The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, vol. 54

The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, Vol. 54


December 18, 1879

“The Death of Saul” The Advent Review And Sabbath Herald 54, 25, p. 195.

THE death of Saul did not occur on the morrow after is visit to the woman of Endor. Notice first, the phrase “to-morrow” signifies the day following the night during which it is spoken. See 1 Samuel 19:10, 11: “And Saul sought to smite David even to the wall with a javelin; but he slipped away out of Saul’s presence, and he smote the javelin into the wall; and David fled and escaped that night. Saul also sent messengers unto David’s house, to watch him, and to slay him in the morning: and Michal, David’s wife, told him, saying, If thou save not thy life to-night, to-morrow thou shalt be slain.” And Acts 23:31, 32: “Then the soldiers, as it was commanded them, took Paul, and brought him by night to Antipatris. On the morrow they left the horsemen to go with him, and returned to the castle.” Also Acts 20:7-11: “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.” Then Eutychus fell out of the window and was killed, and Paul brought him to life again, etc. “When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed.” This text says that he preached till midnight, ready to depart on the morrow, and that he departed at break of day. ARSH December 18, 1879, par. 1

So it is plain from these scriptures that the term “to-morrow” means the day, or light part of the time following the night, or dark part, and that it begins in the morning, or even at “break of day.” Therefore, when the spirit told Saul, through the woman, “to-morrow thou and thy sons shall be with me,” that is, that they should be dead, he meant by the word “to-morrow” the daylight division of time following that night. ARSH December 18, 1879, par. 2

In the second place, we want to understand the position of the two armies at that time, and their movements afterward; and to assist the reader in understanding this, I give a plan here of the places named, their relative positions and distances. There are five places named in the narrative; viz., Shunem, Gilboa, Endor, Aphek, and Jezreel; and they lay as indicated in this diagram. ARSH December 18, 1879, par. 3

Now, 1 Samuel 28:4 says: “And the Philistines gathered themselves together, and came and pitched in Shunem; and Saul gathered all Israel together, and they pitched in Gilboa.” Thus the first day Israel is in Gilboa and the Philistines in Shunem, seven miles apart. That night Saul went to Endor, ten miles, and inquired of the spirit; the spirit told him that he and his sons should be with him “to-morrow.” Verse 19. Then Saul and his servants “rose up, and went away that night” (verse 25), back to Gilboa, making in all twenty miles that Saul traveled that night. ARSH December 18, 1879, par. 4

Second day (the to-morrow of verse 19). Chap. 29:1: “Now the Philistines gathered together all their armies to Aphek [three miles from Shunem]; and the Israelites pitched by a fountain which is in Jezreel” (four miles from Gilboa). Now they are about four miles apart, for Aphek is about that distance from Jezreel. But while the Philistines were moving from Shunem to Aphek, passing “on by hundreds, and by thousands,” their princes saw David and his men in the rearward with Achish, and objected to their going to the battle with them. Chap. 29:2-5. Then Achish ordered David and his men to return to their homes; but it was too late in the day for them to start that day, so Achish said to Savid: “Now rise up early in the morning with thy master’s servants that are come with thee; and as soon as ye be up early in the morning, and have light, depart.” Verse 10. ARSH December 18, 1879, par. 5

Now the second day, the to-morrow of the spirit, is past, the battle has not yet been fought, and cannot be; for the two armies are four miles apart, and Saul and his sons are yet alive upon the earth. ARSH December 18, 1879, par. 6

Third day. Verse 11: “So David and his men rose up early to depart in the morning, to return into the land of the Philistines. And the Philistines went up to Jezreel.” ARSH December 18, 1879, par. 7

At Jezreel was where Saul and the Israelites were, and there was where the battle was fought, and the Israelites “fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in Mount Gilboa.” Chap. 31:1. And it was not on the morrow after Saul inquired of the familiar spirit, as the spirit said it would be, so the “thing did not follow, nor come to pass,” as it had said. Therefore the Lord did not speak by that spirit, and we are not afraid of him. Deuteronomy 18:22. ARSH December 18, 1879, par. 8

If you want to see a prophecy spoken by the Spirit of the Lord concerning “to-morrow,” and fulfilled to the very letter, read 2 Kings 7. ARSH December 18, 1879, par. 9

So we find that on that point, as well as on every other, the Scripture proves to an absolute certainty that it was an evil, lying spirit, even one of the “spirits of devils,” (Revelation 16:14), that appeared to the woman of Endor and communicated with Saul. ARSH December 18, 1879, par. 10