Saul and the Medium at Endor

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

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

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

So Saul disguised(N) himself, putting on other clothes, and at night he and two men went to the woman. “Consult(O) 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(P) the mediums and spiritists from the land. Why have you set a trap(Q) 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?(R) 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.”(S)

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

“An old man wearing a robe(T) 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(U) from me. He no longer answers(V) me, either by prophets or by dreams.(W) 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(X) the kingdom out of your hands and given it to one of your neighbors—to David. 18 Because you did not obey(Y) the Lord or carry out his fierce wrath(Z) against the Amalekites,(AA) 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(AB) 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.

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

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