Saul and the Medium
1At that time, the Philistines28:1 1Sm 29:1 gathered their military units into one army to fight against Israel. So Achish said to David, “You know, of course, that you and your men must march out in the army28:1 DSS, LXX read battle with me.”
2David replied to Achish, “Good, you will find out what your servant can do.”
So Achish said to David, “Very well, I will appoint you as my permanent bodyguard.”28:2 1Sm 1:22,28
3By this time Samuel had died,28:3 1Sm 25:1 all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in Ramah, his city,28:3 1Sm 7:17 and Saul had removed the mediums and spiritists from the land.28:3 Lv 19:31; 20:27; Dt 18:10–11
4The Philistines gathered and camped at Shunem. So Saul gathered all Israel, and they camped at Gilboa.
5When Saul saw the Philistine camp, he was afraid and his heart pounded.
6He inquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him in dreams or by the Urim or by the prophets.28:6 Ex 28:30; Nm 27:21; 1Kg 3:5
7Saul then said to his servants, “Find me a woman who is a medium, so I can go and consult her.”
His servants replied, “There is a woman at En-dor28:7 Jos 17:1; Ps 83:10 who is a medium.”28:7 Ac 16:16
8Saul disguised himself28:8 2Ch 18:29; 35:21–22 by putting on different clothes and set out with two of his men. They came to the woman at night, and Saul said, “Consult a spirit for me.28:8 Is 8:19 Bring up for me the one I tell you.”28:8 Dt 18:10–11
9But the woman said to him, “You surely know what Saul has done,28:9 1Sm 28:3 how he has cut off the mediums and spiritists from the land. Why are you setting a trap for me to get me killed?”
10Then Saul swore to her by the Lord: “As surely as the Lord lives, no punishment will come to you28:10 Or lives, you will not incur guilt from this.”
11“Who is it that you want me to bring up for you?” the woman asked.
“Bring up Samuel for me,” he answered.
12When the woman saw Samuel, she screamed, and then she asked Saul, “Why did you deceive me? You are Saul!”
13But the king said to her, “Don’t be afraid. What do you see?”
“I see a spirit form28:13 Or a god, or a divine being coming up out of the earth,” the woman answered.
14Then Saul asked her, “What does he look like?”
“An old man is coming up,” she replied. “He’s wearing a robe.”28:14 1Sm 15:27 Then Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he knelt low with his face to the ground and paid homage.28:14 1Sm 24:8
15“Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” Samuel asked Saul.
“I’m in serious trouble,” replied Saul. “The Philistines are fighting against me and God has turned away from me.28:15 1Sm 16:13–14; 18:12 He doesn’t answer me anymore,28:15 1Sm 28:6 either through the prophets or in dreams. So I’ve called on you to tell me what I should do.”
16Samuel answered, “Since the Lord has turned away from you and has become your enemy, why are you asking me?
17The Lord has done28:17 Some Hb, some LXX mss, Vg read done to you exactly what he said through me: The Lord has torn the kingship out of your hand and given it to your neighbor David.28:17 1Sm 15:28
18You did not obey the Lord and did not carry out his burning anger against Amalek;28:18 1Sm 15:1–9 therefore the Lord has done this to you today.
19The Lord will also hand Israel over to the Philistines along with you. Tomorrow you and your sons will be with me,28:19 LXX reads sons will fall28:19 1Sm 31:2; Jb 3:17–19 and the Lord will hand Israel’s army over to the Philistines.”
20Immediately, Saul fell flat on the ground. He was terrified by Samuel’s words and was also weak because he had not eaten anything all day and all night.
21The woman came over to Saul, and she saw that he was terrified and said to him, “Look, your servant has obeyed you. I took my life in my hands28:21 1Sm 19:5 and did what you told me to do.
22Now please listen to your servant. Let me set some food in front of you. Eat and it will give you strength so you can go on your way.”
23He refused, saying, “I won’t eat,” but when his servants and the woman urged him, he listened to them.28:23 2Kg 5:13 He got up off the ground and sat on the bed.28:23 Est 1:6; Ezk 23:41
24The woman had a fattened calf at her house, and she quickly slaughtered it.28:24 Gn 18:6–7 She also took flour, kneaded it, and baked unleavened bread.
25She served it to Saul and his servants, and they ate. Afterward, they got up and left that night.