In the previous post I began discussing the intriguing story of 1 Samuel 28, where the king of Israel, Saul, illicitly consults a medium in an attempt to communicate with his now-dead advisor and predecessor, the prophet Samuel.  This is the only case of necromancy in the entire Bible.   In this post I want to consider what the author of the passage seems to think about those who go to Sheol after death.

I have taken much of what follows from my book Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife (Simon and Schuster, 2020).



In the account, King Saul learns of a medium in the town of Endor, near the front lines of the approaching battle.  He goes to her and, for rather obvious reasons, does so in disguise:  it would not help matters if she were to realize the illicit request for contact with the dead is coming from the sovereign ruler who made it illegal in the first place.  

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