1 Samuel 28

Philistines Gather Against Israel

Now in those days the Philistines gathered their forces for war, to fight against Israel. So Achish said to David, “You must understand that you and your men will accompany me in the army.” David replied, “Then you will come to know what your servant can do.” “Very well,” said Achish. “I will make you my bodyguard for life.” Now by this time Samuel had died, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in Ramah, his own city. And Saul had removed the mediums and spiritists from the land. The Philistines came together and camped at Shunem, while Saul gathered all Israel and camped at Gilboa. When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was afraid and trembled violently. He inquired of the LORD, but the LORD did not answer him by dreams or Urim or prophets.

Saul and the Medium of Endor

Then Saul said to his servants, “Find me a woman who is a medium, so I can go and consult her.” “There [is] a medium at Endor,” his servants replied. So Saul disguised himself by putting on different clothes, and he set out with two of his men. They came to the woman at night, and Saul said, “Consult a spirit for me. Bring up for me the one I name.” But the woman replied, “Surely you know what Saul has done, how he has killed the mediums and spiritists in the land. Why have you set a trap to get me killed?” 10  Then Saul swore to her by the LORD: “As surely as the LORD lives, no punishment shall come upon you for this.” 11  “Whom shall I bring up for you?” the woman asked. “Bring up Samuel,” he replied. 12  But when the woman saw Samuel, she cried out in a loud voice [and] said to Saul, “Why have you deceived me? You are Saul!” 13  “Do not be afraid,” the king replied. “ . . . What do you see?” “I see a god
Or I see a spirit or I see a divine being
coming up out of the earth,” the woman answered.
14  “What does he look like?” asked Saul . “An old man is coming up,” she replied. “And he is wearing a robe.” So Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed facedown in reverence. 15  Then Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” “I am deeply distressed,” replied Saul. “The Philistines are fighting against me, and God has turned away from me. He no longer answers me, either by the prophets or dreams. So I have called on you to tell me what to do.” 16  “Why do you consult me,” asked Samuel, “since the LORD has turned away from you and become your enemy? 17  [He] has done exactly what He spoke through me: The LORD has torn the kingship out of your hand and given it to your neighbor David. 18  Because you did not obey the LORD [or] carry out His burning anger against Amalek, the LORD has done this to you today. 19  Moreover, the LORD will deliver Israel with you into the hands of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. And the LORD will deliver the army of Israel into the hands of the Philistines.” 20  Immediately Saul fell flat on the ground, terrified by the words of Samuel. And his strength was gone, because he had not eaten anything all that day and night. 21  When the woman came to Saul and saw how distraught he was, she said to him, “Look, your maidservant has obeyed your voice. I took my life in my hands and did as you told me. 22  Now please listen to your servant and let me set a morsel of bread before you. Eat, and it will give you strength to go on your way.” 23  Saul refused, saying, “I will not eat.” But his servants joined the woman in urging him, and he heeded their voice. He got up from the ground and sat on the bed. 24  The woman had a fattened calf at her house, and she quickly slaughtered it. She also took flour, kneaded it, and baked unleavened bread. 25  She served it to Saul and his servants, and they ate. And that night they got up and left.
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