Q. You know the story. God had forsaken Saul, so he went to the witch at Endor, and she summoned Samuel for him…or did she? When you read the story in 1 Samuel 28:16-19, it happened just like the prophet said. Saul and his three sons joined Samuel in death. The Lord also delivered Israel and its army to the Philistines, (1 Sam. 31:1-70.) Can you explain all this?
Did a witch summon Samuel? If it was a devil that was impersonating Samuel, is there some way we can prove the devil’s predictions were not exactly right? after all, it says in 28:20, Saul was troubled by the words of Samuel, as if it really was Samuel he was talking to.
Why does Samuel appear as an old man? Shouldn’t he be a little more youthful looking in the spirit realm? And why is the story of David and the Amalekites placed between the story of the witch and Saul’s death?
A. In my opinion the woman called forth the real Spirit of Samuel, who for this and his many other sins condemned Saul and his sons to death and delivered the Israelites into the hands of the Philistines. The Lord has expressly forbidden and communication between the living and the dead. (Deut. 18:9-13)
Samuel’s appearance was to permit Saul to identify him, looking as he previously had. Also, Samuel wasn’t returning from the resurrection, but from the abode of the dead where he was awaiting it.
Placing the story of David and the Amalekites between the beginning and end of Saul’s demise presents a nice contrast between the disobedient Saul and the faithful David. Saul had everything but lost it, including his sons. David lost everything but recovered it, including his wives.