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1 Samuel Chapter 28 | Parsha:

1At that time the Philistines mustered their forces for war, to take the field against Israel. Achish said to David, “You know, of course, that you and your men must march out with my forces.” 2David answered Achish, “You surely know what your servant will do.” “In that case,” Achish replied to David, “I will appoint you my bodyguard for life.”

3Now Samuel had died and all Israel made lament for him; and he was buried in his own town of Ramah. And Saul had forbidden [recourse to] ghosts and familiar spirits in the land.

4The Philistines mustered and they marched to Shunem and encamped; and Saul gathered all Israel, and they encamped at Gilboa. 5When Saul saw the Philistine force, his heart trembled with fear. 6And Saul inquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him, either by dreams or by Urim or by prophets. 7Then Saul said to his courtiers, “Find me a woman who consults ghosts, so that I can go to her and inquire through her.” And his courtiers told him that there was a woman in En-dor who consulted ghosts.

8Saul disguised himself; he put on different clothes and set out with two men. They came to the woman by night, and he said, “Please divine for me by a ghost. Bring up for me the one I shall name to you.” 9But the woman answered him, “You know what Saul has done, how he has banned [the use of] ghosts and familiar spirits in the land. So why are you laying a trap for me, to get me killed?” 10Saul swore to her by the Lord: “As the Lord lives, you won’t get into trouble over this.” 11At that, the woman asked, “Whom shall I bring up for you?” He answered, “Bring up Samuel for me.” 12Then the woman recognized Samuel, and she shrieked loudly, and said to Saul, “Why have you deceived me? You are Saul!” 13The king answered her, “Don’t be afraid. What do you see?” And the woman said to Saul, “I see a divine being coming up from the earth.” 14“What does he look like?” he asked her. “It is an old man coming up,” she said, “and he is wrapped in a robe.” Then Saul knew that it was Samuel; and he bowed low in homage with his face to the ground.

15Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me and brought me up?” And Saul answered, “I am in great trouble. The Philistines are attacking me and God has turned away from me; He no longer answers me, either by prophets or in dreams. So I have called you to tell me what I am to do.” 16Samuel said, “Why do you ask me, seeing that the Lord has turned away from you and has become your adversary? 17The Lord has done for Himself as He foretold through me: The Lord has torn the kingship out of your hands and has given it to your fellow, to David, 18because you did not obey the Lord and did not execute His wrath upon the Amalekites. That is why the Lord has done this to you today. 19Further, the Lord will deliver the Israelites who are with you into the hands of the Philistines. Tomorrow your sons and you will be with me; and the Lord will also deliver the Israelite forces into the hands of the Philistines.”

20At once Saul flung himself prone on the ground, terrified by Samuel’s words. Besides, there was no strength in him, for he had not eaten anything all day and all night. 21The woman went up to Saul and, seeing how greatly disturbed he was, she said to him, “Your handmaid listened to you; I took my life in my hands and heeded the request you made of me. 22So now you listen to me: Let me set before you a bit of food. Eat, and then you will have the strength to go on your way.” 23He refused, saying, “I will not eat.” But when his courtiers as well as the woman urged him, he listened to them; he got up from the ground and sat on the bed. 24The woman had a stall-fed calf in the house; she hastily slaughtered it, and took flour and kneaded it, and baked some unleavened cakes. 25She set this before Saul and his courtiers, and they ate. Then they rose and left the same night.

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