28 In those days the Philistines gathered(A) their forces to fight against Israel. Achish said to David, “You must understand that you and your men will accompany me in the army.”

David said, “Then you will see for yourself what your servant can do.”

Achish replied, “Very well, I will make you my bodyguard(B) for life.”

Saul and the Medium at Endor

Now Samuel was dead,(C) and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in his own town of Ramah.(D) Saul had expelled(E) the mediums and spiritists(F) from the land.

The Philistines assembled and came and set up camp at Shunem,(G) while Saul gathered all Israel and set up camp at Gilboa.(H) When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was afraid; terror(I) filled his heart. He inquired(J) of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him by dreams(K) or Urim(L) or prophets.(M) Saul then said to his attendants, “Find me a woman who is a medium,(N) so I may go and inquire of her.”

“There is one in Endor,(O)” they said.

So Saul disguised(P) himself, putting on other clothes, and at night he and two men went to the woman. “Consult(Q) a spirit for me,” he said, “and bring up for me the one I name.”

But the woman said to him, “Surely you know what Saul has done. He has cut off(R) the mediums and spiritists from the land. Why have you set a trap(S) for my life to bring about my death?”

10 Saul swore to her by the Lord, “As surely as the Lord lives, you will not be punished for this.”

11 Then the woman asked, “Whom shall I bring up for you?”

“Bring up Samuel,” he said.

12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out at the top of her voice and said to Saul, “Why have you deceived me?(T) You are Saul!”

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

The woman said, “I see a ghostly figure[a] coming up out of the earth.”(U)

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

“An old man wearing a robe(V) is coming up,” she said.

Then Saul knew it was Samuel, and 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 am in great distress,” Saul said. “The Philistines are fighting against me, and God has departed(W) from me. He no longer answers(X) me, either by prophets or by dreams.(Y) So I have called on you to tell me what to do.”

16 Samuel said, “Why do you consult me, now that the Lord has departed from you and become your enemy? 17 The Lord has done what he predicted through me. The Lord has torn(Z) the kingdom out of your hands and given it to one of your neighbors—to David. 18 Because you did not obey(AA) the Lord or carry out his fierce wrath(AB) against the Amalekites,(AC) the Lord has done this to you today. 19 The Lord will deliver both Israel and you into the hands of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons(AD) will be with me. The Lord will also give the army of Israel into the hands of the Philistines.”

20 Immediately Saul fell full length on the ground, filled with fear because of Samuel’s words. His strength was gone, for he had eaten nothing all that day and all that night.

21 When the woman came to Saul and saw that he was greatly shaken, she said, “Look, your servant has obeyed you. I took my life(AE) in my hands and did what you told me to do. 22 Now please listen to your servant and let me give you some food so you may eat and have the strength to go on your way.”

23 He refused(AF) and said, “I will not eat.”

But his men joined the woman in urging him, and he listened to them. He got up from the ground and sat on the couch.

24 The woman had a fattened calf(AG) at the house, which she butchered at once. She took some flour, kneaded it and baked bread without yeast. 25 Then she set it before Saul and his men, and they ate. That same night they got up and left.

Achish Sends David Back to Ziklag

29 The Philistines gathered(AH) all their forces at Aphek,(AI) and Israel camped by the spring in Jezreel.(AJ) As the Philistine rulers marched with their units of hundreds and thousands, David and his men were marching at the rear(AK) with Achish. The commanders of the Philistines asked, “What about these Hebrews?”

Achish replied, “Is this not David,(AL) who was an officer of Saul king of Israel? He has already been with me for over a year,(AM) and from the day he left Saul until now, I have found no fault in him.”

But the Philistine commanders were angry with Achish and said, “Send(AN) the man back, that he may return to the place you assigned him. He must not go with us into battle, or he will turn(AO) against us during the fighting. How better could he regain his master’s favor than by taking the heads of our own men? Isn’t this the David they sang about in their dances:

“‘Saul has slain his thousands,
    and David his tens of thousands’?”(AP)

So Achish called David and said to him, “As surely as the Lord lives, you have been reliable, and I would be pleased to have you serve with me in the army. From the day(AQ) you came to me until today, I have found no fault in you, but the rulers(AR) don’t approve of you. Now turn back and go in peace; do nothing to displease the Philistine rulers.”

“But what have I done?” asked David. “What have you found against your servant from the day I came to you until now? Why can’t I go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?”

Achish answered, “I know that you have been as pleasing in my eyes as an angel(AS) of God; nevertheless, the Philistine commanders(AT) have said, ‘He must not go up with us into battle.’ 10 Now get up early, along with your master’s servants who have come with you, and leave(AU) in the morning as soon as it is light.”

11 So David and his men got up early in the morning to go back to the land of the Philistines, and the Philistines went up to Jezreel.

Footnotes

  1. 1 Samuel 28:13 Or see spirits; or see gods

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