Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Samuel 28:19

Moreover the Lord will also give over Israel along with you into the hands of the Philistines, therefore tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. Indeed the Lord will give over the army of Israel into the hands of the Philistines!"
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Children;   En-Dor;   Familiar Spirits;   Necromancy;   Samuel;   Saul;   Sorcery;   Witchcraft;   Thompson Chain Reference - Death;   Deaths Foretold;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Armies of Israel, the;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Endor;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Samuel;   Saul, king of israel;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Death, Mortality;   Descent into Hell (Hades);   Magic;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Divination;   Saul;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Divination and Magic;   Medium;   Samuel, Books of;   Urim and Thummim;   Wrath, Wrath of God;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Death;   En-Dor;   Samuel, Books of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Descent into Hades;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Magic;   Saul;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - En-Dor, Witch of;   Intercession;   Samuel;   Samuel, Books of;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Endor, the Witch of;   Samuel;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

To-morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me - What an awful message! In the course of the ensuing day thou shalt be slain, thy three sons shall be slain, and the armies of Israel shall be delivered into the hands of the Philistines! Can any person read this, properly considering the situation of this unfortunate monarch, the triumph of the enemies of God, and the speedy ruin in which the godlike Jonathan is about to be involved, without feeling the keenest anguish of heart?

But Samuel says, "He and his sons should be with him." Does not this mean that they were to go to paradise? I suppose it means no more than that they should all die. Yet the paraphrase of the Rev. C. Wesley is beautiful: -

"What do these solemn words portend?

A ray of hope when life shall end.

Thou and thy sons, though slain, shall be

To-morrow in repose with me.

Not in a state of hellish pain,

If Saul with Samuel do remain:

Not in a state of damn'd despair,

If loving Jonathan be there."

Saul had committed the sin unto death - the sin to be visited with a violent death, while tile mercy of God was extended to the soul. Thus say my faith, my hope, and my charity; and doth not the mercy of God say the same?

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 28:19". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-samuel-28.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Rather, “will deliver Israel also.” Saul had not only brought ruin upon his own house but upon Israel also; and when Saul and Jonathan fell the camp (not “host”) would be plundered by the conquerors 1 Samuel 31:8; 2 Samuel 1:10.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 28:19". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-samuel-28.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Moreover, the Lord will also deliver Israel with thee into the hands of the Philistines,.... Not a word of comfort does he speak unto him, it being the business of this foul spirit to drive him to despair by the permission of God; had he been the true Samuel, he would have directed him to have altered his course of life, and especially his behaviour toward David, and advised him in those difficulties to send for him, who might have been of singular use unto him; he would have exhorted him to repentance for his sins, and humiliation before God on account of them, and given him hope on this that God would appear for him, and work deliverance, as he had done; but instead of this tells him, that he and his army would be delivered into the hands of the Philistines, which he might make a shrewd guess at, and venture to say from the circumstances of things, and the situation Saul and his people were in; the armies of the Philistines were very numerous, and those of Israel comparatively weak; Saul was quite dispirited, and God had forsaken him:

and tomorrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me; which if understood in what sense it may, seems to be a lie of the devil, and at best an ambiguous expression, such as he has been wont to give in the Heathen oracles; if he meant this of himself as an evil spirit, it could not be true of Saul and all his sons, that they should be with him in hell, especially of Jonathan who appears throughout the whole of his life to have been a good man; if he would have it understood of him as representing Samuel, and of their being with him in heaven, it must be a great stretch of charity to believe it true of Saul, so wicked a man, and who died in the act of suicide; though the JewsF11T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 12. 2. , some of them, understand it in this sense, that his sins were pardoned, and he was saved; and if it is taken in the sense of being in the state of the dead, and in the earth, from whence he is said to ascend, and where the body of Samuel was, which seems to be the best sense that is put upon the phrase, "with me"; yet this was not true, if he meant it of all the sons of Saul, as the expression seems to suggest; for there were Ishbosheth, and his two sons by Rizpah, which survived him; nor was it true of Saul and his sons that they were cut off, and that they died the next day; for the battle was not fought till several days after this, see 1 Samuel 28:23; if it should be said, that "tomorrow" signifies some future time, and not strictly the next day, this shows the ambiguity of the expression used, and the insignificance of it to the present purpose; for who knew not that Saul and his sons would die some time or another?

the Lord also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines; which is only a repetition of what is said in the first clause.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 28:19". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-samuel-28.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: h and to morrow [shalt] thou and thy sons [be] with me: the LORD also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.

(h) You will die, (1 Samuel 31:6).
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 28:19". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/1-samuel-28.html. 1599-1645.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: the LORD also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.

Tomorrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: "What do these solemn words portend? A gleam of hope when life shall end. Thou and thy sons, tho' slain shall be To-morrow in repose with me. Not in a state of health or pain If Saul with Samuel doth remain; Not in a state of damn'd despair, If loving Jonathan is there." Tho' these words may only mean, ye shall surely die, without any reference to the state of their souls after death.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 28:19". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/1-samuel-28.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

1 Samuel 28:19 Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to morrow [shalt] thou and thy sons [be] with me: the LORD also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.

Ver. 19. Moreover the Lord will also.] See how Satan layeth load enough upon this already despairing wretch, that he may hurry him to hell: as afterwards he did the Gergesenes’ swine into the sea headlong. Till men have sinned, Satan is a parasite; when they have sinned, he is a tyrant. What careth he to flatter any more, when he hath what he would!

And tomorrow.] That is, Shortly hence, as Exodus 13:14, Matthew 6:24.

Shalt thou and thy sons be with me,] i.e., In the state of the dead. Hereby also this old deceiver would persuade Saul that the souls of all men, as well good as bad, go to the same place: seeking thereby to blot out of him all knowledge and apprehension of eternal life.

The Lord also shall deliver.] This the devil could not certainly foretell, though he might gather much, and give a shrewd guess, unless he had it by revelation from God, as 1 Kings 22:21-22.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 28:19". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-samuel-28.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

1 Samuel 28:19. To-morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me Samuel predicts two things. I. That Saul, and his three sons who were with him in the camp, should be with him; i.e. should, like him, be in another world, or should die. II. That they should die on the morrow, or rather, very shortly; for that is the signification of the word מחר machar, in many places of Scripture. See Exodus 13:14 and Joshua 4:6. It is probable, however, that the word in this place may be taken in its literal sense of to-morrow. These predictions of Samuel evidently proved that he spoke by God's order; for he foretells, first, the victory of the Philistines; secondly, the death of Saul and his sons; and thirdly, the advantages which the Philistines should derive from their victory. See chap. 1 Samuel 31:7. And it is surprising, that after such plain predictions as these, which could come only from God, any person should imagine that this apparition of Samuel was either a human or a diabolical imposture.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 28:19". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/1-samuel-28.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

With me, i.e. in the state of the dead; and so it was true both of Saul and Jonathan. Or, in the state of rest; for though thou shalt suffer here for thy sin, yet after death thou shalt be happy, as dying in the Lord’s quarrel: so the devil’s design might be to flatter Saul into an opinion of his own future happiness, and to take him off from all serious thoughts and cares about it. And it is here observable, that as it was the manner of the heathen oracles to answer ambiguously, the better to save his credit in case of mistake; (the devil himself not being certain of future events, but only conjecturing at what was most likely;) so doth this counterfeit Samuel here. For, as concerning the time, he says

to-morrow; which he understood indifferently for the very next day, or for some short time after. And, as concerning the condition,

thou shalt be with me; which may be understood either of a good condition, if understood as spoken in the person of Samuel; or of a bad condition, if understood as spoken by an evil spirit; or at least indefinitely of a dead condition, be it good or evil; which last he foresaw by circumstances to be very likely.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Samuel 28:19". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/1-samuel-28.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

19.The Lord will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to-morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me — To take these words as a revelation from Samuel involves the evangelical interpreter in the dilemma expressed by Charles Wesley:

What do these solemn words portend?

A ray of hope when life shall end.

“Thou and thy sons, though slain, shall be

To-morrow in repose with me.”

Not in a state of hellish pain,

If Saul with Samuel do remain;

Not in a state of dark despair,

If loving Jonathan be there.

But if Saul, Samuel, and the “loving Jonathan” find after death the same abode, what matters it that “Saul died for his transgressions,” and especially for the crime of inquiring of a necromancer? See 1 Chronicles 10:13. Universalism may then well comfort the incorrigible sinner, and assure him of immediate “repose” after death with the saints in light!! Such theology may do for the witch of Endor, but not for the holy Samuel. Beholding Saul’s despair and terror, the witch knew that the Philistines had every probability of victory in the approaching battle, and that warriors like Saul and his sons would not be likely to survive defeat. We have, therefore, no evidence of a supernatural communication here. It ought to be noted that there is no evidence outside of this verse that the disastrous battle of Mount Gilboa was fought and Saul slain on the morrow after this interview with the witch. Here she herself, perhaps, made a blunder, for very possibly several days elapsed before the fatal battle in which Saul and his sons were slain.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 28:19". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-samuel-28.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

1 Samuel 28:19. Moreover, the Lord will also deliver, &c. — Samuel here predicts three things: 1st, That the Lord would deliver Israel, with Saul, into the hand of the Philistines. 2d, That Saul and his sons (namely, the three that were with him in the camp) should be with him, that is, should, like him, be in the state of the dead, or another world. 3d, That this should take place on the morrow. Now as no evil spirit or impostor of any kind could possibly know these particulars, which were all exactly accomplished next day, nor even Samuel himself, unless he had been divinely inspired with the knowledge of them, it is surprising that any person should imagine that this appearance of Samuel was either a human or diabolical imposture; for it is evident it could only proceed from the omniscient God. And if we consider the whole attentively, we may see a peculiar propriety in it. When Samuel denounced God’s judgments upon Saul he was clad in a mantle, which Saul tore on that occasion. He now came to repeat and to ratify the sentence then denounced; and, to strike him with fuller conviction, he appears in the same dress, the same mantle, in which he denounced that sentence. And since he now again denounced a rending of the kingdom from Saul’s posterity, why may we not presume that the mantle showed now the same rent which was the emblem of that rending? Is it irrational to suppose that when he spoke of this he held up the mantle and pointed to the rent? It is well known the prophets were men of much action in their speaking, and often illustrated their predictions by emblems. It may be observed further, that although Samuel in his lifetime often reproved Saul for his guilt, and told him that God had given away his kingdom from him for that guilt; yet he never told him to whom, nor when the sentence should be executed upon him. How proper, then, to raise from the dead the same prophet who predicted that sentence, to confirm it; to tell him that the kingdom should be taken from him that day; and to name the very person to whom it should be given; to show by whom, and where, and how the sentence should be executed; and that the execution of it was instant, and should be deferred no longer. Was not this an occasion worthy of the divine interposition? The son of Sirach, who probably had as much wisdom, penetration, and piety, as any critic that came after him, is clearly of opinion with the sacred historian, that it was Samuel himself who foretold the fate of Saul and his house in this interview. And it is no ill presumption that his judgment was also that of the Jewish Church upon this head. It has been a question with some, whether the Jews had any belief in the immortality of the soul? This history is a full decision upon that point, and perhaps the establishment of that truth upon the foot of sensible evidence, was not the lowest end of Samuel’s appearance upon this occasion. See Delaney.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 28:19". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/1-samuel-28.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

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) --- Saul was guilty of suicide, so that he could not be with Samuel in happiness, (chap. xxxi. 4. Tirinus) though he was in the other world. (Worthington) --- See St. Augustine, ad Simp. ii. 3.; Cura pro mort. c. xv.; St. Justin Martyr, Dial.; Origen, &c.

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 28:19". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/1-samuel-28.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

with me: i.e. with the dead.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 28:19". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/1-samuel-28.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: the LORD also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.

Tomorrow shalt thou and thy sons by with me - i:e., in the state of the dead. The expression "with me" does not imply that the condition of Saul and his sons would be the same as that of Samuel, but that they would be, like the prophet, in the receptacle of departed spirits, though each would have his own place.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 28:19". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-samuel-28.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(19) Moreover the Lord will also deliver Israel . . . into the hands of the Philistines.—Three crushing judgments, which were to come directly upon Saul, are contained in the prophet’s words related in this 19th verse. (a) The utter defeat of the army of Israel. (b) The violent death of Saul himself and his two sons in the course of the impending fight. (c) The sacking of the Israelitish camp, which was to follow the defeat, and which would terribly augment the horrors and disasters of the rout of the king’s army.

“This overthrow of the people was to heighten Saul’s misery, when he saw the people plunged with him into ruin through his sin.”—O. von Gerlach.

To morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me.—The Hebrew word here rendered “to morrow,” machar, need not signify “the next day,” but some near future time. In saying “thou shalt be with me,” Samuel does not pronounce Saul’s final condemnation, for he had no mission to do so, but rather draws him by his tenderness to a better mind. He uses a mild and charitable expression, applicable to all, good and bad, “Thou shalt be as I am: no longer among the living.” In the vision of the world of spirits, revealed to us by our blessed Lord, the souls of Dives and Lazarus may be said to be together in the abode of the departed spirits, for Dives saw Lazarus, and conversed with Abraham, though there was a gulf fixed between them. “If Samuel had said to Saul, ‘Thou shalt be among the damned,’ he would have crushed him with a weight of despair, and have hardened him in his impenitence; but by using this gentler expression, he mildly exhorted him to repentance. While there was life there was hope: the door was still open.”—Bishop Wordsworth.

“Shalt thou be with me” does not refer to an equality in bliss, but to a like condition of death.—St. Augustine. Augustine here means that to-morrow Saul would be “a shade,” like to what Samuel then was; he says, however, nothing respecting Saul’s enjoying bliss like that which he (Samuel) was doubtless then enjoying.

The host.—“Host” here should be rendered camp. The meaning, then, of the whole verse would be: first, there would be a total defeat of the royal army; secondly, Saul and his sons would fall; thirdly, the rout would be followed by the sack of the camp of Israel, and its attendant horrors.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 28:19". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-samuel-28.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: the LORD also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.
the Lord
12:25; 31:1-6; 1 Kings 22:20,28
and to-morrow
There is considerable diversity of opinion, both among learned and pious men, relative to this appearance to Saul. But the most probable opinion seems to be, that Samuel himself did actually appear to Saul, not by the power of enchantment, but by the appointment and especial mercy of God, to warn this infatuated monarch of his approaching end, that he might be reconciled with his Maker. There is not the smallest intimation of chicanery or Satanic influence given in the text; but on the contrary, from the plain and obvious meaning of the language employed, it is perfectly evident that it was Samuel himself, Shemooel hoo, as it is expressed in ver. 14. Indeed the very soul of Samuel seems to breathe in his expressions of displeasure against the disobedience and wickedness of Saul; while the awful prophetic denunciations which accordingly came to pass, were such as neither human nor diabolical wisdom could foresee, and which could only be known to God himself, and to those to whom he chose to reveal them.
Exodus 9:18; Jeremiah 28:16,17; Daniel 5:25-28; Matthew 26:24; Acts 5:5,9,10
Reciprocal: 1 Samuel 31:6 - General2 Kings 1:4 - but shalt;  Esther 6:13 - If Mordecai;  Psalm 7:16 - GeneralPsalm 63:9 - go;  Proverbs 27:1 - thou;  Hebrews 10:27 - a certain

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 28:19". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-samuel-28.html.