1 Samuel 28:12

1 Samuel 28:12

And when the woman saw Samuel
The appearance of him whom she took for Samuel; no mention is made of the methods she used to raise him, to check the curiosity of such as might be desirous to know them, and to prevent the imitation of them; though some think that Samuel, or the apparition, was seen before she made use of any, which surprised her; but this seems not so probable, and is only observed for the sake of an hypothesis; though it must be owned the word "when" is not in the text:

she cried with a loud voice;
not so much frightened at what she saw, and the manner of his appearing, and as thinking the resurrection of the dead was come, as say the Jews F2, as what she feared would be the consequence to her, even death by the hand of Saul; for though he had sworn no punishment should come upon her, she might begin to fear she was not safe, perceiving who he was:

and the woman spake to Saul, saying, why hast thou deceived me? for
thou [art] Saul:
how she knew this is a question; it could not be by the appearance of Samuel, for it was Samuel she was to bring up; unless with Ben Gersom it can be thought that she understood him of another man, whose name was Samuel, and not Samuel the prophet; and so when she saw him, concluded he was Saul, because of the intimacy between them in his lifetime; but this is not probable, nor does it appear that she as yet knew who it was, but rather she was told by her familiar spirit, or by the apparition, so Josephus F3, that it was Saul that inquired of her; or she guessed at it by some gesture of the apparition to Saul, by way of homage and honour; and so Abarbinel thinks that the clause in ( 1 Samuel 28:14 ) respects not Saul's bowing to Samuel, but Samuel bowing to Saul; and so by this means the woman knew who he was.


F2 Pirke Eliezer, c. 33.
F3 Antiqu. l. 6. c. 14. sect. 2.