1 Samuel 28

1 One day the Philistines brought their soldiers together to attack Israel. Achish told David: »You and your men must fight as part of our Philistine army.«

2 David answered: »That will give you a chance to see for yourself just how well we can fight!« Achish said: »You and your men will always be my bodyguards.«

3 After Samuel died all the Israelites mourned for him. They buried him in his hometown of Ramah. Saul forced all the fortunetellers and mediums to leave Israel.

4 The Philistine troops assembled and camped near the town of Shunem. Saul gathered the Israelites and camped at Mount Gilboa.

5 Saul was terrified when he saw the Philistine army.

6 So he asked Jehovah what to do. But Jehovah did not answer him. He did not answer by dreams or by the use of Urim and Thummim or by prophets.

7 Saul ordered his officials: »Find me a woman who is a medium. I will go and consult her.« »There is one in Endor,« they answered.

8 Saul disguised himself. He put on different clothes. After dark he went with two of his men to see the woman. »Consult the spirits for me and tell me what is going to happen,« he said to her: »Call up the spirit of the man I name.«

9 The woman answered: »You know what King Saul has done? He forced the fortunetellers and mediums to leave Israel. Are you trying to trap me and get me killed?«

10 Saul made a sacred vow. »By the living God Jehovah I promise that you will not be punished for doing this,« he told her.

11 »Whom shall I call up for you?« The woman asked. »Samuel,« he answered.

12 The woman saw Samuel. She screamed and said to Saul, »Why have you tricked me? You are King Saul!«

13 »Do not be afraid!« The king said to her. »What do you see?« She answered: »I see a spirit coming up from the earth.«

14 »The spirit, what does it look like?« He asked. »It is an old man,« she answered. »He wears a cloak.« Saul knew it was Samuel. So he bowed to the ground in respect.

15 Samuel said to Saul: »Why have you disturbed me? Why did you make me come back?« Saul answered: »I am in great trouble! The Philistines are at war with me. God has abandoned me. He does not answer me any more by prophets or by dreams. Please tell me what to do.«

16 Samuel said: »Why do you call me when Jehovah has abandoned you and become your enemy?

17 »Jehovah did to you what he told you through me. He took the kingdom away from you and gave it to David instead.

18 »You disobeyed Jehovah’s command and did not completely destroy the Amalekites. That is why Jehovah is doing this to you.

19 »He will give you and Israel over to the Philistines. Tomorrow you and your sons will join me. Jehovah will also give the army of Israel over to the Philistines.«

20 At once Saul fell down and lay stretched out on the ground. He was terrified by what Samuel said. He was weak because he had not eaten anything all day and all night.

21 The woman went to him. She saw that he was terrified. So she said to him: »I risked my life by doing what you asked.

22 »Now please do what I ask. Let me fix you some food. You must eat so that you will be strong enough to travel.«

23 Saul refused. He said he would not eat. But his officers also urged him to eat. He finally gave in, got up from the ground, and sat on the bed.

24 The woman quickly butchered a calf she had fattened. Then she took some flour and prepared it. She baked some bread without yeast.

25 She set the food before Saul and his officers and they ate. They left that same night.