Biblical People

Biblical People: The Medium of Endor

The prophet Samuel is dead. God has abandoned King Saul, and he is losing his grip on power. Saul prays, but God is silent. None of the ways Saul has heard from God in the past are working now. In desperation, he seeks a medium.

In his better days as God’s king, Saul expelled all the mediums and spiritualists from the country. Now he wants one. It’s his last option for supernatural guidance. His aids tell him there is a medium in Endor.

In disguise, Saul seeks her out. She is cautious, fearing execution if her skills become known. He persists, promising safety.

She relents. Saul asks her to conjure up the spirit of Samuel. She does, and then realizes who Saul is. She screams at him over his deception, but he urges her to proceed. 

For Samuel’s part, he’s not pleased at having his existence in the afterlife disturbed. Samuel confirms it’s too late for Saul. God has left him for good. Furthermore, Samuel says the next day Saul and his sons will die in battle. The nation will be lost.

Saul is distraught, losing what little hope he has left. The medium of Endor urges him to eat, and she prepares a meal for him. Then Saul leaves. 

Not all that’s spiritual is good. When our prayers seem to go nowhere, do we keep our focus on God or seek ungodly alternatives?

[Discover more about the medium of Endor in 1 Samuel 28:3–25.]

Learn about other biblical women in Women of the Bible, available in audiobook, e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.

By Peter DeHaan

Peter writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and make a faith that matters. Learn more at