28:3 Now Samuel had died, and all Israel had lamented over him and had buried him in Ramah, his hometown. 1 In the meantime Saul had removed the mediums 2 and magicians 3 from the land. 28:4 The Philistines assembled; they came and camped at Shunem. Saul mustered all Israel and camped at Gilboa.
1 tn Heb “in Ramah, even in his city.”
2 tn The Hebrew term translated “mediums” actually refers to a pit used by a magician to conjure up underworld spirits (see 2 Kgs 21:6). In v. 7 the witch of Endor is called the owner of a ritual pit. See H. Hoffner, “Second Millennium Antecedents to the Hebrew ’OñBù,” JBL 86 (1967): 385-401. Here the term refers by metonymy to the owner of such a pit (see H. A. Hoffner, TDOT 1:133).