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Did the ghost of Samuel appear to Saul after his death?

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No. There are several important scriptures to consider before we examine the actual story, recorded in 1 Samuel 28:7-25 1 Samuel 28:7-25 7 Then said Saul to his servants, Seek me a woman that has a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and inquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that has a familiar spirit at Endor. 8 And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray you, divine to me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name to you. 9 And the woman said to him, Behold, you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: why then lay you a snare for my life, to cause me to die? 10 And Saul swore to her by the LORD, saying, As the LORD lives, there shall no punishment happen to you for this thing. 11 Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up to you? And he said, Bring me up Samuel. 12 And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spoke to Saul, saying, Why have you deceived me? for you are Saul. 13 And the king said to her, Be not afraid: for what saw you? And the woman said to Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth. 14 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. 15 And Samuel said to Saul, Why have you disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answers me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called you, that you may make known to me what I shall do. 16 Then said Samuel, Why then do you ask of me, seeing the LORD is departed from you, and is become your enemy? 17 And the LORD has done to him, as he spoke by me: for the LORD has rent the kingdom out of your hand, and given it to your neighbor, even to David: 18 Because you obeyed not the voice of the LORD, nor executed his fierce wrath on Amalek, therefore has the LORD done this thing to you this day. 19 Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel with you into the hand of the Philistines: and to morrow shall you and your sons be with me: the LORD also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines. 20 Then Saul fell straightway all along on the earth, and was sore afraid, because of the words of Samuel: and there was no strength in him; for he had eaten no bread all the day, nor all the night. 21 And the woman came to Saul, and saw that he was sore troubled, and said to him, Behold, your handmaid has obeyed your voice, and I have put my life in my hand, and have listened to your words which you spoke to me. 22 Now therefore, I pray you, listen you also to the voice of your handmaid, and let me set a morsel of bread before you; and eat, that you may have strength, when you go on your way. 23 But he refused, and said, I will not eat. But his servants, together with the woman, compelled him; and he listened to their voice. So he arose from the earth, and sat on the bed. 24 And the woman had a fat calf in the house; and she hurried, and killed it, and took flour, and kneaded it, and did bake unleavened bread thereof: 25 And she brought it before Saul, and before his servants; and they did eat. Then they rose up, and went away that night.
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. The first is the verse immediately prior, which informs the reader that “when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord did not answer him, either by dreams or by Urim or by the prophets” (1 Samuel 28:6 1 Samuel 28:6And when Saul inquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets.
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). God was refusing to communicate with Saul through any means, including His prophets. Samuel, even if he had been still alive, would have had nothing to tell Saul. From this we can infer that the “Samuel” who communicated with Saul was not a prophet of God speaking from beyond the grave.

Another important passage is in Ecclesiastes 9:5 Ecclesiastes 9:5For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
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, 10, which says plainly that “the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing…for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.” When we die, we enter a state the Bible likens to “sleep” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brothers, concerning them which are asleep, that you sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
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), remaining unconscious until the resurrections at or after Christ's return. There is certainly no soul that lives on, able to communicate with the rest of the living.

Knowing this, the entity Saul communicated with could not possibly have been the ghost or spirit of Samuel, or any other human being. That leaves only the spirit realm as a possibility—and given that God had explicitly cut off communication between Himself (and by extension, His angels) and Saul (compare 1 Samuel 13:14 1 Samuel 13:14But now your kingdom shall not continue: the LORD has sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be captain over his people, because you have not kept that which the LORD commanded you.
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; 28:6 and Isaiah 59:2 Isaiah 59:2But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
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), we are forced to conclude that the “Samuel” conjured up by the medium of En Dor was a demonic spirit masquerading as God's prophet.

We might ask, “If it was really a demon communicating with Saul, why did it tell him the truth?” (1 Samuel 28:16-19 1 Samuel 28:16-19 16 Then said Samuel, Why then do you ask of me, seeing the LORD is departed from you, and is become your enemy? 17 And the LORD has done to him, as he spoke by me: for the LORD has rent the kingdom out of your hand, and given it to your neighbor, even to David: 18 Because you obeyed not the voice of the LORD, nor executed his fierce wrath on Amalek, therefore has the LORD done this thing to you this day. 19 Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel with you into the hand of the Philistines: and to morrow shall you and your sons be with me: the LORD also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.
American King James Version×
; compare 13:9-14; 15:8-9, 26; 31:2-4). We must remember that the primary goal of Satan and his demons is to destroy us. By selectively telling Saul pieces of the truth, the demon posing as Samuel was able to depress him to the point where Saul was no longer able to stand up (1 Samuel 28:20 1 Samuel 28:20Then Saul fell straightway all along on the earth, and was sore afraid, because of the words of Samuel: and there was no strength in him; for he had eaten no bread all the day, nor all the night.
American King James Version×
).

The demon used parts of the truth, while posing as a man of God, to paint a picture of hopelessness. “And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15 2 Corinthians 11:14-15 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
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).

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