1 Samuel 28:14
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"What does he look like?" he asked. "An old man wearing a robe is coming up," she said. Then Saul knew it was Samuel, and he bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground.

New Living Translation
"What does he look like?" Saul asked. "He is an old man wrapped in a robe," she replied. Saul realized it was Samuel, and he fell to the ground before him.

English Standard Version
He said to her, “What is his appearance?” And she said, “An old man is coming up, and he is wrapped in a robe.” And Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground and paid homage.

New American Standard Bible
He said to her, "What is his form?" And she said, "An old man is coming up, and he is wrapped with a robe." And Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground and did homage.

King James Bible
And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then Saul asked her, "What does he look like?" "An old man is coming up," she replied. "He's wearing a robe." Then Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed his face to the ground and paid homage.

International Standard Version
Saul told her, "What does he look like?" She said, "An old man is coming up, and he's wrapped in a robe." Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed low to the ground and prostrated himself.

NET Bible
He said to her, "What about his appearance?" She said, "An old man is coming up! He is wrapped in a robe!" Then Saul realized it was Samuel, and he bowed his face toward the ground and kneeled down.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"In what form?" he asked her. She answered, "An old man is coming up, and he's wearing a robe." Then Saul knew it was Samuel. Saul knelt down with his face touching the ground.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man comes, and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground and worshipped.

King James 2000 Bible
And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man comes up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.

American King James Version
And he said to her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man comes up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.

American Standard Version
And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a robe. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground, and did obeisance.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And he said to her: What form is he of? And she said: An old man cometh up, and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul understood that it was Samuel, and he bowed himself with his face to the ground, and adored.

Darby Bible Translation
And he said to her, What is his form? And she said, An old man comes up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.

English Revised Version
And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a robe. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground, and did obeisance.

Webster's Bible Translation
And he said to her, What is his form? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.

World English Bible
He said to her, "What does he look like?" She said, "An old man comes up. He is covered with a robe." Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground, and did obeisance.

Young's Literal Translation
And he saith to her, 'What is his form?' and she saith, 'An aged man is coming up, and he is covered with an upper robe;' and Saul knoweth that he is Samuel, and boweth -- face to thee earth -- and doth obeisance.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

28:7-19 When we go from the plain path of duty, every thing draws us further aside, and increases our perplexity and temptation. Saul desires the woman to bring one from the dead, with whom he wished to speak; this was expressly forbidden, De 18:11. All real or pretended witchcraft or conjuration, is a malicious or an ignorant attempt to gain knowledge or help from some creature, when it cannot be had from the Lord in the path of duty. While Samuel was living, we never read of Saul's going to advise with him in any difficulties; it had been well for him if he had. But now he is dead, Bring me up Samuel. Many who despise and persecute God's saints and ministers when living, would be glad to have them again, when they are gone. The whole shows that it was no human fraud or trick. Though the woman could not cause Samuel's being sent, yet Saul's inquiry might be the occasion of it. The woman's surprise and terror proved that it was an unusual and unexpected appearance. Saul had despised Samuel's solemn warnings in his lifetime, yet now that he hoped, as in defiance of God, to obtain some counsel and encouragement from him, might not God permit the soul of his departed prophet to appear to Saul, to confirm his former sentence, and denounce his doom? The expression, Thou and thy sons shall be with me, means no more than that they shall be in the eternal world. There appears much solemnity in God's permitting the soul of a departed prophet to come as a witness from heaven, to confirm the word he had spoken on earth.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 14. - What form is he of? Rather, "What is his aspect?" i.e. his look. As the term a god conveyed no other idea than that she had seen something majestic, Saul asks for a more exact description. She answers that it was an old man clad in a robe, meil (see on 1 Samuel 2:19). Samuel seems never to have worn the prophetic mantle (see on 1 Samuel 15:27), but always the meil. There was nothing, therefore, distinctive in the dress; but as she says that she has seen an old man, Saul concludes that he for whom he had asked had appeared to him. Instead of Saul perceived, the Hebrew has "Saul knew." There is nothing to prove that Saul really saw anything; all that is said is that by the woman's description "Saul recognised that what she had seen was Samuel, and he bowed himself to the ground, and made obeisance."

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And he said unto her, what form is he of?.... Of what stature is he? or rather of what age does he seem to be? and what clothes has he on? as appears from the answer:

and she said, an old man cometh up, and he is covered with a mantle; such as either priests or judges wore, and Samuel did in his lifetime:

and Saul perceived that it was Samuel; by the description she gave of him, by his age and apparel; for as yet it is not certain that he himself saw him, though it should seem as if he did by what follows: it is in the original, "that it was Samuel himself"; which seems to make for those who think the real Samuel appeared, and no doubt Saul thought it was really he himself:

and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself: either in reverence to Samuel, and from whom he hoped relief, and therefore was all obeisance; or he put himself in this posture, that he might listen and hear what should be said; it being a general notion that such spirits gave their responses whispering and muttering, Isaiah 8:19; though Abarbinel, as before observed, is of opinion, that this is to be understood of Samuel, that he bowed to Saul in reverence of him as a king; which does not so well agree with the connection of the words. Some have thought that it was the true Samuel, or the soul of Samuel, that appeared; so Josephus (e), and many other writers; but to this may be objected, that that would not have ascended out of the earth, but come down from heaven; and that it cannot reasonably be supposed that it was in the power of the witch, by the assistance of the devil, to fetch it from heaven; nor be thought that God would send it from thence on such an errand, to give Saul an answer, when he would not answer him by any prophet on earth, nor in any other way; and especially it seems quite incredible that he should send it at the motion of a witch, and through her enchantments, who, according to a law of his, ought not to live; whereas nothing could have given greater countenance to such a wicked profession than this: nor would the true Samuel have admitted such worship and homage to be paid him, as is expressed in this last clause, which angelic spirits have refused, Revelation 19:10; though perhaps no more than civil respect is intended: but rather this was a diabolical spectre, or apparition, or the devil, that appeared in the form and shape of Samuel, and mimicked him; and was one of those deceiving spirits Porphyry speaks (f) of, that appear in various shapes and forms, and pretend to be gods or demons, or the souls of the deceased. Some (g) think all this was the cunning and imposture of the woman alone, or that she was assisted with a confederate, who acted the part of Samuel; but this is not probable.

(e) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 6. c. 14. sect. 2.) (f) De Abstinentia, l. 2. apud Grotium in loc. (g) See Webster's Displaying of supposed Witchcraft, &c. ch. 8. p. 166, &c.



1 Samuel 28:14 Additional Commentaries
Context
Saul and the Medium of Endor
13The king said to her, "Do not be afraid; but what do you see?" And the woman said to Saul, "I see a divine being coming up out of the earth." 14He said to her, "What is his form?" And she said, "An old man is coming up, and he is wrapped with a robe." And Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground and did homage. 15Then Samuel said to Saul, "Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?" And Saul answered, "I am greatly distressed; for the Philistines are waging war against me, and God has departed from me and no longer answers me, either through prophets or by dreams; therefore I have called you, that you may make known to me what I should do."…
Cross References
1 Samuel 15:27
As Samuel turned to leave, Saul caught hold of the hem of his robe, and it tore.

1 Samuel 24:8
Then David went out of the cave and called out to Saul, "My lord the king!" When Saul looked behind him, David bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground.

1 Samuel 28:13
The king said to her, "Don't be afraid. What do you see?" The woman said, "I see a ghostly figure coming up out of the earth."

1 Kings 19:19
So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him.
Treasury of Scripture

And he said to her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man comes up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.

What form is he of? [heb] What is his form?
a mantle

1 Samuel 15:27 And as Samuel turned about to go away, he laid hold on the skirt …

2 Kings 2:8,13,14 And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the …

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OT History: 1 Samuel 28:14 He said to her What form (1Sa iSam 1 Sam i sa) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

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