1 Samuel 28:7-14 Then Saul said to his servants, “Seek out for me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her.” And his servants said to him, “Behold, there is a medium at En-dor.”
So 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.” The 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?” But Saul swore to her by the Lord, “As the Lord lives, no punishment shall come upon you for this thing.” Then the woman said, “Whom shall I bring up for you?” He said, “Bring up Samuel for me.” When 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.” The 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.” He 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.
The practice of witchcraft and magic is addressed several times throughout the Bible ("Were Sorcerers, Mediums, and Necromancers really performing magic in the Bible?"), but this is a narrative account that seems to demonstrate the power of one particular medium. Commonly referred to as the "Witch of Endor", we see in this story how she apparently calls forth the spirit of Samuel at Saul's request. The medium asks who she should "bring up". Where is this spirit coming "up" from? Heaven? Where does the Witch get this power? Is the spirit actually Samuel or is it an illusion? If it is Samuel's spirit, then how has the Witch accomplished this miraculous feat? If it is an illusion, is it divine in nature like a prophetic vision or is it more like a trick performed by modern magicians? Does Saul ever actually see the spirit or is he simply falling for the Witch's ruse? Later in 1 Samuel 28:15 it says that Samuel's spirit speaks to Saul which seems to imply that this is not an illusion.Read More