1 Samuel 28 - the Witch of Endor- deceitful or successful?

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Eoghan

Puritan Board Senior
Although I am now in Corinthians, the family Bible studies are a couple of weeks behind me and the kids were studying the Witch of Endor text the same week as Halloween. As I read the the yet again, I realised that Saul saw nothing and did not speak to Samuel. The witch was the voice of Samuel and she gave a verbal description of Samuel. Does this not requires us to have the witch "channeling" Samuel? This I think goes too far and I cannot see it being the real Samuel.

If the spirit sent to torment Saul was an evil spirit (and I have interpreted it as a demeanour/disposition till now)then it would have had an intimate knowledge of Saul from observation. Part of it's taunt was no doubt the loss of the kingdom - that taunt now continues through the Witch of Endor.

Jesus refused to accept testimony from demons and Paul cast out a demon that was effectively acting as his herald. I just cannot see the Witch of Endor as a legitimate way for God to speak. Not that I am saying He could not overrule but it just does not seem consistent - do you agree?
 

Leslie

Puritan Board Junior
I think the problem that most Western folks have with this passage is their underlying naturalistic, anti-supernatural world views. We just don't see successful channeling in the West, so we think it does not exist. In anamistic societies as well as amongst the New Agers Stateside, it is universally acknowledged that some people have the "gift" of seeing/hearing/experiencing spiritual enteties, while others don't. In the West the majority of people are deaf and blind to these things. In other cultures it is not that way. It also varies with geography, as if there is a cloud hovering over Western society, perhaps because of a Godly history.

When I was in Thailand for a year and socialized with some Australians, a couple of us saw and heard spiritual realities while we were there, but this ceased when we returned to the States/Australia. It happened again on our returns to Bangkok. Other Westerners were as deaf and blind in Bangkok as what they were in the West. So Saul was deaf and blind, as were the guys with him. They were in the majority. The witch was "gifted", whatever that means.

There are other examples in scripture where long-dead people were seen and talked to. That isn't a problem. For me the problem comes in an evil person (the witch) conveying a godly message to Saul. The godly and the demonic seem to be all mixed up in the story. In most of the scriptural history the good and bad are obviously divided. It's black and white. This story as well as the one of the prohet who lied to another are examples of its not always being that way in real life. There is a book, The Beautiful Side of Evil, with the same theme, of "good" things happening as a result of demonic influence. The consequences, however, are evil, namely spiritual entrapment, selling one's soul for a mess of porridge.
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Doctor
A prophet's validity is determined by his words coming true. On that score, it sounds like the prophesy did come through Samuel—though I don't think we can know with absolute certainty.

If God did allow the witch to rouse Samuel's spirit, and thus the truth to come to Saul through the witch's evil work, that fits the rest of the story. It shows how spiritually corrupt Saul had become. It was not unusual for God to speak truth to the king of his people through a prophet even when the king was wicked. It happens often in the Bible. The fact that in this case the king was consulting a witch did not keep him from learning the truth as happens with kings, but it shows how ungodly he had become. 1 Chronicles 10:13-14 says this incident is part of Saul's breach of faith for which he died. He consulted a medium rather than seeking guidance from the Lord.
 
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davdavis

Puritan Board Freshman
My understanding has always been that the witch, whether she possessed any Satanically inspired powers ordinarily, was really seeing Samuel. God sent Samuel, Like Moses and Elijah at the transfiguration. Samuel was sent to rebuke Saul for his Sins, including now the sin of necromancy

David Davis
PCA
Montgomery Al
blog ddav-mynewsandviews.blogspot.com/
 

Unoriginalname

Puritan Board Junior
A prophet's validity is determined by his words coming true. On that score, it sounds like the prophesy did come through Samuel—though I don't think we can know with absolute certainty.

If God did allow the witch to rouse Samuel's spirit, and thus the truth to come to Saul through the witch's evil work, that fits the rest of the story. It shows how spiritually corrupt Saul had become. It was not unusual for God to speak truth to the king of his people through a prophet even when the king was wicked. It happens often in the Bible. The fact that in this case the king was consulting a witch did not keep him from learning the truth as happens with kings, but it shows how ungodly he had become. 1 Chronicles 10:13-14 says this incident is part of Saul's breach of faith for which he died. He consulted a medium rather than seeking guidance from the Lord.

I think this would also be inline with Caiaphas's unintentional prophesy and Balaam's attempts to curse the people of Israel. I think is fair to say the validity of a prophesy is independent of the intent of the vehicle.
 

Eoghan

Puritan Board Senior
A prophet's validity is determined by his words coming true.

Strictly speaking that is not the case Jack.

[BIBLE]Deuteronomy 13:1-3[/BIBLE]

It is what they teach as well as the truthfulness of their prophecies.
 
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