Saturday, May 15, 2010

1 Samuel, Chapters 28 & 29

The Witch of Endor! Awesome!

Chapter 28

The Philistines are massing an army to fight Israel. The king, Achish, asks David to fight with him. David agrees. Some Israelite hero.

Meanwhile, Samuel dies and is lamented. Saul also bans all witchcraft, never mind that it already happened back in Leviticus.

The two sides come together and pitch their tents. It's like a giant camping trip. Saul sees how many Philistines there are and tries to get in touch with god, but the big guy isn't taking his calls, not by magic coin, not by dreams, not by prophecy. So despite banning witchcraft and exiling all the witches, he orders his men to find someone who has a direct line to god. They tell him about the witch of Endor. Saul asks her to get in contact someone dead for him. She thinks it's a trap and Saul swears he won't punish her. She believes him and he asks to speak to Samuel. Somehow she identifies him as Saul and asks why he cam in disguise. He reassures her again and asks what she saw: gods coming out of the earth. What else? An old man, whom Saul identifies as Samuel. He prostrates himself. Samuel is grumpy at being woken up and asks what Saul wants. Saul whines about how god is ignoring him and asks for Samuels advice.

Samuel tells him that god is no longer on his side because he refused to kill every single Amalekite and his ox, so now he likes David better. As punishment, he's going to lose tomorrow's battle.

Saul faints, partly from hunger, which might also explain his hallucinations, here. If any of this had actually happened. The witch gives him some food and tries to chivvy him along. He resists, then finally eats the veal sandwiches she makes for them and leaves.

Chapter 29

David is with the Philistines, preparing for battle. The generals distrust him, though the king points out he's been a good and loyal servant. They still want him sent home, because they hear about the songs people used to sing about how many people he killed. Achish calls David and explains the situation. David is disappointed, because he was looking forward to adding some 'tens of thousands' to his tally. The king remains firm, however, and asks him to go in the morning, so he does.

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