Gilbert House Fellowship #70: Psalms 17, 35, 54, 63; 1 Sam 28-31; Psalm 18

saul-medium-endorTHE ONLY place in the Bible where we see the appearance of a human ghost is part of our Old Testament study this week. But it’s important to remember that Samuel was allowed to return by God specifically to deliver a message to Saul. It is not standard practice for human spirits to remain on Earth to settle unfinished business.

We also discuss the death of Saul, David’s successful rescue of his wives from the Amalekites, and another collection of psalms that date to this period of David’s life.

To access the archive of Old Testament studies beginning with Genesis 1, click here. For our New Testament studies beginning with Matthew 1, click here.


  1. So you actually believe that it was Samuel that returned from the dead? Main points of wrong interpretation are as follows:
    1)28:6,7, Saul ignored the silence of God, and sought out a witch.
    2)28:12, The witch cried in fear because she realized the truth of what she was, and what exactly was happening.
    a) As a witch, she is lost.
    b)It was Saul that lied to her.
    3)28:13, gods with a small g coming out of the earth. Rev. 12 tells who comes out or ascends from the earth.
    4)28:14, Saul asked who it was, and she said; an old man with a mantle. Because of the interpretation of a witch, the ‘disobedient Saul’ saw a demon disguised as Samuel, and bowed to it! As disobedient people, whom do we bow to?

    1. Author

      Hi, Jack: Thanks for your note. We understand that not everyone agrees on how to interpret this incident.

      However, we do indeed believe that Samuel returned from the dead. The text does not indicate that the elohim was anything other than Samuel.

      • Verse 12: “When the woman saw Samuel…”
      • Verse 15: “Then Samuel said to Saul…”
      • Verse 20: Saul was “filled with fear because of the words of Samuel.”

      We believe a more plausible explanation for the medium’s fearful reaction to the spirit was because it was not the familiar spirit she was accustomed to seeing. There is nothing in the text to suggest that she was remorseful about what she was doing, only concern that she not be caught and punished.

      Hebrew cosmology in the Old Testament consistently identifies Sheol as the abode of the dead, good and bad alike, and locates it beneath the Earth. Samuel emerging from the Earth is completely understandable. See the illustration below.

      That’s enough for us to conclude that God allowed the spirit of Samuel to return specifically to deliver a message to Saul. It does not indicate that human spirits routinely hang around until they conclude unfinished business here on Earth.

      Hebrew Cosmology

      1. Derek,
        Thanks for the response. Just to let you know a little of what you are dealing with here. I was brought up Protestant, and eventually became Seventh Day Adventist (SDA). All religions do have a little truth, although the best lie is 99% truth. In order to understand where I have currently arrived to, you have to understand the state of the dead. Gen. 2:7 is what was made. Do a search on ‘sleep’ in your Bible, and you will see the state of mankind in death. I.E. Waiting on the resurrection. There is no life after death except in special circumstances like Lazarus, (he never spoke of anything happening after death) and the 24 elders who are arranged on thrones with Gods’ throne. It could be anyones guess who these 24 may be. I could make some guesses, but the only ones who were told directly were the 12 Apostles, by Jesus himself. Guesses would definitely include Enoch, Noah, Job, Abraham, Moses, David, (however, why not Jonathan instead?) Daniel was told specifically, ‘Go thy way until the resurrection.’ Dan. 12:13.
        Plainly stated, the witch of Endor and Saul sinned, and conjured up themselves a demon. Days later Saul died with his whole family, and David mourned Jonathan.
        Now I am no longer a member of any religion. I only believe The Holy Bible as written, and studied. If I am wrong about something, which is a given, I always want to know it, because I only want to know the God of The Bible.

  2. You are such a blessing to me. I needed this tonight. I’ve been at church all day. Going through some stuff, though. Thanks for the encouragement. Through you, God spoke to me tonight.

  3. Hey Jack,

    Unfortunately in this understanding you are sorely misplaced. Derek is 100% correct. The Bible says what it says and unfortunately anything else is just twisting the Scripture to your held beliefs.

    Derek, do you think Sharon’s dream was prophetic/ It seems very much that way…. I am listening to this at a time also when we have just had soft disclosure also. Coincidence? I think not, I think it is timely.

  4. I just have to share this with you guys because it was too funny! As I’m sitting on the porch going through my bible studies with yall (thank you so much for this by the way) our cat, who just so happens to be named Sam, walked up for pets meowing really loud as Sharon was reading psalm 63. And right in that moment, during this recording yalls Sam must have walked up because she paused and said “well hi Sam!” and I just laughed so hard because the timing was impeccable and it was if she had responded to Sam the cat who was interrupting!

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