuel makes a true prophecy of Saul's imminent doom (v. 19). In no sense does the author qualify the references to Samuel, as the NWT does. "Immediately Saul fell full length on the ground, filled with fear because of Samuel's words" (v. 20); the spirit that appeared was indeed Samuel for the author. Moreover there is no notion in later references to the story that the spirit was not really Samuel. Here is Josephus' version of the En-Dor story:

    "Saul asked through the prophets for an oracle from God concerning the battle and its outcome. But, as no response came from God, Saul was yet more afraid and his heart failed him, forseeing inevitable disaster since deity was no longer at his side. However, he gave orders to search out for him a woman among the mediums and those who call up the souls of those who had died (tón tethnékotón psukhas), that he might learn how matters would turn out for him. For this sort of medium brings forth the souls of the dead (tas tón nekrón psukhas) and through them foretells the future to those who inquire of them. And one of his servants told him that there was such a woman in the city Endor, but was known to nobody in the camp.... Having convinced her by his oaths to not be anxious, he directed her to bring up the soul of Samuel (tén Samouélou psukhén). The woman, ignorant of who Samuel was, summoned him from Hades (kalei touton ex Haidou). When he appeared, the woman beheld a venerable and godlike man (andra semnon kai theoprepé) and she was thrown into confusion and alarmed by the vision.... When Saul questioned why she was in a state of confusion, she said that she saw one coming up with a form similar to God (tó theó tén morphén homoion).... And the soul of Samuel asked him why he had disturbed him and forced him to be brought up (kinéseien autén kai anakhthénai poiéseien) and Saul replied in a lament that he was facing dire circumstances.... But seeing that Saul's change (metabolés) was now overdue, he said: 'It is pointless for you to wish to still learn from me (eti par' emou mathein), seeing that God has deserted you. But hear now that David must rule as king and be successful in war. You howver will lose both your rulership and your life, you who disobeyed God in the war against the Amalekites and did not keep his commands, just as I predicted to you while alive (proephéteusa soi kai zón). Know then that the people too will be subjected to the enemy, and that tomorrow you will be with me (aurion met' emou genésomenon) after falling in battle, along with your sons' " (Antiquitates, 6.328-334).

    And much the same can be found in the version of Pseudo-Philo (first century AD):

    "And when the woman saw Samuel rising up and she saw Saul with him, she shouted out and said, 'Behold you are Saul, and why have you deceived me?' And he said to her, 'Do not be afraid, but tell what you have seen?' She said, 'Behold forty years have passed since I began raising up the dead for the Philistines, but such a sight as this has never been seen before nor will it be seen afterward.' And Saul said to her, 'What is his appearance?' She said, 'You are asking me about divine beings. For behold his appearance is not the appearance of a man. For he is clothed in a white robe with a mantle placed over it, and two angels are leading him.' And Saul remembered the mantle that Samuel tore when he was alive, and he struck his hand on the ground and pounded it. And Samuel said to him, 'Why have you disturbed me by raising me up? I thought that the time for being rendered the rewards of my deeds have arrived. And so do not boast, King, nor you, woman; for you have not brought me forth, but that order that God spoke to me while I was still alive, that I should come and tell you that you have sinned now a second time in neglecting God. Therefore after rendering up my soul my bones have been disturbed so that I who am dead should tell you what I heard while I was alive. Now therefore tomorrow you and your sons will be with me when the people have been delivered into the hands of the Philistines" (64:5-8).

  • JWoods

    You would think if it was really Satan, he would not have reprimanded Saul, but rather encouraged him to go aganst the words of Samuel.

  • debator

    This proves nothing. why base doctrine on something Saul did against God's commands? where did Samuel come from?

    The woman said, “I see a spirit a coming up out of the ground.”

    She raised "Samuel" from the ground as was the understanding with Jews that people where in the graves. He didn't come down from heaven in this sequence.

    Are we saying mediums have the power to get people from where? Hell, heaven, grave for a limited period then send them back?

    By raising him samuels asks Saul...

    15 Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?”

    Again the emphasis is that he was not aware and is disturbed by being raised from somewhere underneath that he had to be brought UP from.

    And he is an "old" man are people old where they go?

    All this section does is beg the question can anyone not sanctioned by Jehovah bring someone back from the grave? The bible makes it clear only Jesus has the power of life from his father so we have to ask how this witch got it?

  • JWoods

    Debator is debating the bible.

  • isaacaustin

    Debator/Reniaa, you do not like that account I see.

  • isaacaustin

    LOL JWoods, it is comical sometimes.

  • snowbird

    1 Samuel 28:12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out loudly to Saul, "Why did you lie to me? You're Saul!"

    13 The king told her, "You have nothing to fear ...but what do you see?"

    "I see a spirit ascending from the underground."

    14 "And what does he look like?" Saul asked.

    "An old man ascending, robed like a priest."

    Saul knew it was Samuel. He fell down, face to the ground, and worshiped.

    15 Samuel said to Saul, "Why have you disturbed me by calling me up?" MSG

    I've long felt that this is one account that must be taken at face value.

    The WT makes much of the fact that Saul and his sons weren't killed the next day as stated by Samuel through the witch.

    I think that's irrelevant.


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