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The Witch of Endor

by

Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen, 1526.

Okay, so here’s the short story as I understand it.

The Prophet Samuel was dead. Saul, King of Israel and Judah, was kinda nervous, and he needed a strategy to combat the assembled armies of the Philistines, but dreams, prophets (and parts of a breastplate worn by the High Priest to communicate with God) left him with no answers.

The Philistines wanted tribute, i.e, a protection payoff, and King Saul was tired of it.

Saul couldn’t think for himself, so he did what anyone in his position would do: search for a witch who could talk to the dead. Since necromancers had been thrown out of the Kingdom by Saul’s own decree, he put on a disguise and eventually found one in the remote village of Endor.

The witch contacted the soul of Samuel. Samuel was pissed at Saul for bothering him and gave him a load of crap. Then he stated that Saul’s army would be defeated the next day, and that the King would die. Saul freaked out.

Being a compassionate witch, she tried to calm him and insisted that he stay for supper. She fixed him a cheeseburger or something, and Saul left for home.

The next day King Saul’s army was defeated, and Saul committed suicide to fulfill the prophesy, circa 1012 BC.

At least that’s what I got from Wiki. BTW, apparently necromancers were also talented ventriloquists, and they didn’t work for free. Go figure.

No idea how the painting fits in to all of this, but there you go.

[Images found here and here.]

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