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Lesson 44: Saul and the Witch of Endor

Updated: Aug 3, 2020

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INTRODUCTION. Sometime during David's fugitive years Samuel died and the people of Israel mourned for him. After David's encounter with Saul in the cave, David married Abigail, a woman of Carmel, and also Ahinoam, a woman of Jezreel. Both of

these cities were located in the hill country of Judah where David was hiding. About

the same time Saul gave his daughter Michal, who was David's first wife, to another

man (I Sam. 25).

Again the Ziphites betrayed David to Saul, and again Saul began his pursuit of David.

This time David discovered Saul and his men while they were sleeping in their camp.

A deep sleep from the Lord had fallen on them, and David was able to steal into the

camp, take Saul's spear, and a jug of water. David then stood on a hill afar off and

called to Abner, Saul's captain, chastising him for not guarding the king. Again, Saul,

realizing David had spared his life, said he had sinned and would no longer attempt

to harm David. David then went on his way and Saul returned to his place, no longer

pursuing David (I Sam. 26).

David still did not trust Saul, however, and fled once more to Achish, the Philistine

king of Gath. Achish gave David the city of Ziklag as a home, and David, his men,

and their families dwelt in the city (I Sam. 27).

Once again the Philistines gathered their army together to fight against Israel. Saul

gathered his army, and the two armies camped about five miles apart. When Saul

saw the Philistine host, he was frightened. He attempted to communicate with God,

but was unsuccessful either by dreams, by the priests, or by the prophets. Saul pre-

viously had attempted to rid the land of witchcraft, but because of his fear of the com-

ing battle, he told his servants to find a witch for him to consult. When his servants

advised him there was a medium at Endor, Saul went to seek her advice after dis-

guising himself. He tricked her into calling for Samuel's spirit, and surprisingly Samuel's spirit appeared. Samuel's message, however, was not comforting or encouraging to Saul (I Sam. 28).

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