The Philistines go out to war against Israel. Saul being forsaken by God, hath recourse to a witch. Samuel appeareth to him. And it came to pass in those days, that the Philistines gathered together their armies to be prepared for war against Israel: and Achis said to David: Know thou now assuredly, that thou shalt go out with me to the war, thou, and thy men.  And David said to Achis: Now thou shalt know what thy servant will do. And Achis said to David: And I will appoint thee to guard my life for ever.  Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel mourned for him, and buried him in Ramatha his city. And Saul had put away all the magicians and soothsayers out of the land.  And the Philistines were gathered together, and came and camped in Sunam: and Saul also gathered together all Israel, and came to Gelboe.  And Saul saw the army of the Philistines, and was afraid, and his heart was very much dismayed.  And he consulted the Lord, and he answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by priests, nor by prophets.  And Saul said to his servants: Seek me a woman that hath a divining spirit, and I will go to her, and inquire by her. And his servants said to him: There is a woman that hath a divining spirit at Endor.  Then he disguised himself: and put on other clothes, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night, and he said to her: Divine to me by thy divining spirit, and bring me up him whom I shall tell thee.  And the woman said to him: Behold thou knowest all that Saul hath done, and how he hath rooted out the magicians and soothsayers from the land: why then dost thou lay a snare for my life, to cause me to be put to death?  And Saul swore unto her by the Lord, saying: As the Lord liveth there shall no evil happen to thee for this thing.  And the woman said to him: Whom shall I bring up to thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel.  And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice, and said to Saul: Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul.  And the king said to her: Fear not: what hast thou seen? And the woman said to Saul: I saw gods ascending out of the earth.  And he said to her: What form is he of? And she said: An old man cometh up, and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul understood that it was Samuel, and he bowed himself with his face to the ground, and adored.  And Samuel said to Saul: Why hast thou disturbed my rest, that I should be brought up? And Saul said, I am in great distress: for the Philistines fight against me, and God is departed from me, and would not hear me, neither by the hand of prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest shew me what I shall do.  And Samuel said: Why askest thou me, seeing the Lord has departed from thee, and is gone over to thy rival:  For the Lord will do to thee as he spoke by me, and he will rend thy kingdom out of thy hand, and will give it to thy neighbour David:  Because thou didst not obey the voice of the Lord, neither didst thou execute the wrath of his indignation upon Amalec. Therefore hath the Lord done to thee what thou sufferest this day.  And the Lord also will deliver Israel with thee into the hands of the Philistines: and tomorrow thou and thy sons shall be with me: and the Lord will also deliver the army of Israel into the hands of the Philistines.  And forthwith Saul fell all along on the ground, for he was frightened with the words of Samuel, and there was no strength in him, for he had eaten no bread all that day.  And the woman came to Saul (for he was very much troubled) and said to him: Behold thy handmaid hath obeyed thy voice, and I have put my life in my hand: and I hearkened unto the words which thou spokest to me.  Now therefore hear thou also the voice of thy handmaid, and let me set before thee a morsel of bread, that thou mayest eat and recover strength, and be able to go on thy journey.  But he refused, and said: I will not eat. But his servants and the woman forced him, and at length hearkening to their voice, he arose from the ground and sat upon the bed.  Now the woman had a fatted calf in the house, and she made haste and killed it: and taking meal kneaded it, and baked some unleavened bread,  And set it before Saul, and before his servants. And when they had eaten they rose up, and walked all that night.
Commentary “Understood that it was Samuel”: It is the more common opinion of the holy fathers, and interpreters, that the soul of Samuel appeared indeed: and not, as some have imagined, an evil spirit in his shape. Not that the power of her magic could bring him thither, but that God was pleased for the punishment of Saul, that Samuel himself should denounce unto him the evils that were falling upon him. See Eccli. 46. 23.  “With me”: That is, in the state of the dead, and in another world, though not in the same place.
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TITLE: Saint Alphonsus Maria Ligori on the Patience and Imitation of Christ. With Biblical Wisdom of the Gospels, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastical + quotes from St. Francis of Assisi, and many more.
AUTHOR: St. Alphonsus Liguori
EDITOR: Pablo Claret
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