The Apple Of God's Eye

February 21, 2011

Did Samuel The Prophet Come Back As A Spirit?

King Saul asked God about an impending battle with the Philistines, but God gave him no answer (I Sam. 28:1-6). In great fear (verse 5), Saul disguised himself and went to the witch at Endor, a woman who had contact with familiar spirits or demons. She asked, “Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, bring me up Samuel” (verse 11).

The woman complied with Saul’s request — or at least she performed some ritual which made it appear that she did. And “when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice” (verse 12) because she then realized she was dealing with King Saul and could well be in jeopardy of her life for practicing witchcraft (verses 3 and 9). But Saul told her not to be afraid and asked what she had seen. She replied “I saw a god-like being coming up out of the earth” (verse 13, Jewish translation).

Saul then asked the woman, “What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived [thought] that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself” (verse 14).

In describing what she saw, the woman used these expressions: “a god-like being,” “an old man,” and “he is covered with a mantle.” There is not one word that it was actually Samuel himself! What did she see? She saw an evil spirit which presented itself in a way in which it could be mistaken for Samuel.

The Bible reveals that Satan is the prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2:2). He is the god of this world and can transform himself into an angel of light (II Cor. 4:4; 11:14). Satan and his demons have the power to produce apparitions and to appear in human or animal forms.

The next question in I Samuel 28 arises over verse 15: “And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up?” Why does the account read as though Samuel were speaking to Saul? It is merely a matter of what Saul wanted to see and hear. Demons enjoy fooling people. This one took the opportunity to play into Saul’s hand by impersonating Samuel. It apparently knew the outcome of the battle and told Saul that he would die the following day and that his army would be defeated by the Philistines.

Deception is one of Satan’s devices (Rev. 12:9). I Samuel 28 records that “Samuel” spoke, although it was actually a demon speaking through what looked like a human (John Gill’s Exposition Of The Bible). Samuel was not there, either in body or spirit. He was, and still is, dead and in his grave, awaiting the resurrection. This account is written, at least in part, from the human point of view, that is, the way it appeared to the witch and to Saul.

This scripture in no way contradicts the multitude of clear scriptures proving that the soul is mortal.


  1. Hi Melchia some young earth creationists and this includes John Denton in his article “Neanderthal/Nephilim” has sugested that the Daughters of Men (Cain’s family) were taken by “Fallen angels” or the “Sons of God”. Is it the case as John Denton sugests that this would have made the Nephilim or Neanderthal “Half-Breed Humans and that they would have become giants as a union between “Sons of God” and Daughters of Men. John

    Comment by John Hext-Fremlin — July 16, 2011 @ 12:41 pm | Reply

  2. The reference to “sons of God” in Genesis 6:1-2 baffles the experts because they don’t look into their Bible. From Hebrews 1:14 (and other scriptures) we see that they are created spirits and not mortal flesh-and-blood beings. Hence, they cannot reproduce by sexual intercourse or any other means (see Luke 20:34-36; Matthew 22:30; Mark 12:25).

    Against this backdrop, let’s look at Genesis 6:1-4. “And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. The sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.”

    Who, then, were these “sons of God”? The phrase can be used three different ways in the Bible: 1) Men (Genesis 6:1-4; Luke 3:38; Malachi 2:10). Genesis 6 is referring to men, not angels. 2) Angels (Job 38:5-7; Hebrews 1:5). 3) Spirit-begotten humans (Romans 8:14; 1 John 3:1; 2 Peter 1:4). The first two groups are both created “sons of God,” physical and spiritual. But only the first category of men, created physical “sons of God,” unlike the angels, may become spiritual “sons of God” through a begettal by God’s Holy Spirit.

    Genesis 6:2 says that the “sons of God” took wives. Since they married women, they could not be angels. Angels do not marry. Notice verse three: “The Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man.” Here, again, the sons of God are called man. Because these sons of God sinned, God continues in verse 7, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth ….”

    It is always important to read the entire context of a passage. So far, not one word about angels! As mentioned earlier, angels are spirits and could not be destroyed by water. With the flood, “all flesh died … and every man. … Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark” (Genesis 7:21-23).

    John, I think the books you read are by Bible scholars (read critics) who lack understanding of scriptural context. Please let me know if this answer satisfies your question.

    Comment by melchia — July 17, 2011 @ 12:47 am | Reply

  3. Very good Bible based article Melchia. The verses used don’t lie.

    Comment by Rehanna French — July 17, 2011 @ 6:06 pm | Reply

  4. Hi Melchia your answer does indeed satisfy my question. The Books or at least some of them by Bible Scholars such as The Book of Enoch have sugested that the “Watchers” (whoever they might have been ) were responsible for carrying off human women. These were supposedly angels.

    It has been alledged that so-called “Alien Abduction” cases have lead to “Demon posession. Is there any connection between ufo’s and the demons of Satan? This has been an idea put forward by “Answers in Genesis” young earth creationists. John

    Comment by John Hext-Fremlin — July 18, 2011 @ 2:34 pm | Reply

    • No connection at all. Demons are real (so says the Bible) and UFO’s are a figment of the imagination. I would suggest however that Satan uses the concept of UFO’s to get people focused on things other than spiritual knowledge from God. It’s a great time wasting deception.

      Comment by melchia — July 18, 2011 @ 9:30 pm | Reply

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