When the witch at Endor conjured up a spirit through her sorcery to speak with King Saul, the Holy Bible actually stated thus:

"Then Samuel said to Saul, 'Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up? Saul answered, 'I am in great distress, for the Philistines are warring against me, and God has turned away from me and answers me no more, either by prophets or by dreams. therefore I have summoned you to tell me what I shall do" (1 Sam. 28:15).

From the discussion in the referenced verse, it does appear that King Saul actually had a discussion with the spirit of Samuel who had died before this time. My question therefore is: Did that witch actually bring up the real spirit of Prophet Samuel, the holy man of God, from the land of the dead?


12 Answers 12


There are two possibilities to explain what happened when Saul consulted the witch of Endor. Either:

  1. This was a demonic deception using the witch as a medium, or,
  2. This was actually Samuel who delivered a message from God.

There are numerous clues in the story as to which of these is more credible, namely:

  • For the last several years of his life, King Saul could not get any divine instruction because he had rejected all previous advice from Samuel and Urim and Thummim (1 Sam 28:6, 15). It is inconceivable that his consultation of a spiritualistic medium would suddenly bring results when this was an act more heinous than his previous arrogance.
  • The medium is said to have been "brought up" Samuel (1 Sam 28:11, 15) suggesting Samuel arrived from the underworld. If this had been truly Samuel he would have arrived from heaven.
  • Since spiritualistic mediums were made illegal in the Torah (Lev 20:6) and by Saul (1 Sam 28:3), it would be inconsistent for a spirit to obey the bidding of such a conspicuously ungodly (almost anti-God) medium.
  • While alive, the Prophet Samuel would not speak to Saul after the Amalekite destruction (1 Sam 15:34, 35). Why would he suddenly want to talk to Saul who wanted advice under such sinful and illegal circumstances?
  • The task of prophet like Samuel was to communicate the will and message of God. Samuel, a very righteous man would not respond, and God would not communicate any message via such a wicked situation. Further, 1 Chron 10:13, 14 specifically says that this was NOT of the LORD and so could not have been Samuel.
  • The OT teaching about death is clear - the dead are unconscious (Job 14:2, 21) and know nothing and do not engage in anything (Eccl 9:5, 6 10). Even the Kind David was said to lie dormant and remained in the grave (Acts 2:29, 30, 34).

Therefore, of the two options above, the only conclusion consistent with the facts of the story is that the witch was involved in a demonic deception which Saul all-to-willingly believed despite 1 Chron 10:13, 14.

  • I agree with you Dr. McGowan. I don't see how the spirit of a holy man like Samuel will respond to the invitation of a witch and a Holy God sending a message to Saul through such a filthy means. A Commented Oct 24, 2018 at 14:51
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    "arrived from the underworld. If this had been truly Samuel he would have arrived from heaven" No, he would be in sheol. Or what the New Testament identifies specifically as the Bosom of Abraham. Commented Oct 24, 2018 at 15:48
  • The Bosom of Abraham is the underworld or hades?
    – user25930
    Commented Oct 24, 2018 at 20:06

It was actually Samuel that came up. Most people are of the opinion that Samuel had died and so it was not possible for him to meddle in the affairs of the living. The dead do actually live although in the spirit. If it was not so the Bible would not warn against making consultations with the dead.

When you come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. . . or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead . . . because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you. (Deuteronomy 18:9-12)

Basically, this act is possible. If it were not possible, the Bible would not warn against making consultions with the dead. What then?

Consulting the dead is an abomination to the Lord. It is one of the things the Lord hates. If anyone is set to argue that it is not possible to consult the dead, then the person is of the view that witchcraft practice does not exist. The person is also denying the existence of other abominable acts such as divination, fortune telling, interpreting omens, sorcery, use of medium and necromancy (consultations with the dead). Experience has shown that people are not in doubt when it comes to finding someone who could read their palms and tell them their future. So then, why would anybody doubt the fact that the dead can be consulted -- a practice which ranks equally among the abominations the Bible warns against. It would not be listed among those practices if it was not one of the common abominable acts of that time.

Again, the Gospel of Luke (Luke 16:19–31) tells of the relationship, during life and after death, between an unnamed rich man and a poor beggar named Lazarus. The fact that Jesus chose this parable to teach about the Kingdom of God shows clearly that the dead actually exist after death. The simple fact is this: Death is nothing but -- within the Christian context, a reassurance of a passage to the welcoming love of Jesus from the New Testament.

It can be inferred from this school of thought that Samuel had only ceased to exist in the flesh. His spirit was still alive and available for consultations. God doesn't like this practice because it is an abuse of one the mysteries of creation. Satan is the brain behind these practices that annoy God. It will be necessary to say here as well that all those who are in these offensive practices will face the same judgement that awaits Satan and all his agents. So in 1 Samuel 28:15 the witch at Endor actually brought up the spirit of Samuel from the land of the dead.

If you are not sure of my argument here, you could also read from https://www.gotquestions.org/witch-of-endor.html

The passage does not give us any reason to believe it was anyone other than Samuel, who is described by the medium as “an old man wearing a robe” (v. 14). Obviously, age and clothing do not exist in the realm of the spirits of those who have died, but God miraculously gave Samuel such appearances as would enable Saul perceive who the spirit was. The message Samuel gave Saul was completely accurate. God allowed the witch of Endor to summon the prophet Samuel in order to give King Saul the news of his coming defeat and death."

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    If consulting the dead is an abomination why did the real Samuel respond?
    – user25930
    Commented Oct 24, 2018 at 20:15
  • The real Samuel responded because the tone/mood of the response alligns with what we read about his mode of communication. I said in my post that, overall, God doesn't like the practice simply because it is an abuse of one the mysteries that have been kept secret from the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:16). Commented Oct 24, 2018 at 22:57
  • Proof of Samuel's identity on the basis of tone and content could simply mean that the demonic deceivers were good imitators - and thus a very weak reason indeed. Further, it did not take a genius to know that Saul would die in the battle the following day, especially in his depressed state of mind. So it is hardly a prophecy - and one that the demons could help to fulfil anyway. I would rather argue from the consistency of the LORD (who would not answer previously) than consistency of the obvious deception.
    – user25930
    Commented Oct 25, 2018 at 6:36
  • Somewhere in my post I said -- If anyone is set to argue that it is not possible to consult the dead, then the person is of the view that witchcraft practice does not exist. The person is also denying the existence of other abominable acts such as divination, fortune telling, interpreting omens, sorcery, use of medium and necromancy (consultations with the dead). Experience has shown that people are not in doubt when it comes to finding someone who could read their palms and tell them their future. So then, why would anybody doubt the fact that the dead can be consulted -a practice which ranks Commented Oct 25, 2018 at 8:46
  • 1
    @ethos This is a command, not a statement of what is possible. Does "thou shalt not commit adultery" mean there are no adulterers?
    – b a
    Commented Oct 25, 2018 at 21:38

The Bible states the at death all life and existance ends:-

Ecclesiastes 9:5 NWT "For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing at all,"

If the dead "know nothing" then they cannot be contacted, thus it was not Samuel.

You noted it was a "witch" thus she would have been in touch with the Demons as noted at:-

Acts 16:16 NWT "Now it happened that as we were going to the place of prayer, a servant girl with a spirit, a demon of divination, met us. She supplied her masters with much profit by fortune-telling."

The witch used divination, as in Acts, thus contacted a Demon the imitated Samuel to fool Saul as he did not see the spirit but she explained what she saw, see 1 Sam. 28:8 & 13.


Yes, it was actually Samuel who came. The text notes this without any further comment to the contrary.

The king said to her, “Have no fear; what do you see?” The woman said to Saul, “I see a divine being coming up out of the ground.” He said to her, “What is his appearance?” She said, “An old man is coming up; he is wrapped in a robe.” So Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground, and did obeisance. (1 Samuel 28:13-14 NRSV)

Seeking the dead, though prohibited by Deuteronomy 18:11, existed in Israel as late as the time of Isaiah, who condemned it (8:19-20). Though some places in the Bible describe the dead as knowing nothing (Ecclesiastes 9:5), other texts do depict the spirits of the dead (רְפָאִים) as speaking (Isaiah 14:9-10).

Although a false spirit isn't foreign to the Bible (see 1 Kings 22:19-23 for a false spirit of prophecy), there is no reason to think that the spirit of Samuel in this text is a false spirit. Samuel responds to Saul in death similarly to how he responded while alive.

This is what Samuel said to Saul while he was still alive, after the battle against Amalek:

Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you; for you have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel.” As Samuel turned to go away, Saul caught hold of the hem of his robe, and it tore. And Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this very day, and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you. (1 Samuel 15:26-28)

When brought up from the dead, the spirit of Samuel speaks in the same manner, even using the same phrase at one point. Compare the bolded parts to the bolded parts in the previous section:

Samuel said, “Why then do you ask me, since the Lord has turned from you and become your enemy? The Lord has done to you just as he spoke by me; for the Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hand, and given it to your neighbor, David. Because you did not obey the voice of the Lord, and did not carry out his fierce wrath against Amalek, therefore the Lord has done this thing to you today. (1 Samuel 28:16-18)

Finally, Samuel's spirit predicts Saul's demise the next day at the hand of the Philistines.

Moreover the Lord will give Israel along with you into the hands of the Philistines; and tomorrow you and your sons shall be with me; the Lord will also give the army of Israel into the hands of the Philistines. (1 Samuel 28:19)

This is exactly what happened (1 Samuel 31:6).

This is also the interpretation assumed by all ancient post-biblical sources of which I am aware (Josephus, Antiquities 6.14.2; Leviticus Rabba 26:7; Midrash Shemuel 24).

  • 1
    None of what is said here precludes a demonic deception. There is no evidence that this was actually Samuel - quite the contrary - there is much evidence that it was NOT Samuel. In fact, 1 Chron 10:13, 14 says so explicitly.
    – user25930
    Commented Oct 24, 2018 at 20:11
  • 1
    @DrPeterMcGowan No, it says he was wrong to turn to the dead, not that it was a deception, nor that it was demonic
    – b a
    Commented Oct 24, 2018 at 20:21
  • 1
    @NihilSineDeo 1. It seems obvious from the text (28:13-14) that Saul knew it was Samuel because he asked the woman his appearance and she described it to his satisfaction. 2. You are using doctrine to guide/force your understanding of this story. You could equally have used this story to guide/force your understanding of doctrine. I personally don't consider this type of doctrinal issue to be relevant to the interpretation of this text
    – b a
    Commented Oct 28, 2019 at 10:09
  • 1
    @NihilSineDeo Your problems rely on too many assumptions that I don't share for me to be able to contribute meaningfully to resolving them. Maybe you should ask a new question for someone who understands the issues better than I do to answer
    – b a
    Commented Oct 28, 2019 at 16:18
  • 1
    @ba +1 you have my vote :)
    – user35953
    Commented Oct 20, 2021 at 21:33

Was it really Samuel? And was it the witch that brought him up?

Any clear, and unbiased reading of 1Samuel 28 would imply that it was really Samuel that spoke to Saul. Consider this:

  1. There is nowhere in the passage that alludes to a demonic deception. Verse 12 clearly says “When the woman saw Samuel, she screamed with a loud voice…” and after the woman describes what she saw verse 14 says that “ Saul knew that it was Samuel…” For those saying that it could’ve been a deception, would the deception be for us or for Saul? Yet the inspired author, writing to us the readers clearly identifies the being as Samuel instead of saying that “Saul thought it was Samuel”. Now if you’re reading the NWT with “Samuel” in quotations, just know that you’re selling yourself short by reading an inaccurate translation that is translated with the preconceived idea that this was a demon.

  2. Now there are those who dislike the idea that Samuel said in verse 15 “ Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” Because you believe that, how could Samuel be brought up from paradise? To that I would say that no, Samuel was not brought up from paradise, he was brought up from Sheol. In Genesis 37:35 when Jacob spoke about mourning Joseph until he died did he mean that he would go to hell when he said he would “go down to Shoel”? No. When you die you’re buried into the ground so that explains why in 1Samuel 28:13 she describes Samuel as “coming up from the earth” . Why? Because he was buried into the earth so he was “coming up” from his resting place. Also the parable of the rich man and Lazarus is irrelevant here as it is simply a parable which shouldn’t be taken literally. Please don’t tell me that you guys believe that every believer that dies goes to Abraham’s bosom.

  3. Besides all the obvious reason that this was truly Samuel, the conversation itself shows that this was really Samuel speaking because: I) Samuel spoke to Saul just has he always would and even reminded Saul of why God had rejected him. “Samuel said, “Why then do you ask me, since the Lord has left you and has become your enemy? The Lord has done [to you] just as He said through me [when I was with you]; for the Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hand and given it to your neighbor, to David. 1 Samuel‬ ‭28‬:‭16‬-‭17‬ ‭AMP‬ Now for those misunderstanding this as a demonic deception, how would the demon have known the conversations that was had between Samuel and Saul? In what way would the “demon” be deceiving Saul by telling him any of this? So the demon appeared to Saul to deceive him by telling him the truth? Was the demon affirming what God had said through Samuel? You have to do a lot of gymnastics to come to the conclusion that this was demonic.

  4. The Prophecy came to pass. “Moreover, the Lord will also put Israel along with you into the hands of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me [among the dead]. Indeed, the Lord will put the army of Israel into the hands of the Philistines.””1 Samuel‬ ‭28‬:‭19‬ ‭AMP‬ Now there are those that are mislead into thinking that this prophecy isn’t a prophecy because since the Israelites were outnumbered then it’s obvious that Saul would have died. And there goes the assumptions. Samuel specifically says that the next day Saul would die. Who’s to say that the battle he was going to partake in wouldn’t last days, weeks or months. Or that he wouldn’t have escaped? They were at a disadvantage but that doesn’t mean that what was said wouldn’t have been true. Note: to those thinking that Samuel saying that Saul would be with him, meant that Saul would be in paradise you are mistaken. It just means that he would be in Sheol with him.

  5. My final point to those that think that this was a demonic deception is what would the point of the deception be? Considering that the whole reason for Saul going to the witch as stated in verse 15 is “…. to make known to me what I should do…”. By the conversation with Samuel Saul was only rebuked and foretold of his demise not what he should do. If he was being deceived, then what was the point? To give him the truth and rebuke him just as Samuel and the Lord would have done?

  6. Now how could Samuel be raised and was he being raised from paradise? Well maybe he wasn’t raised, and he was simply consulted. How is this possible? The Bible often describes those that are dead to be sleeping (Psalms 13:3), and that is why those who are dead “know nothing”( Ecclesiastes 9:5). Correct me if I’m wrong but I have yet to find any passage in the OT that says that the believers in those days (before the sacrifice of Christ) ever went to paradise after death. So maybe Samuel wasn’t in paradise, but instead simply “asleep” in Sheol awaiting the resurrection. I’m not 100% sure but the passage does not imply that he was raised from paradise. Besides, was those that Jesus resurrected, like Lazarus, called back from paradise? Unlikely.

So anyway this was Samuel that spoke to Saul as the scripture says. Now was it the witch that did this miracle? Unlikely since she screamed when she saw him in verse 12 and in verse 13 she describes him as a “divine being”. So although this may have been a first, I believe that it was God seeing Sauls desperation, allowed him to communicated with Samuel, to give him his final fate. The same God that spoke through the wicked prophet Balaam, that showed the king of Egypt prophetic dreams in the times of Joseph, or spoke through the unclean donkey, spoke to Israel by way of them casting lots, and that did so many things that we don’t understand, was the same one that allowed Saul in his rebellion to seal his fate. This would explain why Samuel was able to “prophecy without the spirit” because it wasn’t Samuel prophecy but God delivering a message to Saul through the means that Saul had resorted to. I don’t find it hard for a holy God that could use sinful humans to actually allow strange methods to be used for His purposes.

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    – agarza
    Commented May 28, 2023 at 21:57

I Samuel 28:

11 Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel.

Saul asks the necromancer to bring up Samuel. This is probably because in Saul's time, the dead were believed to be in Sheol a subterranean place of the earth where the dead slept. The concept of an afterlife in heaven or hell was not fully developed in the Hebrew Scriptures.

12 And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul.

Notice the Scriptures plainly say the necromancer saw SAMUEL, not a demon impersonating Samuel.

13 And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth.

14 And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.

At this point, the Scriptures indicate that Saul "perceived" it was SAMUEL. The KJV "perceived" comes from a Hebrew word that had various meanings but one of the meanings is "know". Saul KNEW it was Samuel. Here are various translations of I Samuel 28:14.


15 And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.

Now this is important. The inspired writer says plainly it was SAMUEL that spoke to Saul, not a demon impersonating Samuel. The NWT adds quotation marks to make it seem that it really wasn't "Samuel" but an imposter.

16 Then said Samuel, Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the Lord is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy?

Here again the inspired writer says "Then said SAMUEL" not "Then said the demon".

17 And the Lord hath done to him, as he spake by me: for the Lord hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand, and given it to thy neighbour, even to David:

18 Because thou obeyedst not the voice of the Lord, nor executedst his fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore hath the Lord done this thing unto thee this day.

19 Moreover the Lord will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: the Lord also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.

Samuel tells Saul that he and his sons would be with him the next day. This shows that Sheol is where the dead would go and they would be together.

20 Then Saul fell straightway all along on the earth, and was sore afraid, because of the words of Samuel: and there was no strength in him; for he had eaten no bread all the day, nor all the night.

Finally, notice the inspired writer says "because of the words of SAMUEL" and not those of a demon pretending to be Samuel.


Depending, I suppose, on how canonical or not one believes The Book of Sirach/The Wisdom of Ben Sira/Ecclesiasticus to be, will depend on how reliable a witness it is considered. But, according to the author of Sirach, it was clearly believed to have been the actual Samuel:

Sirach 46:20 (RSV).

20 Even after [Samuel] had fallen asleep he prophesied and revealed to the king his death, and lifted up his voice out of the earth in prophecy, to blot out the wickedness of the people.

It is clear in the text from 1 Samuel 28:19 that the elohim that came up correctly predicted Saul's demise, along with his sons, and the defeat of Israel at the hands of the Philistines, something that seems unlikely for an evil spirit to be able to do, unless God was manipulating the spirit to prophesy against Saul.


Why did "Samuel" tell Saul that Saul was going to be with Samuel? Was Saul going to Abraham's Bosom (the Paradise)? We all know Saul fell on his own sword and died. (of course, the Amalekite was asked by Saul to kill him after Saul knew that he would not recover) - having done all those abominations against the Lord and having consulted an abominable witch - was he going to be with the holy Samuel in Paradise? I don't think it was the real Samuel who was called out of Paradise - God would never allow a condemned witch to call one of his saints out of Paradise or heaven. If that is true, many people today will justify saying, "We are praying to our dead saints and that is far better than asking an ungodly witch to bring out a saint." **So, then, we can pray to Mary, popes, Peter, James, Paul, and John? Wouldn't it be necromancy?

  • 1
    Welcome to the site, Matthew John. New folks are invited to read the 'Tour', bottom left, to see what is required. You raise some interesting points but if you could show logical reasoning and then state a conclusion, your answer would be much better. For example, could you respond to one comment that asked if "The Bosom of Abraham is the underworld or hades?" and then say if your answer is 'Yes' or 'No'?
    – Anne
    Commented Oct 8, 2021 at 16:33
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    – Community Bot
    Commented Oct 8, 2021 at 17:35

There are two kinds of death 1) dead in Christ and 2) dead in sin. Dead in Christ are resting in peace while the dead in sin are being tormented (Luke 16). The rich man never spoke to Lazarus he observed him resting in Father Abraham’s bosom and spoke only to Father Abraham. The dead in Christ know nothing, do nothing; and moreover, engage in nothing (Ecc. 9:5 6 10).

Lazarus never spoke to the rich man nor did he engage in dipping his fingers in water to cool his tongue. Therefore, Saul was not actually speaking to Samuel like he was lead to believe. Samuel quit speaking with Saul after the Amalakite destruction and the LORD repented that HE ever made Saul king over Israel (1Sam 15:35). Saul first deceived the witch with his disguised (1Sam 28:8-12). Moreover, when she noticed she was deceived she was not pleased and screamed (1Sam 28:12). Nevertheless, he was bewitched by a witch and was deceived as well to believe that it was Samuel to whom he was speaking with her vague description “old man with a robe” and “saw gods ascending out of the earth”( 1 Sam 28:13).

Saul was always overly concerned about public opinion he never learned about the LORD’s will or word. Saul needed it to be Samuel that he was speaking with desperately because he noticed the Philistines positioning themselves and the LORD was not communicating with him at all. I do agree with the existence of other abominable acts such as divination, fortune telling, interpreting of omens, sorcery, use of mediums and/or necromancy; however, I totally disagree with the consultation with the dead in Christ.

“A great gulf fixed between us: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from hence”(Luke 16:26; Ecc. 9:5 6 10).

Matt 4:1-11 after JESUS fasted for forty days and forty nights the devil tried to tempt HIM and was reciting the WORD. The devil is always using deception to capture humans in his web of lies. JESUS states

“ For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bringeth forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit” ( Luke 6:43-44).

  • Welcome to the site! Not a bad first post on a controversial, much debated passage. I reformatted it to make it easier to read. You can highlight texts and quotes and click the quotations to make them stand out. Commented Oct 10, 2021 at 10:38

Hi I am late to this discussion but I was curious on your opinions of 1 Chronicles 10:13-14 when it says he went for the counsel of one with a familiar spirit? I've always felt the text is not going to mislead and so that when it said it was Samuel it was Samuel. So what is the familiar spirit part about in 1 Chronicles?? I've read a bit on this stuff and how it was practiced in bible times and often the medium (a word that didn't exist yet) was called basically a spirit wife. So I guess somehow by the power off the familiar spirit (fallen angel) they conjured people up? I heard that this was a practice of forcefully trying to call up the dead to predict the future or fortune tell. I just can't see the text saying it was Samuel unless it really was Samuel then in a whole other book stating that he, himself, was a familiar spirit. Thoughts?

  • 1
    Welcome to BH and thanks for your contribution, Do read the tour to see guidelines on this site. You have a good point with "when it said it was Samuel it was Samuel". I hope you stay around and post more thoughts, however answers don't generally do very well when they lean on asking further questions as opposed to telling us things.
    – C. Stroud
    Commented May 26, 2023 at 12:35

I don't think just because Samuel said he would be with him that he meant literally in his part of Sheol just that he was going to die and end up in Sheol. He'll be in the abode of the dead in other words. If the bible says it was Samuel I believe it was Samuel. God works in mysterious ways. What if this was a last effort on God's part? He's saying okay you have not obeyed me and followed me...you have not repented in my silence to you....now you are doing this...you want my prophet Samuel....so he'll prophesy what is going to happen to you because you have not obeyed me. It's like a kid who disobeys his parents and the reaps the consequence. He disobeyed Him already and now he was going to a medium.

What if Saul had actually used that news to repent of his sins? But he didn't. I think God meets us where we're at. Christ showed this over and over again. So I believe it may have been one last divine intervention otherwise Saul was going to be dead. He didn't repent. He ended up dying. David was going to be King no matter what...but that doesn't mean God didn't want Saul to repent. For if he truly repented and lived he'd have given up the throne to David like God would want. This was the last straw. I do believe God tried to get through to him one last time. Kind of like "Really? Now this?" We don't know how He works but He can use whoever He well pleases. He's God. Saul's heart was unrepentant and this could have been a very good chance to drive the point home. Like man you are about to die...repent before it's too late. Another thought...Samuel talks about the Lord in a respectful manner, tells Saul he has displeased God and prophesied he'd die the next day...which really happened. I don't believe demons know when we are going to die. The time of our death I think is something only the Lord knows. He decides when we go. I don't think God allows demons that ability. A dead holy prophet of the Lord? Sure, God might rebuke him this way. Saul could have repented and maybe things would have been different for him...in regards to living or not, I mean. God has his wrath but He is merciful if we truly mean the repentance in our hearts. I think if Saul had taken this encounter and truly repented perhaps he would have lived the following day. But hey...it's Saul so..it never happened. But if the passage says Samuel I'm not going to think it means any different.

There are plenty of times in the Bible where they add in a detail of importance....in this case, it would be very important for those reading or hearing the scriptures to understand it wasn't Samuel if it really wasn't.

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    – agarza
    Commented Jun 8, 2023 at 12:47

BTW man was in Abraham’s bosom until after Jesus’ crucifixion so Samuel would NOT have come from heaven furthermore Scripture states and Samuel SAID


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