1 Samuel 28 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of 1 Samuel 28)
28:1 And it came to pass in those days, that the Philistines gathered their armies together for warfare, to fight with Israel. And Achish said unto David, a Know thou assuredly, that thou shalt go out with me to battle, thou and thy men.

(a) Though it was a great grief to David to fight against the people of God, yet such was his infirmity, he did not dare deny him.

28:3 Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had lamented him, and buried him in Ramah, even in his own city. And Saul had b put away those that had familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land.

(b) According to the commandment of God, (
Exodus 22:18; Deuteronomy 18:10,11).

28:6 And when Saul enquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by c Urim, nor by prophets.

(c) Meaning, the high priest, (
Exodus 28:30).

28:8 And Saul d disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me [him] up, whom I shall name unto thee.

(d) He does not seek God in his misery, but is led by Satan to unlawful means, which in his conscience he condemns.

28:11 Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up e Samuel.

(e) He speaks according to his gross ignorance not considering the state of the saints after this life, and how Satan has no power over them.

28:14 And he said unto her, What form [is] he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he [is] covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it [was] f Samuel, and he stooped with [his] face to the ground, and bowed himself.

(f) To his imagination, even though it was Satan, who to blind his eyes took on him the form of Samuel, as he can do of an angel of light.

28:17 And the LORD hath done to g him, as he spake by me: for the LORD hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand, and given it to thy neighbour, [even] to David:

(g) That is, to David.

28:19 Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: h and to morrow [shalt] thou and thy sons [be] with me: the LORD also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.

(h) You will die, (
1 Samuel 31:6).

28:20 Then Saul fell straightway all along on the earth, and was sore i afraid, because of the words of Samuel: and there was no strength in him; for he had eaten no bread all the day, nor all the night.

(i) The wicked when they hear God's judgments, tremble and despair, but cannot seek for mercy by repentance.

28:21 And the woman came unto Saul, and saw that he was sore troubled, and said unto him, Behold, thine handmaid hath obeyed thy voice, and I k have put my life in my hand, and have hearkened unto thy words which thou spakest unto me.

(k) I have ventured my life.

28:24 And the woman had a fat calf in the house; and she hasted, and killed it, and took flour, and kneaded [it], and did bake l unleavened bread thereof:

(l) Because it required haste.