Now Samuel was dead
Had been so for some time; which is mentioned before, ( 1 Samuel 25:1 ) ; and here repeated, partly to observe the reason of the Philistines renewing the war, and partly to account for the conduct of Saul, in seeking to a witch to raise Samuel, and for the sake of that story:
and all Israel lamented him;
as they had great reason to do; (See Gill on 1 Samuel 25:1); and buried him in Ramah, even his own city; there being two Ramahs, as Kimchi observes, it is added, "in his own city", to show that he was buried in that Ramah which was his native place, and where his constant residence was; though, as he says, it may mean that he was buried within the city, and not without it; but the Targum gives a different sense,
``and they buried him in Ramah, and mourned for him every man in his city:''and Saul had put away those that had familiar spirits, and the wizards,
out of the land:
out of the land of Israel; had by an edict banished them, or had given orders that neither witches nor wizards should abide in the land; but should be taken up, and prosecuted according to the law of God; which he had done either at the instigation of Samuel; or, as some think, from a conceit that the evil spirit he had been troubled with was owing to them; or to make some appearance of a zeal for religion, and the honour and glory of God: this is observed to show the inconstancy of Saul, and his folly in applying after this to a person of such a character, and to account for the fears of the woman when applied to, and afterwards when she was engaged, when she found it was by Saul; see ( 1 Samuel 28:7-12 ) .