I’ve found witchcraft in some pretty unexpected places, so in honor of All Hallow’s Eve, I thought I’d share a few.
They’re in the Bible, for starters. Although the Lord tells Moses in Deuteronomy that His People aren’t allowed to practice sorcery or divination, He never says that those practices are fake, only that they’re not permissible. In fact, the Bible contains several matter-of-fact accounts of supernatural happenings. In 1 Samuel 28, King Saul pays a visit to the Witch of Endor, a medium who calls up the spirit of the prophet Samuel from the dead. The witch had been in hiding because Saul had ordered that mediums and spiritists should be put to death. But in a moment of weakness, the king asked his advisors to see if any were left in the land.
He goes to the witch in disguise, but as soon as the spirit of Samuel appears, the witch realizes she has been tricked, and begs for her life. Meanwhile, Dead Samuel is not at all pleased about being disturbed and brought back up into the world of the living. Saul explains that he is frightened, that enemies are attacking and God no longer answers his prayers so he called up to Samuel to ask him what to do. Death has not made Samuel particularly sympathetic—he tersely reminds Saul that God has turned against him and given his kingdom away, just as he said he would. And by the way, he adds, you and your sons will be down here with me tomorrow.
So finding the Witch of Endor was not nearly as profitable as finding a genie in a bottle, at least not for Saul. (more…)