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  • Witch of Endor

    Sorry,I mispelled witch

    For those who are familiar with the bible,have you read the story about the witch of Endor?

    Its in 1 Samuel 28:7-25

    My questions,How a witch was able to call forth a man of God,she would have to have power with God,to call forth Samuel,who was one of the greatest prophets in that time,and in the bible, highly anointed and used of God.

    And she says to Saul the King ,who asked her to bring up Samuel from the dead,the witch said when Saul asked what she saw...

    Verse 14 And the King said unto her,What sawest thou?(what did you see)

    She said,I saw gods ascending out of the earth.

    Saul said,What form is he of?(what does he look like)

    So she described him and Saul knew it was Samuel.

    Did samuel become godlike after his death?

    The witch also knew that Saul was the king,because Saul had disguised himself because he himself went on a holy crusade against all withes and wizzards,and put them to death.But when God wouldnt talk to him anymore,he sought out someone with a familiar spirit to commune with the prophet Samuel,who had died earlier,because he needed advice about a battle he was getting ready to fight with the Philistines.

    I guess my questions are about the gods the witch saw,and the way she was able to bring up a holy man of God,which says a lot about her power.

    Any thoughts or comments apreciated,thanks.

  • #2
    My impression was that the purpose of the story was not to show that witches' abilities are false... that kind of thinking, I think, is much more modern. (What is interesting is that the Witchcraft Act which was repealed in... 1949? 50? in England wasn't against practicing witchcraft itself [*those* laws were changed in like, the seventeenth century or something] but against *claiming to practice* witchcraft and against *claiming that others were practicing* witchcraft). No, I think the Witch of Endor story makes it clear that sorcery and divination and necromancy were believed to be real and powerful, but terribly misguided and outside the realm of good Jewish behaviour.

    Here's a link to that chapter in Samuel: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/...ontext=chapter

    It is my belief that the earlier Hebrews were more henotheistic than monotheistic, which explains the gods/spirits (depends on translation... I'd love to know what the Hebrew is and the connotations of the word)... I think it is likely that before the other gods were thought of as "false gods", they were more like "other, inferior gods"... And likely so in this case, if "gods" is an appropriate translation. They exist, as do spirits, but they're not something you should be messing with because Jehovah's so much bigger and better.

    It is also interesting to bring up a different classification for this type of activity, which has fallen into disuse. We're used to Natural occurrences (things which happen according to Nature), and Supernatural occurrences (unnatural things which happen through the agency of God), but there is also the idea of Preternatural occurrences (unnatural things which happen through the agency of humans or preternatural creatures: such as sorcery, witchcraft, events involving demons, spirits, "mythical" creatures...) It was not always believed (and is still not by many) that the only one that can interfere with the natural course of nature was God and that therefore a person who can interfere thus must have been gifted by God. This is PRECISELY why witchcraft is seen as bad. Because it's unnatural AND it's "not from God"... Jesus himself said that there would be others who perform miracles and healings and such and that his followers should be careful of them, because miracles, in and of themselves, are *not proof* of God's influence. (This is where he says the whole "by their fruits, ye shall know them" thing.)

    Finally, you'll note that Saul consulting this medium was considered a *very bad thing*. Saul had already fallen into disfavor with God for not slaughtering the Amalakites. It was a desperate act by a fallen man, and you'll note that the information he got was of no help to him. Samuel basically just told him he was screwed.

    I wrote a paper for a class once about instances of sorcery and witchcraft in the Hebrew Bible. I'll have to look and see if I still have it when I get home.

    Anyway, those were my thoughts as to the context and meaning of the story...

    Tashi delek!
    Dawa Lhamo
    Last edited by Dawa Lhamo; December 28th, 2005, 01:40 PM.
    Before you accuse someone of LYING, please read this first.

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    • #3
      I think it is important to note that "the Witch of Endor" is not the same figure as the European Witch figure. She is closer to a spiritual medium, which is the usual translation instead of Witch. Many misunderstandings come from the King James translation of the Bible, which rates high among the poorest and least accurate.


      Originally posted by azzeenasman
      My questions,How a witch was able to call forth a man of God,she would have to have power with God,to call forth Samuel,who was one of the greatest prophets in that time,and in the bible, highly anointed and used of God.
      It depends upon how one preceives the entire concept. From a non-biblical view, the spirit of Samuel is not in heaven with "God" but is in the spirit world. Therefore it is not a matter of plucking Samuel from God's presence, but simply evoking him from the Otherworld.

      Originally posted by azzeenasman
      I guess my questions are about the gods the witch saw,and the way she was able to bring up a holy man of God,which says a lot about her power.

      Any thoughts or comments apreciated,thanks.
      First it would be important to know what the original word was that became translated as "gods" (but in the Harper Study Bible it reads "I see a god" and not "gods" - and in the New American Bible it reads "I see a preternatural being"). In any case the Biblical view is that the spiritual medium does not have the power to bring forth Samuel, but that "God" allows him to appear when she summons him.
      There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy...(from Hamlet).

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      • #4
        Wow,thanks.

        It doesnt actually say she was a witch,but a woman with a familiar spirit.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the responses,I gotta go to work,see ya tomorow

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          • #6
            Tabitha and Azzy wrote:

            My questions,How a witch was able to call forth a man of God,she would have to have power with God,to call forth Samuel,who was one of the greatest prophets in that time,and in the bible, highly anointed and used of God.
            Hi Azzy-

            One difference in our approaches is that I don't take a story's inclusion in the Bible as proof that it actually happened. In this case, I don't think the story of the witch of Endor ever really occurred. I think it is more likely a story that was made up later so as to provide support for a political view (specifically, a warning that it is bad to consult witches). Thus, anything can be made up. Just like the stories of flying people and talking animals in the Bible, I don't see that story as any kind of evidence about the real world.

            :cheers: Take care-
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            • #7
              Originally posted by raven grimassi
              I think it is important to note that "the Witch of Endor" is not the same figure as the European Witch figure. She is closer to a spiritual medium, which is the usual translation instead of Witch. Many misunderstandings come from the King James translation of the Bible, which rates high among the poorest and least accurate.
              Just for clarification, I wasn't intending that with my post, though it certainly reads that way, the way I keep switching between sorcery, divination, and witchcraft.

              More, I was lumping all kinds of preternatural activity together to show the ideological distinction from supernatural activity, not to erase any distinctions between the types of activities that fall within the preternatural classification. Though I will note that "good Jews and Christians" are traditionally supposed to reject all preternatural activity, regardless of any internal distinctions. ^_^

              Tashi delek!
              Dawa Lhamo
              Before you accuse someone of LYING, please read this first.

              sigpic

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              • #8
                The Archangels would appear as Gods too. This proves almost anyone can come up with the power but the churches condem it because they don't want there powers userpt by the comon men or woman.

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                • #9
                  I would like to point out that in the old testament there's not an afterlife belief, no heaven or hell, until Jerusalems hellanization. Samual would either return to the earth (rotted to dirt) or went up to God. Generaly people just died and the rewards for following God were a happy sucessful life.

                  The witch of endor, as was pointed out before, was a medium, someone who was able to see and comunicate with spirits.
                  I have nothing to say in this 'bottom of the post' thingy.

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                  • #10
                    Oh, and I agree with dawy lhama, historicly speaking Saul and David as we know them probably never existed, notice the tall tales throughout 1st and 2nd Samual. You see a pattern, 10' giant, people killing 100s of thousands in one battle, Soloman who was such a big influence on the world and such a rich king that all his riches have dissapeared and nobody in surounding kingdoms like egypt, syriya, sumaria, babylon, ect never see fit to mention him or his kingdom in any of many detailed records. We're so certian now that it's a litteral account when it could have been stories with a lesson. (stay on God's good side, and don't forget him or disobey him)
                    I have nothing to say in this 'bottom of the post' thingy.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by LordHelmet
                      Oh, and I agree with dawy lhama, historicly speaking Saul and David as we know them probably never existed, notice the tall tales throughout 1st and 2nd Samual. You see a pattern, 10' giant, people killing 100s of thousands in one battle, Soloman who was such a big influence on the world and such a rich king that all his riches have dissapeared and nobody in surounding kingdoms like egypt, syriya, sumaria, babylon, ect never see fit to mention him or his kingdom in any of many detailed records. We're so certian now that it's a litteral account when it could have been stories with a lesson. (stay on God's good side, and don't forget him or disobey him)
                      Well,I believe the bible,and its no more different the the storys you probably believe,and the many here

                      So many are quick to speak against the bible,while never saying anything about any other holy book being false,because of a natural emnity against God,the God of the bible.

                      The bible is true,because God is true.

                      And speaking of fairy tales(tall tales),when was the last time anyone mentioned the many fairy tales of some of the pagan beliefs here?And there are many.

                      When its the bible,of coarse it cant be true,because I dont like God or the bible.But if its another belief,take your pick,who knows ,maybe it is true.

                      When it comes to beleiving in fairy tales,pagans have christians beat.

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                      • #12
                        My Physics teacher is currently reading the greek (greek is supposed to be the original language that the OT was written while NT was written in Hebrew) and he says that he is really wondering about the translation as there are so many greek words that English just doesn't have a word for. Also he has noticed many mistakes with English words that totally change the meaning of the original greek statement/story.

                        Of course, noone would know anything for certain unless they read greek themselves! And any book that has been translated has the chance of mistakes and words that English (or any other language it is being translated into) does not have words for...
                        Last edited by chrestomancie; January 1st, 2006, 03:04 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by azzeenasman
                          Well,I believe the bible,and its no more different the the storys you probably believe,and the many here
                          So many are quick to speak against the bible,while never saying anything about any other holy book being false,because of a natural emnity against God,the God of the bible.
                          The bible is true,because God is true.
                          And speaking of fairy tales(tall tales),when was the last time anyone mentioned the many fairy tales of some of the pagan beliefs here?And there are many.
                          When its the bible,of coarse it cant be true,because I dont like God or the bible.But if its another belief,take your pick,who knows ,maybe it is true.
                          When it comes to beleiving in fairy tales,pagans have christians beat.
                          I disagree with you, Azzy. I believe that the bible is fake because it is written by man, not God. This also goes with many myths (not fairy tales) surrounding pagan beliefs.
                          It has nothing to do with being an "enemy of God", or of the bible.
                          Its funny, though, how a pagan may believe in "fairy tales" yet the bible (which is about Christian mythology) isn't. How does you determine what is fairy tale, and what isn't?
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by azzeenasman
                            Well,I believe the bible,and its no more different the the storys you probably believe,and the many here

                            So many are quick to speak against the bible,while never saying anything about any other holy book being false,because of a natural emnity against God,the God of the bible.

                            The bible is true,because God is true.

                            And speaking of fairy tales(tall tales),when was the last time anyone mentioned the many fairy tales of some of the pagan beliefs here?And there are many.

                            When its the bible,of coarse it cant be true,because I dont like God or the bible.But if its another belief,take your pick,who knows ,maybe it is true.

                            When it comes to beleiving in fairy tales,pagans have christians beat.
                            I disbelieve in the historical accuracy of the bible's account of things which supposedly occurred, yet I cannot pull one single faerie tale I believe in from my mind. So no, Pagans do not have Christians beat, nor do Christians have Pagans beat. This is an individual matter.

                            Faerie tales, legends, history, myth... the lines can become quite easily blurred. I think the importance of these stories is more relevant than their actual occurence; i.e. take what wisdom you can gather from them and try not to worry about whether it ever truly happened or not, because when it comes down to it there is truth and deception in everything to varying degrees (as the cosmos is made up of shades of gray).

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by azzeenasman
                              And speaking of fairy tales(tall tales),when was the last time anyone mentioned the many fairy tales of some of the pagan beliefs here?And there are many.

                              When its the bible,of coarse it cant be true,because I dont like God or the bible.But if its another belief,take your pick,who knows ,maybe it is true.

                              When it comes to beleiving in fairy tales,pagans have christians beat.
                              Very true, the Illiad was also taken litterialy. There's nothing wrong with fairy-tales and fables, until people begin to take them litteraly and worse yet ellevate them beyond writings into holy writings that people unquestioningly align their beliefs to and test them against. The Bible and the Quran only inspire Holy Wars when people read them as holy texts instead of books. The bible and Quran are now the most widespread holy textx of this nature but they aren't the first.

                              One day, if we aren't vigilant, people will kill in the name of Silver RavenWolf and Isreal Regardie. I'm quite certian that there could very well be a Kabalistic or wiccan inqusition. It starts when people don't think for themselves.
                              I have nothing to say in this 'bottom of the post' thingy.

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