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28 At that time the Philistines had gathered their army to fight against Israel. Then Achish said to David, “You need to know that you and your men will be going with me into battle.”

“Very well,” David responded to Achish, “you will then know what I can do.”

“Very well,” Achish told David, “I will make you my bodyguard for life.”

Saul’s Sin—The Occult

Meanwhile, Samuel had died, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in his hometown Ramah. (Saul had rid the land of mediums and psychics.)

The Philistines assembled and camped in Shunem. Saul also assembled the whole Israelite army, and they camped at Gilboa. When Saul looked at the Philistine army, he was very afraid—terrified. He prayed to Yahweh, but Yahweh didn’t answer him through dreams, the Urim,[a] or prophets. Saul told his officers, “Find me a woman who conjures up the dead. Then I’ll go to her and ask for her services.”

His officers told him, “There is a woman at Endor who conjures up the dead.”

After disguising himself by putting on other clothes, Saul left with two men and came to the woman that night. He said to her, “Please consult with a dead person for me. Conjure up the person I request.”

The woman told him, “You know that Saul rid the land of mediums and psychics. Why are you trying to trap me and have me killed?”

10 But Saul took an oath in Yahweh’s name, “I solemnly swear, as Yahweh lives, you will not be harmed if you do this.”

11 “Whom should I conjure up for you?” the woman asked.

“Conjure up Samuel for me,” he answered.

12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out loudly and asked, “Why did you deceive me? You’re Saul!”

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

“I see a god rising from the ground,” the woman answered.

14 “In what form?” he asked her.

She answered, “An old man is coming up, and he’s wearing a robe.” Then Saul knew it was Samuel. Saul knelt down with his face touching the ground.

15 Samuel asked Saul, “Why did you disturb me by conjuring me up?”

Saul answered, “I’m in serious trouble. The Philistines are at war with me, and Elohim has turned against me and doesn’t answer me anymore—either by the prophets or in dreams. So I’ve called on you to tell me what to do.”

16 Samuel said, “Why are you asking me when Yahweh has turned against you and become your enemy? 17 Yahweh has done to you exactly what he spoke through me: Yahweh has torn the kingship out of your hands and given it to your fellow Israelite David. 18 Yahweh is doing this to you today because you didn’t listen to him or unleash his burning anger on Amalek. 19 For the same reasons Yahweh will hand you and Israel over to the Philistines. Tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. And then Yahweh will hand Israel’s army over to the Philistines.”

20 Immediately, Saul fell flat on the ground. He was frightened by Samuel’s words. He also had no strength left, because he hadn’t eaten anything all day or all night. 21 The woman came over to Saul and saw that he was terrified. “I listened to you,” she told him, “and I took my life in my hands when I did what you told me to do. 22 Now please listen to me. I will serve you something to eat. Eat it so that you will have strength when you leave.”

23 But he refused. “I don’t want to eat,” he said. Nevertheless, his officers and the woman kept urging[b] him until he listened to them. So he got up from the ground and sat on the bed.

24 The woman immediately butchered a fattened calf that she owned. She took flour, kneaded it, and baked some unleavened bread. 25 Then she served it to Saul and his officers. They ate and left that same night.


  1. 1 Samuel 28:6 The Urim and Thummim were used by the chief priest to determine God’s answer to questions.
  2. 1 Samuel 28:23 Greek; Masoretic Text “the woman broke through.”