1 Samuel 28
1 Now#Literally “And it happened” in those days the Philistines gathered their forces for war to fight against Israel. So Achish said to David, “Certainly you realize that you must go out with me in the army, you and your men.” 2David said to Achish, “Very well, you will know what your servant can do.” Achish said to David, “Very well, I will make you my bodyguard#Literally “the keeper of my head” for life.”
Saul Inquires of the Medium at Endor
3(Now Samuel had died, and all Israel had mourned for him, and they had buried him in Ramah, his own city. And Saul had expelled the mediums#Or “necromancers” and the soothsayers from the land.) 4Then the Philistines assembled and came and encamped at Shunem, so Saul assembled all Israel, and they encamped at Gilboa. 5When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid and his heart trembled greatly. 6And Saul inquired of Yahweh, but Yahweh did not answer him, not by dreams or by the Urim#A device for revealing God’s decisions; see Exod 28:30; Num 27:21; Neh 7:65; Prov 16:33 or by the prophets. 7So Saul said to his servants, “Search for me a woman who is a medium#Literally “a woman of an owner of a spirit of the dead” (= “a woman who owns a ritual pit for summoning spirits of the dead”) so that I may go to her and inquire of her.” His servants said to him, “Look there is a woman who is a medium in Endor.” 8So Saul disguised himself and put on other clothes, and he went with two of his men.#Literally “and two of his men with him” And they came to the woman by night and he said, “Please consult a spirit for me through the ritual pit,#Literally “the spirit of the dead” and bring up for me the one whom I tell you.” 9But the woman said to him, “Look, you know what Saul did, how he exterminated the mediums#Or “necromancers” and the soothsayers from the land! Why are you setting a trap for my life to kill me?” 10Then Saul swore to her by Yahweh, “As Yahweh lives,#Literally “The life of Yahweh” you will not be punished#Literally “guilt will not meet you” for this thing.” 11So the woman asked, “Whom shall I bring up for you?” He said, “Bring up Samuel for me.” 12When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice, and the woman said to Saul, “Why did you deceive me? You are Saul!” 13The king said to her, “Do not be afraid! What do you see?” And the woman said to Saul, “I see a god#Or “a divine being” coming up from the ground!” 14Then he said to her, “What is his appearance?” She said, “An old man is coming up, and he is wrapped in a robe.”#Literally “he is wrapping himself with a robe” Then Saul realized that it was Samuel, and he knelt with his face to the ground and bowed down.
15Then Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” And Saul said, “I am in distress!#Literally “Great distress is for me” For the Philistines are about to make war against me, but God has turned away from me, and he does not answer me any more, not by the prophets#Literally “by the hand of the prophets” or by the dreams. So I called to you to let me know what I should do.” 16Then Samuel said, “Why do you ask me, since Yahweh has turned away from you and has become your enemy? 17Yahweh has done to you just as he spoke by my hand! Yahweh has torn the kingdom from your hand and has given it to your neighbor, to David. 18Because you did not obey#Literally “did not listen to” Yahweh and did not carry out the fierce anger of his wrath#Literally “face” against Amalek, therefore Yahweh has done this thing to you today. 19And Yahweh will also give Israel with you into the hands of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me, and Yahweh will also give the army of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.” 20Then Saul immediately fell prostrate#Literally “Saul did at once and fell with the fullness of his height” to the ground, and he was very afraid because of the words of Samuel; there was no more strength in him, for he had not eaten food all day and all night. 21Then the woman came to Saul and realized that he was absolutely#Hebrew “very” terrified, so she said to him, “Look, your female servant has obeyed you,#Literally “has listened to your voice” and I have risked my life.#Literally “I have put my life in my palm” I have listened to your words that you have spoken to me. 22So then, you also please listen to the voice of your female servant, and let me set before you a morsel of bread, and you eat so that you will have strength#Literally “it will be your strength” in you when you go on your#Hebrew “the” way.” 23But he refused and said, “I will not eat!” However, his servants urged him, and the woman also. So he listened to what they said,#Literally “their voice” and he got up from the ground and sat on the bed. 24Now the woman had a fattened bull calf in the house, so she quickly slaughtered it#Literally “and she did quickly and she slaughtered it” and took flour, kneaded dough, and baked him some unleavened bread. 25She brought it before Saul and his servants, and they ate. Then they got up and went away that very night.
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