Saul and the Medium; Saul Dies

1 Samuel 28-31 and Psalm 45

Chapter 28 records Saul’s encounter with a spiritist, a medium. He disguises himself and finds her in order to ask Samuel a question. Samuel appears to the woman and she instantly knows this is Saul in disguise. Saul assures her he will not harm her. In the vision, Samuel recounts what Saul didn’t want to hear, “the Lord has departed from you” (1 Samuel 28:16). Saul prostrates himself and it appears he nearly passes out since he hasn’t eaten anything. After prodding, he and his men are fed by the medium before they got up and departed.

Chapter 29 continues the story that began in 28:1-2 (not directly related to Saul’s encounter) where Achish asked David to join in the coming battle and David agreed. Now they are all assembling for the battle when the other commanders notice the Hebrews. They are angry with Achish and force him to send David and his group back to the camp. He reluctantly submits.

While they were on their way back, they discovered the Amalekites had attacked Ziklag and taken their wives, sons and daughters captive (including David’s two wives). David inquired of the Lord and was given the go ahead to pursue the Amalekites. Along the way they found an Egyptian who was a slave of the Amalekites. They interrogate him and agree not to harm him if he can lead them to their camp.

David recovered everything the Amalekites had taken, including his two wives. Nothing was missing: young or old, boy or girl, plunder or anything else they had taken. David brought everything back. 1 Samuel 30:18-19

David wisely deals with those who were not able to go into battle with them and distributes the plunder among everyone, including friends in Judah.

Meanwhile, on the battlefront, the Philistines are fighting Saul and his army. Many Israelites were killed, many fled. Saul’s sons, including Jonathan died in the battle and Saul was severely injured. He begged his armor bearer to kill him. When he refused, Saul fell on his own sword.

The end of Saul. The end of 1 Samuel.

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