1samuel 28:7-19


#1

When Saul goes to the medium to speak to samuel whose dead. What is the meaning. Is it really samuel? Is it the devil? What is the church’s teaching on this? Thanks in advance


#2

The Catechism:

2116 All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to "unveil" the future.48 Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.

2117 All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one's service and have a supernatural power over others - even if this were for the sake of restoring their health - are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible. Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another's credulity.
48 Cf. Deut 18:10; Jer 29:8.

Hope this helps,


#3

From the Haydock Commentary:

Ver. 7. Spirit. Hebrew, “an ob,” or vessel distended, as such impostors seemed to swell at the presence of the spirit. Septuagint, “a belly talker.” They endeavour to speak from that part. We read of some who, without magic, have possessed the art in great perfection, so as to deceive the company, and make them think that some one was calling them from a great distance; as was the case with one Farming in England, 1645. (Dickenson, c. 9.) — Brodeus mentions that the valet of Francis I could thus counterfeit the speech of people deceased, and by these means prevailed upon a rich young woman to marry him, and a banker of Lyons to give him a large sum of money. James Rodoginus, a possessed person in Italy, 1513, could make articulate sounds from the hollow of his belly, when his lips and nostrils were closed up. The oracles of idols were generally given in a low tone, as if they proceeded from the earth. Submissi petimus terram & vox fertur ad aures. (Virgil) — Those of Apollo were the most famous, and hence a divining spirit is called a Python. Saul must have been stupidly blind, thus to depend on what he had formerly banished with such care. (Calmet) — He flattered himself that some would still be left, especially among the women, who are most addicted to superstition, as well as to religion. (Menochius) — Endor was distant from Gelboe about four hours’ walk. (Adrichomius) — But Saul made a long circuit to avoid the enemy. (Salien, v. 20.)

Ver. 8. Clothes, that he might not fill the woman or his army with dismay. (Calmet)

Ver. 10. Thing. He adds this crime of swearing unjustly, to all the rest. (Saline[Salien?])

Ver. 11. Samuel. Here we behold the antiquity of necromancy, which is a proof that people believed the soul’s immortality; animas responsa daturas. (Horace, i. sat. 8.) (Calmet) — Protestants sometimes deny (Haydock) that souls appear again, contrary to this history and Matthew xvii. (St. Augustine) (Worthington)

Ver. 12. Woman. The Rabbins pretend that she was Abner’s mother, (Calmet) which is extremely improbable, as he was of the tribe of Benjamin, and a man of such renown. (Salien) — Theodoret follows their opinion, in supposing that the woman was startled, because Samuel appeared in a standing posture, and not with his feet upwards, or lying down on his back, as in a coffin, which they say (Calmet) is the usual manner of spirits appearing to people of her character. (Bellarmine, Purgat. ii. 6.) — She cried out, because he appeared before she had begun her incantations, and was arrayed like a priest, according to Josephus, (Haydock) in great majesty, or she pretended to see him, the better to impose upon the king; for some think that all was a delusion. (Calmet) — Saul. This she learnt either from Samuel, (Josephus) or from her familiar spirit. (Menochius)

Ver. 13. Gods, or one venerable and divine personage. (Worthington) — Elohim, is applied to Samuel for greater honour. It is a title given to the true God, to idols, and people in dignity. (Calmet)

Ver. 14. Understood that it was Samuel. It is the more common opinion of the holy fathers, and interpreters, that the soul of Samuel appeared indeed; and not, as some have imagined, an evil spirit in his shape. Not that the power of her magic could bring him thither, but that God was pleased for the punishment of Saul, that Samuel himself should denounce unto him the evils that were falling upon him. See Ecclesiasticus xlvi. 23. (Challoner) — The passage is decisive; (Tirinus) he slept and he made known to the king, and shewed him the end of his life, and he lifted up his voice from the earth, in prophecy, &c. Those who have called in question the reality of Samuel’s apparition, seem not to have remembered this passage. (Haydock) — Yet his soul was not united to his body, (Salien) nor was he adduced by the power of the devil, but (Du Hamel) by a just judgment of God, to denounce destruction to the wicked king. (St. Augustine, &c.) (Tirinus) — The woman, beholding Samuel, fled out of the place, to Saul’s companions, and left him alone with the king, ver. 21. — Adored Samuel with an inferior honour, as the friend of God, exalted in glory. (Salien) — That Samuel really appeared, is the more common opinion of the fathers. (St. Augustine, Cura. xv.) (Worthington)

Ver. 15. Up. To inform a person of something very terrible, is distressing; and though the saints deceased cannot partake in the afflictions of mortals, yet we read that “the angels of peace will weep, but they will approve of the just sentence of the judge” against the reprobate. (Haydock) — The Scripture language conforms itself to the opinions of the people, who thought that such avocations disturbed the soul’s repose. Hence the fathers at [the Synod of] Elvira (Canon xxxi.) forbid “the lighting of wax candles in church-yards during the day, for the spirits of the saints are not to be disquieted.” Isaias (xiv. 9,) represents hell all in commotion, at the approach of the king of Babylon. These expressions are figurative. (Calmet) — God does not encourage magical arts, on this occasion, but rather prevents their operation, as he did, when Balaam would have used some superstitious practices, Numbers xxiv. (Du Hamel)

Ver. 16. Rival. How vain is it to expect that a prophet can give an answer, when the Lord is silent! Hebrew, “is become thy enemy.” (Haydock)

Ver. 17. To thee. Hebrew, “to him.” This was only a repetition of what Samuel had before denounced, chap. xv. 28. If the evil spirit spoke this, he was not guilty of falsehood, no more than [in] Matthew viii. 29. (Calmet) — But would he dare so often to repeat the name of the Lord? (Haydock) — Could he know what would happen to Saul, &c., the next day? (Worthington)


#4

And verse 19:

Ver. 19. To-morrow. Usher supposes some days afterwards. But all might take place the day after this was spoken. (Calmet) --- Sons, except Isboseth, who enjoyed, for a time, part of his father's kingdom. (Haydock) --- With me. That is, in the state of the dead, and in another world, though not in the same place. (Challoner)


#5

I looked on scripture catholic, that in wisdom I believe it is, it talks about samuel appearing to Saul.


#6

Here is what the Douay-Rheims Study Bible has in the footnotes..

14. Understood that it was Samuel. It is the more common opinion of the holy fathers and interpreters, that the soul of Samuel appeared indeed, and not as some have imagined, an evil spirit in his shape; not that the power of her magic could bring him there, but that God was pleased, for the punishment of Saul, that Samuel himself should denounce unto him the evils that were falling upon him. See Eccles. 46:23.

19. With me. That is in the state of the dead, and in another world, though not in the same place.


#7

SOrry about above post, here is the DR Study Bible, the one above is CHalloner’s

14. Understood that it was Samuel. It is not defined nor certain, whether the soul of Samuel appeared, or an evil spirit took his shape, and spoke to Saul. St. Augustine (lib. 2. Q. ad simplician) proposes both the opinions as probable. Where first he shows, that Samuel’s soul might appear, either brought there by the evil spirit, which is not so much to be marveled at, as that our Lord and Savior suffered himself to beset upon the pinnacle of the temple, and to be carried into a high mountain by the Devil; yea to be taken prisoner, bound, whipped, and crucified, by the devil’s ministers; or else that the spirit of the holy prophet, was not raised by force of the enchantment, or any power of the Devil, but by God’s secret ordinance, unknown to the pythonical woman and to Saul, and so appeared in the author’s preference, and struck him with divine sentence. Again he answered, that there may be a more easy and ready sense of this place, to wit, that Samuels spirit (or soul) was not indeed raised, but an imaginary illusion made by the Devil’s enchantment, which seemed to be Samuel, and which the Scripture calls by the name Samuel, as pictures or images are commonly called those persons or things, which they represent. So when we behold pictures on a table, or on a wall, we say, this is Cicero, more at large in the place before cited. But in another work written after (de cura pro mort. ger., c. 15) teaching that souls of the dead appear sometimes to the living, he says expressing, Samuel the prophet being dead, foretold future things to king Saul yet living. Though some be of opinion that Samuel himself appeared not, but some evil spirit took his similitude.
And this last judgment of St. Augustine is much confirmed; first, by the words of this text, literally and plainly affirming that Samuel appeared, and spoke to Saul, and Saul to him, and that Saul understood (or knew, not only thought, imagined, or supposed) that it was Samuel. Secondly, this apparition came sooner, preventing the enchantment, and in better order, then the pithonical woman expected, as appears by her answer, saying she saw God (or an excellent person) ascending in comely manner and attire: whereas evil spirits used to appear (as the Rabbins testify) in ugly bodies, with the heels into the air, and head downward. Thirdly, the Author of Ecclesiasticus (chap. 46) amongst praises of Samuel the prophet, says, He slept (or died) and certified the king, and showed to him the end of his life. Where it seems clear, that the same person that died, denounced God’s will and sentence to Saul. Moreover if it had been an illusion of an evil spirit, it would hardly seem any praise at all. Fourthly, the devil should be slain the next day, and David reign after him, neither is it probable that God revealed such secrets to evil spirits, whereby men might take more occasion to follow necromancy. Fifthly, most Fathers and Doctors are of the same judgment (St. Justin Martyr, Dia. Cum Triph. St. Basil, Ep. 80. Ad Eus. St. Ambrose, li. 1.in Lk a. St. Jerome in sai. 7. Josephus li. 6. C. 15. Anti.) and many other old and late writers. The best argument of the other opinion is the authority of Tertullian (li de an), Procopius, and Eucherius upon this place, and uncertain authors. As for Protestants denying, that souls once parted from their bodies, can appear to any alive, St. Augustine confutes them, both by example of Samuel, supposing the book of Ecclesiasticus to be Canonical Scripture, and of Moses being dead, and Elijah yet living (whom they hold also to be dead) both appearing with Christ in his transfiguration (Mt. 17).


#8

Copeland3, this message is to you I tried sending you a private message, but I could not find Eccles. 46:23.

What is ironic about that passage, is that the spirit of Samuel tells Saul that Saul and hus sins will be with him soon. My gf said that in her church they believe thats the devil who actually appeared. We both agreed and I guarantee anybody who reads this that Samuel was truly a holy man and is with God. Saul, ahh he had his issues. What really boogled me was that near the end of 1 Samuel, Saul and Hus 3 sons including Jonathan were killed. I know im not God and he does not ask me who goes to heaven, but jinathan in my opinion was a really good man, a faithful and loyal man to David. That's were it throws me off. If who really appears was the Devil, then why is Jonathan going to hell? What did he do wrong?


#9

[quote="chero23, post:8, topic:328797"]
Copeland3, this message is to you I tried sending you a private message, but I could not find Eccles. 46:23.

What is ironic about that passage, is that the pirit of Samuel tells Saul that Saul and hus sins will be with him soon. My gf said that in her church they believe thats the devil who actually appeared. We both agreed and I guarantee anybody who reads this that Samuel was truly a holy man and is with God. Saul, ahh he had his issues. What really boogled me was that near the end of 1 Samuel, Saul and Hus 3 sons including Jonathan were killed. I know im not God and he does not ask me who goes to heaven, but jinathan in my opinion was a really good man, a faithful and loyal man to David. That's were it throws me off. If who really appears was the Devil, then why is Jonathan going to hell? What did he do wrong?

[/quote]

1) Other scripture talks about Samuel being so great a prophet that he prophesied from the grave: i.e. it was indeed Samuel who appeared and prophesied and it came true, didn't it?

2) Jonathan has a convenant with David "forever" between them and their descendants, and from other passages of God helping Jonathan, I believe Jonathan is in Heaven rather than Hell. It's just that Jonathan "joined" Saul and his brothers (and Samuel who was not in Hell) in Death.


#10

[quote="bsroufek, post:9, topic:328797"]
1) Other scripture talks about Samuel being so great a prophet that he prophesied from the grave: i.e. it was indeed Samuel who appeared and prophesied and it came true, didn't it?

2) Jonathan has a convenant with David "forever" between them and their descendants, and from other passages of God helping Jonathan, I believe Jonathan is in Heaven rather than Hell. It's just that Jonathan "joined" Saul and his brothers (and Samuel who was not in Hell) in Death.

[/quote]

Do you mind telling me were those verses are?


#11

Ok found something, In sirach 46:13-20, it talks about how God let Samuel talk to Saul about how he would die.


#12

Chero, the Church teaches

633 Scripture calls the abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, “hell” - Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek - because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God. Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the Redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was received into “Abraham’s bosom”: “It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Savior in Abraham’s bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell.” Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him.

The parable of Lazarus is Lk 16:19-31.

So, when Saul died, he did go to the same place as Samuel.

God bless you,


#13

It is clear that the apparition was really that of Samuel (sent by God) because he was able to accurately able to foretell the future. Demons can't do that. The good Angels can't do that either, but they can deliver a message about the future that God sends them to deliver.

I think that even might be the case here with the spirit of Samuel. The impression I get is that the so-called "witch of Endor" was a fraud, because she was as surprised and terrified as anyone else when Samuel appeared. It wasn't her power than conjured him up; it was rather God who allowed Samuel to appear in order to show Saul his sin and deliver God's message.


#14

[quote="Fidelis, post:13, topic:328797"]
It is clear that the apparition was really that of Samuel (sent by God) because he was able to accurately able to foretell the future. Demons can't do that. The good Angels can't do that either, but they can deliver a message about the future that God sends them to deliver.

I think that even might be the case here with the spirit of Samuel. The impression I get is that the so-called "witch of Endor" was a fraud, because she was as surprised and terrified as anyone else when Samuel appeared. It wasn't her power than conjured him up; it was rather God who allowed Samuel to appear in order to show Saul his sin and deliver God's message.

[/quote]

I told my gf, the devil cannot know when we die only god knows. She's seventh day Adventist, so I told her, look you know that god is the only person who knows when your time is up, she said the devil does too.


#15

[quote="chero23, post:14, topic:328797"]
I told my gf, the devil cannot know when we die only god knows. She's seventh day Adventist, so I told her, look you know that god is the only person who knows when your time is up, she said the devil does too.

[/quote]

It sounds to me like that would give the Devil a capability that only God has. Angels and demons are spirits, but they still can only know information that their intellect, great as it is, can figure out. The only other way they would know is if God tells them, and I can't see God sharing info like this with demons. Otherwise, they would try to use it to their advantage against us.

I'd be interested in hearing her scriptural support or even her logic for holding this belief.


#16

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