1 Samuel 28 – Saul and the Medium of En-dor

As we forge ahead in chapter 28, Saul has gone from bad to worse.  Samuel has died. His madness and jealousy of David (in spite of knowing God was on David’s side) drove him to kill all the priests and women and children at Nob (1 Samuel 22:16-21), and Abiathar has fled to be with David.  Now the Philistines threaten to split the kingdom in two, and he has cut himself off from God.  So he decides to consult a medium – expressly forbidden in Leviticus 19:31 and elsewhere.

Apparition of the spirit of Samuel to Saul, by...

Apparition of the spirit of Samuel to Saul, by Salvator Rosa, 1668. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At Endor, he tells the medium to he wants to talk to Samuel.  We are not told that it is actually Samuel who does appear, but he speaks of the Lord and of Saul as Samuel would.  The surprise and shriek from the woman could indicate that God just allowed it. There is much we do not know about demons in the Bible and of this type of thing that the it strictly warns us from.  But whatever the case, the news is not good for Saul, as he is told that he and his sons would all die the next day.

Having fasted (probably for this event), the news is the last straw for the weak Samuel.  He finally consents to eat somethings at the urging of his servants – with the medium!  No man who thought himself righteous would eat in such company under any circumstances in that land and time.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.


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