Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible, by John Wesley, [1754-65], at sacred-texts.com
1 Kings (1 Samuel) 28:2
sa1 28:2Can do - He speaks ambiguously, as he did before.
1 Kings (1 Samuel) 28:5
sa1 28:5He trembled - Had he kept close to God, he needed not fear all the armies of the Philistines.
1 Kings (1 Samuel) 28:7
sa1 28:7That hath, &c. - One that converseth with the devil, or dead men's ghosts, and by them can discover future things. See Isa 8:19.
1 Kings (1 Samuel) 28:8
sa1 28:8Disguised - Both because he was ashamed to be known, or thought guilty of this practice; and because he suspected, the woman, had she known him, would not practice her art before him.
1 Kings (1 Samuel) 28:11
sa1 28:11Samuel - Whose kindness and compassion as he had formerly experienced, so now he expected it in his deep distress. This practice of divination by the dead, or the souls of dead persons, was very usual among all nations.
1 Kings (1 Samuel) 28:12
sa1 28:12Saw Samuel - The words are express, the woman saw Samuel, instead of the spirit whom she expected to see, God ordering it so for his own glory. She cried with a loud voice - Terrified and astonished, and thence easily conjectured, whom she had been talking with.
1 Kings (1 Samuel) 28:13
sa1 28:13Gods - That is, a god, and divine person, glorious, and full of majesty and splendor, exceeding not only mortal men, but common ghosts. She used the plural number, gods, either after the manner of the Hebrew language, which commonly uses that word of one person: or, after the language and custom of the heathens.
1 Kings (1 Samuel) 28:14
sa1 28:14A mantle - The usual habit of prophets, and particularly of Samuel, Sa1 15:27. If it was not Samuel, but an other spirit in his shape, it is not true, that Saul perceived it was Samuel. It seems Saul did not see him, so soon as the woman, which occasioned his asking those questions.
1 Kings (1 Samuel) 28:15
sa1 28:15Called Samuel - Happy had it been, if he had called Samuel sooner, or rather the God of Samuel! It was now too late: destruction was at hand and God had determined, it should not be stayed.
1 Kings (1 Samuel) 28:17
sa1 28:17To him - To David.
1 Kings (1 Samuel) 28:19
sa1 28:19Tomorrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me:
"What do these solemn words portend? A gleam of hope when life shall end. Thou and thy sons, tho' slain shall be To-morrow in repose with me. Not in a state of health or pain If Saul with Samuel doth remain; Not in a state of damn'd despair, If loving Jonathan is there."
Tho' these words may only mean, ye shall surely die, without any reference to the state of their souls after death. See note on "Sa1 31:8"
1 Kings (1 Samuel) 28:20
sa1 28:20Fell - As if the Archers of the Philistines had already hit him, and there was no strength in him, to bear up against these heavy tidings: especially, as we cannot doubt, but all his past sins were now brought to his remembrance and what authority has any man to affirm, that he felt no contrition all this time? Altho' it did not seem good to the holy ghost, to leave it upon record?
1 Kings (1 Samuel) 28:21
sa1 28:21Came to Saul - From whom she departed, when she had brought him and Samuel together, that they might more freely converse together.
1 Kings (1 Samuel) 28:24
sa1 28:24Unleavened - Not having time to leaven it.