LXIV. Then Saul took thought, saying: I will surely take away the sorcerers out of the land of Israel. So shall men remember me after my departure. And Saul scattered all the sorcerers
out of the land. And God said: Behold, Saul hath taken away the sorcerers out of the land, not because of the fear of me, but that he might make himself a name. Behold, whom he hath scattered, unto them let him resort, and get divination from them, because he hath no prophets.
2. At that time the Philistines said every man to his neighbour: Behold, Samuel the prophet is dead and there is none that prayeth for Israel. David, also, which fought for them, is become Saul's adversary and is not with them. Now, therefore, let us arise and fight mightily against them, and avenge the blood of our fathers. And the Philistines assembled themselves and came up to battle. 3. And when Saul saw that Samuel was dead and David was not with him, his hands were loosened. And he inquired of the Lord, and
he hearkened not unto him. And he sought
prophets, and none appeared unto him. And
Saul said unto the people: Let us seek out a diviner and inquire of him that which I have in mind. And the people answered him: Behold, now there is a woman named Sedecla, 1 the daughter of Debin (or Adod) the Madianite, which deceived the people of Israel with sorceries: and lo she
dwelleth in Endor. 4. And Saul put on vile raiment and went unto her, he and two men with him, by night and said unto her: Raise up unto me Samuel. And she said: I am afraid of the king Saul. And Saul said unto her: Thou shalt not be harmed of Saul in this matter. And Saul said within himself: When I was king in Israel, even though the Gentiles saw me not, yet knew they that I was Saul. And Saul asked the woman, saying: Hast thou seen Saul at any time? And she said: Oftentimes. And Saul went out and wept and said: Lo, now I know that my beauty is changed, and that the glory of my kingdom is passed from me.
5. And it came to pass, when the woman saw Samuel coming up, and beheld Saul with him,
that she cried out and said: Behold, thou art Saul, wherefore hast thou deceived me? And he said unto her: Fear not, but tell me what thou sawest. And she said: Lo, these 40 years have I raised up the dead for the Philistines, but this appearance hath not been seen, neither shall it be seen hereafter. 6. And Saul said unto her: What is his form? And she said: Thou inquirest of me
concerning the gods. For, behold, his form is not the form of a man. For he is arrayed in a white robe and hath a mantle upon it, and two angels leading him. 1 And Saul remembered the mantle
which Samuel had rent while he lived, and he smote his hands together and cast himself upon the earth.
7. And Samuel said unto him: Why hast thou
disquieted me to bring me up? I thought that the time was come for me to receive the reward of my deeds. Therefore boast not thyself, O king, neither thou, O woman. For it is not ye that have brought me up, but the precept 2 which God spake unto me while I yet lived, that I should come and tell thee that thou hadst sinned yet the second time in neglecting God. For this cause are my bones disturbed after that I had rendered up my soul, that I should speak unto thee, and that being dead I should be heard as one living. 8. Now
therefore to-morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me, when the people are delivered into the hands of the Philistines. And because thy bowels have been moved with jealousy, therefore that that is thine shall be taken from thee. And Saul heard
the words of Samuel, and his soul melted and he said: Behold, I depart to die with my sons, if perchance my destruction may be an atonement 3 for mine iniquities. And Saul arose and departed thence.
240:1 LXIV. 3. The witch of Endor, here called Sedecla, daughter of Debin or of Adod (doubtless Aod of XXXIV.), is in Pirke R. Eliezer 33 "the wife of Zephaniah, the mother of Abner." Kimchi in loc., it seems, calls her Zephaniah. The Quaest. Hebr. agree that she was Abner's mother. Perhaps "the wife of" in Pirke should go out.
241:1 6. Two angels leading him. Compare the Gospel of Peter, where two angels lead Christ out of the sepulchre.
241:2 7. The word which I render precept is traditio. I cannot cite a parallel to this curious use of it.
241:3 8. if my destruction may be an atonement (exoratio) for mine iniquities. In Pirke R. Eliezer 33, Samuel says to Saul: If thou wilt hearken to my advice, to fall by the sword, then shall thy death be an atonement for thee.
Next: Chapter LXV