And it came to pass in those days, that the Philistines gathered their armies together for warfare, to fight with Israel. And Achish said unto David, Know thou assuredly, that thou shalt go out with me to battle, thou and thy men.
thou shalt go
And David said to Achish, Surely thou shalt know what thy servant can do. And Achish said to David, Therefore will I make thee keeper of mine head for ever.
Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had lamented him, and buried him in Ramah, even in his own city. And Saul had put away those that had familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land.
And the Philistines gathered themselves together, and came and pitched in Shunem: and Saul gathered all Israel together, and they pitched in Gilboa.
And when Saul saw the host of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled.
he was afraid
And when Saul enquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets.
Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.
a familiar spirit
that I may
En-dor, a city of Manasseh, was situated in the plain of Jezreel; and Eusebius and Jerome inform us, that it was a great town in their days, four miles south from Mount Tabor, near Nain, towards Scythopolis. This agrees with Maundrell, who says, that not many miles eastward of Tabor, you see mount Hermon, at the foot of which is seated Nain and Endor; and Burckhardt says, that in two hours and a half from Nazareth, towards Scythopolis or Bisan, they came to the village of Denouny, near which are the ruins of Endor; where the witch's grotto is shewn.
And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee.
I pray thee
And the woman said unto him, Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life, to cause me to die?
how he hath
And Saul sware to her by the LORD, saying, As the LORD liveth, there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing.
And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul.
thou art Saul
And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth.
And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.
What form is he of? Heb
What is his form? a mantle.
And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.
I am sore
Heb. the hand of prophets. therefore.
Then said Samuel, Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the LORD is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy?
and is become
And the LORD hath done to him, as he spake by me: for the LORD hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand, and given it to thy neighbour, even to David:
or, for himself. The LXX. read [soi] and the Vulgate tibi, to thee; which is the reading of five of Dr. Kennicott's and De Rossi's MSS., as well as both the Bibles printed at Venice in 1518, where we read lecha, "to thee," for lo, "to him;" and as the words are spoken to Saul, this seems to be evidently the correct reading.
as he spake
Heb. mine hand. thy neighbour.
Because thou obeyedst not the voice of the LORD, nor executedst his fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore hath the LORD done this thing unto thee this day.
hath the Lord
Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: the LORD also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.
There is considerable diversity of opinion, both among learned and pious men, relative to this appearance to Saul. But the most probable opinion seems to be, that Samuel himself did actually appear to Saul, not by the power of enchantment, but by the appointment and especial mercy of God, to warn this infatuated monarch of his approaching end, that he might be reconciled with his Maker. There is not the smallest intimation of chicanery or Satanic influence given in the text; but on the contrary, from the plain and obvious meaning of the language employed, it is perfectly evident that it was Samuel himself, Shemooel hoo, as it is expressed in ver. 14. Indeed the very soul of Samuel seems to breathe in his expressions of displeasure against the disobedience and wickedness of Saul; while the awful prophetic denunciations which accordingly came to pass, were such as neither human nor diabolical wisdom could foresee, and which could only be known to God himself, and to those to whom he chose to reveal them.
Then Saul fell straightway all along on the earth, and was sore afraid, because of the words of Samuel: and there was no strength in him; for he had eaten no bread all the day, nor all the night.
Heb. made haste and fell with the fullness of his stature. sore afraid.
And the woman came unto Saul, and saw that he was sore troubled, and said unto him, Behold, thine handmaid hath obeyed thy voice, and I have put my life in my hand, and have hearkened unto thy words which thou spakest unto me.
I have put
But he refused, and said, I will not eat. But his servants, together with the woman, compelled him; and he hearkened unto their voice. So he arose from the earth, and sat upon the bed.
And the woman had a fat calf in the house; and she hasted, and killed it, and took flour, and kneaded it, and did bake unleavened bread thereof:
a fat calf
And she brought it before Saul, and before his servants; and they did eat. Then they rose up, and went away that night.