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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - 1 Samuel 28:7-14

Here, I. Saul seeks for a witch, 1 Sam. 28:7. When God answered him not, if he had humbled himself by repentance and persevered in seeking God, who knows but that at length he might have been entreated for him? but, since he can discern no comfort either from heaven or earth (Isa. 8:21, 22), he resolves to knock at the gates of hell, and to see if any there will befriend him and give him advice: Seek me a woman that has a familiar spirit, 1 Sam. 28:7. And his servants were too officious to... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - 1 Samuel 28:14

And he said unto her, what form is he of ?.... Of what stature is he? or rather of what age does he seem to be? and what clothes has he on? as appears from the answer: and she said, an old man cometh up, and he is covered with a mantle ; such as either priests or judges wore, and Samuel did in his lifetime: and Saul perceived that it was Samuel ; by the description she gave of him, by his age and apparel; for as yet it is not certain that he himself saw him, though it should seem... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - 1 Samuel 28:14

An old man cometh up , and he is covered with a mantle - This seems to have been a second apparition; she cannot mean that she had seen gods ascending out of the earth, and these gods were like an old man with a mantle. The angelic appearance first mentioned prepared the way for Samuel; and the whole was done so as to show to the woman that her art had not prevailed in the present instance, and that what was now taking place was wholly independent of her incantations. ... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - 1 Samuel 28:6-14

Man's appeal from God to man. The facts are— 1 . Saul in his trouble seeks in vain guidance from God. 2 . In despair he has recourse to the witch of Endor, promising her that no harm should come to her for assisting him with her incantations. 3 . Saul desires of her to bring up Samuel. 4 . On Samuel coining forth the woman is in terror, and also discovers Saul's identity. 5 . By the aid of the woman Saul recognises Samuel, and bows himself to the earth. The strange... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - 1 Samuel 28:11-15

A God-forsaken man. I. FOREBODING BEFORE THE BATTLE . As the clouds gather blackness before a storm, so the mind of King Saul became more than ever dejected and gloomy before his defeat and death on Mount Gilboa. He who in the beginning of his reign struck so boldly at the Philistines, and threw off their yoke from the neck of Israel, was now afraid at the approach of their host, and "his heart greatly trembled." Not that his natural courage had deserted him, but, amidst all the... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - 1 Samuel 28:14

What form is he of? Rather, "What is his aspect?" i.e. his look. As the term a god conveyed no other idea than that she had seen something majestic, Saul asks for a more exact description. She answers that it was an old man clad in a robe, meil (see on 1 Samuel 2:19 ). Samuel seems never to have worn the prophetic mantle (see on 1 Samuel 15:27 ), but always the meil. There was nothing, therefore, distinctive in the dress; but as she says that she has seen an old man, Saul concludes... read more

Joseph Benson

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments - 1 Samuel 28:14

1 Samuel 28:14. An old man coming up Although this appearance of Samuel is represented by the woman as coming up out of the earth, there is no reason to think that it did so in fact. Rather, the woman spoke according to the prevailing notion of both Jews and heathen of those days, that the place of abode of separate souls was under the earth. This opinion was the foundation of necromancy, or divining by the dead; and from a foolish supposition that they could call the dead from their... read more

Donald C. Fleming

Bridgeway Bible Commentary - 1 Samuel 28:1-25

Another Philistine-Israelite war (28:1-29:11)When the Philistines set out to attack Israel, Achish made David and his troops his personal bodyguard (28:1-2). Back in Israel, Saul was terrified. He asked God what he should do, but God refused to show him (3-6). So he went to a woman who consulted the spirits of the dead, hoping that through her he could get directions from Samuel (7-14).Samuel spoke to Saul from the world of the dead, but he gave him neither comfort nor help. He merely confirmed... read more

E.W. Bullinger

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes - 1 Samuel 28:14

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. read more

Thomas Coke

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible - 1 Samuel 28:13-14

1 Samuel 28:13-14. For what sawest thou?— It should be rendered, but what sawest thou? The word translated Gods, is אלהים elohim. The Chaldee renders it, a messenger of the Lord. Houbigant thinks that she speaks after the manner of idolators, who used to address in the plural the gods whom they worshipped; a custom which they transferred to their Genii, and even to the souls of the departed which they evoked. Saul, acquainted with this language, sufficiently understood that the woman saw only... read more

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