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Saul Consults a Medium

28 At that time, the Philistines gathered their armed forces to fight against Israel. Achish said to David, “You surely know that you and your men must march out with me in the army.”

David said to Achish, “Well then, you know what your servant will do.”

“Well then, I appoint you my bodyguard for life,” Achish said to David.

Now Samuel had died, and all Israel had lamented him and buried him in Ramah, his hometown. Saul had removed from the land those who were mediums and spiritists.

So the Philistines mustered and came and camped in Shunem; and Saul gathered all Israel together and they camped at Gilboa. Now when Saul saw the camp of the Philistines, he was afraid and his heart trembled greatly. When Saul inquired of Adonai, Adonai did not answer, neither by dreams nor by Urim or prophets.

Then Saul said to his courtiers, “Find me a woman who is a medium, so I may go to her and inquire through her.” So his courtiers said to him, “Behold, there is a woman that is a medium at En-dor.” So Saul disguised himself, put on other clothes, and went with two other men, and they reached the woman by night. Then he said, “Please conjure up for me a ghost—bring up for me the one I will name to you.”

“Look, you know what Saul has done,” she said, “how he has cut off the mediums and spiritists from the land. So why then are you setting a trap for my life to get me killed?”

10 Saul vowed to her by Adonai saying, “As Adonai lives, no punishment will come on you for this thing.”

11 “Whom will I bring up for you?” the woman asked.

“Bring me up Samuel,” he said.

12 But when the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud shriek. Then the woman spoke to Saul saying, “Why have you deceived me? You are Saul!”

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

The woman said to Saul, “I see a godlike being coming up from the earth.”

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

“An old man is coming up, and he is wrapped with a robe,” she said.

Then Saul knew that it was Samuel, so 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’m in great distress,” Saul answered. “The Philistines are waging war against me, and God has turned away from me—He doesn’t answer me anymore, whether by prophets or by dreams. So I called you up to tell me what I should do.”

16 Samuel said, “So why ask me, since Adonai has turned away from you and become your adversary? 17 Now Adonai has done for Himself just as He foretold through me—Adonai has torn the kingship out of your hand and has given it to another fellow, to David. 18 Since you did not obey the voice of Adonai and did not execute His fierce wrath on Amalek, so Adonai has done this to you today. 19 Moreover, Adonai will also give the Israelites who are with you into the hand of the Philistines. Tomorrow you and your sons will be with me! Yes, Adonai will give the army of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.”

20 Then Saul immediately fell full length upon the ground, and became so terrified because of the words of Samuel that there was absolutely no strength in him, for he had eaten nothing all day and all night. 21 Then the woman came to Saul and saw that he was so agitated, so she told him, “Behold, your maidservant obeyed you; I put my life in my hand by listening to your words, which you spoke to me. 22 Please you too listen to the voice of your maidservant, and let me set a morsel of bread before you, so you can eat and have strength to go on your way.”

23 But he refused and said, “I won’t eat.” But when his courtiers and the woman urged him, he listened to them. So he got up from the ground and sat on the bed. 24 The woman had a fatted calf in the house, so she hurried and butchered it, and took flour, kneaded it, and baked unleavened bread from it. 25 She brought it before Saul and his courtiers, and they ate. Then they arose and went away that night.