Smith's Bible DictionaryEndor
(fountain of Dor), a place in the territory of Issachar, and yet possessed by Manasseh. (Joshua 17:11) Endor was the scene of the great victory over Sisera and Jabin. It was here that the witch dwelt whom Saul consulted. (1 Samuel 28:7) it was known to Eusebius, who describes it was a large village four miles south of Tabor. Here to the north of Jebel Duhy the name still lingers. The distance from the slopes of Gilboa to Endor is seven or eight miles, over difficult ground.
ATS Bible DictionaryEndor
A city of Manasseh, Joshua 17:11, four miles south of mount Tabor, near Nain, in the way to Scythopolis, Psalm 83:9,10. Here the witch lived whom Saul consulted, 1 Samuel 28:1-25. The pretence of this sorceress that she could call up the spirits of the dead from their repose was evidently false. She was amazed and appalled when the form of Samuel really appeared, sent by God himself to put her to shame, and bring to king Saul his last warning.
International Standard Bible EncyclopediaEN-DOR
en'-dor `en dor, Joshua 17:11; `en dor, 1 Samuel 28:7; `en do'r, Psalm 83:10; Codex Alexandrinus, Nendor; Codex Vaticanus, Aeldor:
A town in the lot of Issachar assigned to Manasseh (Joshua 17:11). Here dwelt the woman who had a familiar spirit, whom Saul consulted on the night before the battle of Gilboa (1 Samuel 28:7). Here also, according to Psalm 83:10, perished fugitives of Sisera's army, after their defeat at the Kishon. The place was therefore not far from the Kishon and Tabor.
It is generally identified with the modern Endur, a small village on the northern slope of Jebel ed-Duchy, with several ancient caves. It is not far from Nain and Shunem, and looks across the valley along which the broken ranks of Sisera may have attempted to make their way eastward to the open uplands, and thence to their native North. Coming hither from Gilboa, eluding the Philistine outposts under cover of the darkness, Saul would cross the Vale of Jezreel, and pass round the eastern base of the mountain, the Philistines being on the west.
EN-DOR, WITCH OF
In 1 Samuel 28:3-25, it is narrated how Saul, in despair of mind because Yahweh had forsaken him, on the eve of the fatal battle of Gilboa, resorted in disguise to "a woman that had a familiar spirit" ('obh: see DIVINATION; NECROMANCY), at En-dor, and besought the woman to divine for him, and bring him up from the dead whom he should name. On the woman reminding him how Saul had cut off from the land those who practiced these arts-a proof of the existence and operation of the laws against divination, witchcraft, necromancy, etc. (Leviticus 19:31 Deuteronomy 18:9-14)-the king assured her of immunity, and bade her call up Samuel. The incidents that followed have been the subject of much discussion and of varied interpretation. It seems assumed in the narrative that the woman did see an appearance, which the king, on her describing it, recognized to bethat of Samuel.
This, however, need be only the narrator's interpretation of the events. It is not to be credited that the saintly Samuel was actually summoned from his rest by the spells of a professional diviner. Some have thought that Samuel, by God's permission, did indeed appear, as much to the woman's dismay as to the king's; and urge in favor of this the woman's evident surprise and terror at his appearance (1 Samuel 28:12), and the true prophecy of Saul's fate (1 Samuel 28:16-19).
It may conceivably have been so, but the more reasonable view is that the whole transaction was a piece of feigning on the part of the woman. The Septuagint uses the word eggastrimuthos ("a ventriloquist") to describe the woman and those who exercised kindred arts (1 Samuel 28:9). Though pretending ignorance (1 Samuel 28:12), the woman doubtless recognizes Saul from the first. It was she who saw Samuel, and reported his words; the king himself saw and heard nothing. It required no great skill in a practiced diviner to forecast the general issue of the battle about to take place, and the disaster that would overtake Saul and his sons; while if the forecast had proved untrue, the narrative of the witch of En-dor would never have been written. Saul, in fact, was not slain, but killed himself. The incident, therefore, may best be ranked in the same category as the feats of modern mediumship.
Easton's Bible Dictionary
Fountain of Dor; i.e., "of the age", a place in the territory of Issachar (Joshua 17:11
) near the scene of the great victory which was gained by Deborah and Barak over Sisera and Jabin (Comp. Psalm 83:9
, 10). To Endor, Saul resorted to consult one reputed to be a witch on the eve of his last engagement with the Philistines (1 Samuel 28:7
). It is identified with the modern village of Endur, "a dirty hamlet of some twenty houses, or rather huts, most of them falling to ruin," on the northern slope of Little Hermon, about 7 miles from Jezreel.