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Bible Commentaries

Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

1 Samuel 28

Verse 1

men . Hebrew. '. enosh. App-14 .

Verse 2

Surely = Therefore; which Achish repeats in his reply.

keeper of mine head : i.e. captain of my body-guard.

Verse 3

in Ramah , &c. Hebrew "in Ramah and in his own city". Figure of speech Hendiadys ( App-6 ) = in his own city, Ramah.

had familiar spirits . Familiar spirits are demons pretending to be dead persons; hence the word "necromancy". See notes on Leviticus 19:31 and Isaiah 8:19 .

wizards = wise, cunning, or knowing ones.

Verse 6

enquired = asked. Hebrew. sha'al, to ask. Not darash, "to seek out". See note on 1 Samuel 28:7 , and 1Ch 10:13 , 1 Chronicles 10:14 .

the LORD . Hebrew. Jehovah . App-4 .

answered him not . Not likely therefore to answer now by a way He had forbidden. Samuel had been dead two years.

Urim. See note on Exodus 28:30 . Numbers 26:55 . It must have been an ephod of his own making, as Abiathar the High Priest was with David. Saul makes no mention of this in 1 Samuel 28:13 .

Verse 7

a woman . Answering to the modern "mediums".

hath = owneth, possesses as mistress. See note on Leviticus 19:31 .

enquire = seek out. Hebrew. darash, a deeper meaning than 1 Samuel 28:6 . See note above. Compare 1 Chronicles 10:13 , 1 Chronicles 10:14 .

Behold. Figure of speech Asterismos. App-6 .

Verse 8

by the familiar spirit . Hence called necromancy.

Verse 9

life = soul. Hebrew. nephesh. App-13 .

Verse 11

up . Note: not down, or forth. Compare 1 Samuel 28:13 .

Verse 12

saw Samuel . Or, the materialisation of a deceiving spirit personating Samuel, as is done by "mediums" to-day.

she cried , &c. Evidently surprised, and getting more than she expected.

thou art Saul . How should she know this but by a communication from the spirit.

Verse 13

gods . Plural of Elohim. Either "a god "or a spirit manifestation.

out of the earth . Not down, or forth, as in John 11:43 , John 11:44 .

Verse 14

man. Hebrew. 'ish. App-14 . Not a spirit. mantle. If a spirit, why a mantle? Samuel's spirit was with God (Ecclesiastes 12:7 ). And if Samuel's body, it would be with "grave-clothes" (John 11:44 ).

perceived = understood: i.e. from what the medium said. He saw nothing.

stooped = did obeisance.

Verse 15

Samuel said : i.e. the spirit personating Samuel said. Just as it is done in the present day by the medium: never directly.

disquieted . If Samuel, then it shows he was "quiet" before.

me . Not my spirit.

God. Hebrew. Elohim . App-4 .

no more . Therefore certainly not by means which He had expressly forbidden. See Leviticus 19:31 ; Leviticus 20:6 , Leviticus 20:27 . Deuteronomy 18:10 , Deuteronomy 18:13 , &c.

by prophets . Saul omits the reference to "Urim" because it would remind him of the murder of the priests (1 Samuel 22:18 , 1 Samuel 22:19 ). See note on 1 Samuel 28:6 .

Verse 16

Then said Samuel . Jehovah might have sent "a lying spirit", and given by it a true message, just as He did in 2 Chronicles 18:19-22 . Nothing was said but what was well known before.

become thine enemy . The Septuagint reads "and hath come to be with thy neighbour". Compare 1 Samuel 28:17 with 1 Samuel 15:28 .

Verse 17

as = according as.

by me = by my hand.

Verse 18

obeyedst not = hearkenedst not to.

wrath . Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause), App-6 , for the judgment in consequence of it.

Verse 19

with me : i.e. with the dead.

Verse 20

fell straightway = remained motionless. Compare Acts 9:7 , where "stood.

speechless = remained speechless. See Acts 26:14 . The two passages

together = fell, and remained so.

bread = food. Figure of speech Synecdoche (of Species). App-6 .

Verse 21

Behold . Figure of speech Asterismos. App-6 .

Verse 24

house = shed.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 28". "Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bul/1-samuel-28.html. 1909-1922.