1 Samuel 28

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

Why will Saul be with Samuel in the same place?

  • A sarcastic way of saying "You're gonna die tomorrow".
    – moron
    Commented Nov 13, 2021 at 8:27

2 Answers 2


In answering this question we have at least two possibilities:

  1. The Samuel that Saul saw was real

If the Samuel that Saul saw was real, ie, a spirit or soul of Samuel in heaven, then,

  • according to this chapter, heaven is under the earth because, the text repeatedly says that Samuel was "brought UP' out of the earth, V8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15.
  • an illegal witch (Lev 19:31, Deut 18:9-12, Isa 8:19, 29:4) can command the presence of a dead prophet. Necromancy and witchcraft was strictly forbidden in Israel.
  1. The Samuel that Saul saw was a demonic trick to deceive Saul

By contrast, if what Saul saw was a demonic trick, apparition to deceive him, then Samuel's prophecy is simply stating what was rather obvious - Saul would die in battle the following day.

It did not take divine intelligence to be able to predict this.

Further, according to Jesus, (John 3:13) - "No one has ascended into heaven except the One who descended from heaven—the Son of Man."

Therefore, the second option above is correct - what Saul saw was a demonic trick/apparition to deceive Saul and so was not Samuel at all.


This question incorrectly assumes that Samuel is in Heaven.

From the perspective of the Jews at the time, there was a belief in an end-time resurrection of the dead, but there wasn't any concept of an afterlife or immortal soul, so the question is meaningless.

From the perspective of Christians, in John 3:13, Jesus says that "No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man", and later, Acts 2:29 says "let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day", indicating that the early Christians also didn't believe that the dead go to Heaven, so again the question is meaningless.

When the demon pretending to be Saul said "and to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me", all that was meant was that, just like Saul, they too would be in the grave, awaiting the resurrection.

  • 2
    Agreed on this at the time of Samuels and Sauls death - but with a christian understanding that would have changed on Easter Sunday no ? eg: Mat 27:51 "At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and[e] went into the holy city and appeared to many people." I think the question would be asking this post Jesus resurrection.
    – Marshall
    Commented Nov 12, 2021 at 11:13
  • @Marshall, the Matthew 27 resurrections were just like those of Lazarus and others. Individual people were physically resurrected to continue living out their physical lives. There is no suggestion that this was a conversion into spiritual immortality, which will not happen until Christ's return. Commented Nov 12, 2021 at 13:16
  • I think we have a very different interpretation of that passage - agree to disagree. I would just add what Jesus said when discussing the resurrection in Mark 12:27 Our God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. How exactly are Abraham, Isaac and Jacob alive then ?
    – Marshall
    Commented Nov 13, 2021 at 14:44
  • @Marshall "How exactly are Abraham, Isaac and Jacob alive then?". They aren't. They are dead and buried and won't be resurrected until Jesus returns. See my answers to How could 'Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob' be living eternally in Heaven if …? and Why did Jesus raise people from the dead? Commented Nov 13, 2021 at 22:00
  • Ok again strongly disagree with your understanding but it is what it is .... Don't think anything will be gained by us arguing points we are unlikely to change. Wish you the best
    – Marshall
    Commented Nov 14, 2021 at 14:03

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