Help! Samuel and Saul

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Gloria

Puritan Board Sophomore
1 Samuel 28:8-19

8So Saul disguised himself and put on other garments and went, he and two men with him. And they came to the woman by night. And he said, "Divine for me by a spirit and bring up for me whomever I shall name to you." 9The woman said to him, "Surely you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off the mediums and the necromancers from the land. Why then are you laying a trap for my life to bring about my death?" 10But Saul swore to her by the LORD, "As the LORD lives, no punishment shall come upon you for this thing." 11Then the woman said, "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 have you deceived 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 coming up out of the earth." 14He said to her, "What is his appearance?" And she said, "An old man is coming up, and he is wrapped in a robe." And Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground and paid homage.

15Then 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." 16And Samuel said, "Why then do you ask me, since the LORD has turned from you and become your enemy? 17The LORD has done to you as he spoke by me, for the LORD has torn the kingdom out of your hand and given it to your neighbor, David. 18 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 this day. 19Moreover, the LORD will give Israel also with you into the hand of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons shall be with me. The LORD will give the army of Israel also into the hand of the Philistines."

Samuel goes on to give further instructions to Saul. First question, where was Samuel brought up from? Other questions will come once I get some responses.
 
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Southern Presbyterian

Puritan Board Doctor
I believe the key to this passage is the section I've highlighted below...

1 Samuel 28:8-19

8So Saul disguised himself and put on other garments and went, he and two men with him. And they came to the woman by night. And he said, "Divine for me by a spirit and bring up for me whomever I shall name to you." 9The woman said to him, "Surely you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off the mediums and the necromancers from the land. Why then are you laying a trap for my life to bring about my death?" 10But Saul swore to her by the LORD, "As the LORD lives, no punishment shall come upon you for this thing." 11Then the woman said, "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 have you deceived 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 coming up out of the earth." 14He said to her, "What is his appearance?" And she said, "An old man is coming up, and he is wrapped in a robe." And Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground and paid homage.

Samuel goes on to give further instructions to Saul. First question, where was Samuel brought up from? Other questions will come once I get some responses.

This was a demon pretending to be Samuel.

We discussed this in Sunday School about 2 years ago and this was our conclusion. And if I remember correctly, this was the view held by several of the reformers/puritains. Only I'd be afraid to say which one's for sure being this far removed from the study. :doh: But I do remeber that it hinged upon the understanding of the word "god" to mean a god that was worshipped by the heathen cultures (i.e. a demon).
 

AV1611

Puritan Board Senior
1 Samuel 28:8-19

John Gill comments:

1 Samuel 28:15

Ver. 15. And Samuel said to Saul, why hast thou disquieted me to bring me up?.... This makes it a clear case that this was not the true Samuel; his soul was at rest in Abraham's bosom, in the state of bliss and happiness in heaven, and it was not in the power of men and devils to disquiet it; nor would he have talked of his being brought up, but rather of his coming down, had it been really he; much less would he have acknowledged that he was brought up by Saul, by means of a witch, and through the help of the devil:

and Saul answered, I am sore distressed; in mind, being in great straits and difficulties, pressed hard upon by men, and forsaken of God, as follows:

for the Philistines make war against me; so they had many times, and he had been victorious, and had no reason to be so much distressed, if that was all: but he adds,

and God is departed from me: and therefore he feared he should be left to fall into their hands; and that he had forsaken him he concluded from hence,

and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: See Gill on "1Sa 28:6"; he makes no mention of Urim, either because they were not with him to inquire by, being carried away by Abiathar when he fled to David, 1Sa 23:9; or, as the Jews say {h}, through shame, he said nothing of the Urim before Samuel, as he took this appearance to be, because he had slain the priests at Nob, and because of this shame, they say, his sin was forgiven him:

therefore have I called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do; which was downright madness and folly to imagine, that since God had forsaken him, and would give him no answer, that a prophet of his should take his part; or when he could get no answer from a prophet of God on earth, that he could expect an agreeable one from one fetched down from heaven: one would be tempted to think that he himself believed it was the devil he was talking to, and whom he had called for under the name of Samuel, and expected to see; for from whom else could he expect advice, when he was forsaken of God, and his prophets?


Full comments can be found here. :)
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
It is interesting also to note the woman's reaction in vs. 12. It does not appear that this is an 'ordinary' seance.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
I don't believe it is a demon. I actually think this is Samuel who is coming up. He is bothered because he is brought up from Hades. He has been in Abraham's bosom or Paradise. And then he re announces the proclamation he once delivered to Saul.


Keil & Delitzsch
Then Samuel said, “Why hast thou disturbed me (sc., from my rest in Hades; cf. Isa_14:9), to bring me up?” It follows, no doubt, from this that Samuel had been disturbed from his rest by Saul; but whether this had been effected by the conjuring arts of the witch, or by a miracle of God himself, is left undecided.

Keil & Delitzsch
1Sa_28:13
The king quieted her fear, and then asked her what she had seen; whereupon she gave him a fuller description of the apparition: “I saw a celestial being come up from the earth.” Elohim does not signify gods here, nor yet God; still less an angel or a ghost, or even a person of superior rank, but a celestial (super-terrestrial), heavenly, or spiritual being.

The word gods is the same word here,

(Psa 82:6) I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.

and it is referring to men. It is the word Elohim. Which is used in many different ways.

I particularly find this very interesting. Some think Saul never was saved or right with God others don't know. And I am not able to make that judgment. I am certain God was not pleased with him.

(1Sa 28:19) 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.
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
Whatever one thinks of Brueggemann, he has to take the cake on the most droll comment ever penned on the passage: Samuel appears in all his unmistakable cantankerousness. Death has not mellowed Samuel (from his commentary, p. 194).
 

Mathetes

Puritan Board Freshman
I have a friend who believes in soul sleep, and uses this as a prooftext. If so, it seems to be a one-passage case, which is fairly underwhelming.
 
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