Saul had knelt in a low position with his face on the ground (28:14). He did that in order to give honour to Samuel. Probably Saul did not show such great honour to Samuel during his life. However, Saul felt that it was necessary to give the greatest honour to a spirit from another world.
When Saul heard the spiritís message, he felt a sudden shock. All his strength left his body. He fell flat on the ground as if he was dead.
However, although Saul was extremely weak, he was not dead. As soon as the woman regained control of her mind from the evil spirit, she went to help him. Because of the state of terror that Saul felt, he had been refusing food. That left him unable to deal with the strong shock that he received from the spiritís words.
At first, the woman was unable to persuade Saul to accept anything. She called the two men that had come with him to help her. Together they all urged Saul to eat. It seems that Saul wanted to die; however, they could not let him die yet. Israelís young soldiers needed to see their king at the start of the battle on the next day. Otherwise, they would lose all courage.
In the end, Saul agreed to eat and, even before the meal, he began to recover. In the meantime, the woman quickly prepared the kind of meal that was fit for a king. She killed her best animal, and she cooked it at once. She served flat bread, because there was no time for the bread to rise.
It is interesting to compare this meal with the meal that Samuel prepared for Saul in 1 Samuel 9:22-24. That meal was Saulís last meal before Samuel appointed him king. This meal was Saulís last meal before his death.
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© 2014, Keith Simons.