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CHAPTER 28 Jul. 14 
The Philistines Fight against Israel
In those days the Philistines gathered their armies together to fight against Israel. Achish said to David, You must certainly go out with me in the army, you and your men. 2David said to Achish, Then you will know what your servant can do. Achish said to David, Therefore I will make you my bodyguard for life. 3Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in Ramah, his own city. Saul had put away out of the land those who had familiar spirits and the wizards. 4The Philistines gathered together and encamped in Shunem, and Saul gathered all Israel and they encamped in Gilboa. 5When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid and his heart trembled greatly. 6When Saul inquired of Yahweh, Yahweh didn’t answer him, neither by dreams nor by Urim nor by prophets.

The Witch of Endor
7Then Saul said to his servants, Find me a woman who has a familiar spirit so that I can go to inquire of her. His servants said to him, There is a woman who has a familiar spirit at Endor. 8Saul disguised himself, putting on other clothing, and went with two men to the woman by night. He said, Please consult a familiar spirit for me and bring me up the one I name. 9The woman said to him, Look, you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off those who have familiar spirits and the wizards out of the land. Why then have you set a trap for me, to cause me to die? 10Saul swore to her by Yahweh, As Yahweh lives, you will not be punished for this. 11Then the woman said, Whom shall I bring up to you? He said, Bring Samuel up for me. 12When the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice, and said to Saul, Why have you deceived me? You are Saul! 13The king said to her, Don’t be afraid. What do you see? The woman said to Saul, I see a god coming up out of the earth. 14He said to her, What does he look like? She said, An old man is coming up. He is wearing a mantle. Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground and showed respect. 15Samuel said to Saul, Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up? Saul answered, I am very distressed, for the Philistines make war against me and God has departed from me, and answers me no more, neither by prophets nor by dreams. Therefore I have called you so that you can tell me what I should do. 16Samuel said, Why do you ask me, since Yahweh has departed from you and has become your adversary? 17Yahweh has done to you as He spoke by me. Yahweh has torn the kingdom out of your hand and given it to your neighbour, to David. 18Because you didn’t obey Yahweh and didn’t execute His fierce wrath on Amalek, therefore Yahweh has done this to you today. 19Yahweh will deliver Israel and you into the hand of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. Yahweh will also deliver the army of Israel into the hand of the Philistines. 20Then Saul fell immediately his full length on the earth and was terrified because of the words of Samuel. There was no strength in him, for he had eaten no food all that day and all that night. 21The woman came to Saul, and seeing that he was very troubled she said to him, Look, your handmaid has obeyed you and I have put my life in my hands and have done what you told me. 22Now please listen to your handmaid and let me give you some food so that you may eat and have the strength to go on your way. 23But he refused and said, I will not eat. But his servants, together with the woman, urged him, so he listened to them. He got up from the earth and sat on the bed. 24The woman had a fattened calf in the house. She hurried and killed it, and she took flour, kneaded it and baked unleavened bread with it. 25She brought it before Saul and his servants and they ate. Then they got up, and went away that night.


28:6 When Saul inquired of Yahweh, Yahweh didn’t answer him- But in God's final analysis of Saul, He says that He smote Saul because Saul sinned against God's word by notenquiring of God, but of a witch (1 Chron. 10:13,14). But Saul did enquire of God (see too the same Hebrew word in 14:27), but God didn't answer him. Although Saul prayed to God and enquired of His word on the surface, in his heart, he did nothing of the sort; and therefore his prayer and enquiry was reckoned never to have happened. And we must ask how much of our prayer and Bible study is seen by God as being only spoken and read on a surface level. This was exactly the problem of natural Israel (Hos. 7:14; 11:7).
28:11,12 Death is total unconsciousness (Job 3:17; Ecc. 9:5,10). Notice that Samuel came "up" out of the earth as in a resurrection, not down from heaven, where we would expect him to be if common ideas are correct. (:14,15). Samuel appeared as an old man, not a “soul” (:14). The woman surely guessed she was talking to Saul- he was the tallest of the Israelites (10:23), and was well known to everyone as the king; hence she could accept his assurance of immunity from prosecution (:10). She was used to running fake séances (because nobody truly communicates with the dead), and so she pretends she has some insight to know she’s talking to Saul even though it was obvious (:12), and then describes Samuel in the kind of terms Saul would’ve expected- an old man wearing a prophets’ mantle (:14), just as Saul would’ve last remembered Samuel. However, Samuel then appears for real, temporarily resurrected by God according to the principle of Prov. 26:5, that God answers fools according to their foolish requests. Perhaps her scream of :12 was in genuine shock at seeing Samuel appear for real. This would explain why the woman stops speaking to Saul and Samuel talks directly to Saul- not through the woman as a medium between them, as was usual for such a séance. 
28:19  Saul, Jonathan and Samuel all went to the same place at death. Righteous Abraham was “gathered to his people” (or ancestors), on death; they were idolaters (Gen. 25:8; Josh. 24:2). The division between sheep and goats will be when Christ returns, at the resurrection and judgment seat (Mt. 13:48; 25:33)- not at the moment of death. At death we return to dust like the animals, good and bad all go to the same place- but the difference is that those responsible to God will be resurrected and judged, and the faithful will then live eternally in God’s Kingdom on earth.