Scripture tells us that on the eve of his final battle, Saul besought God but was answered with no dream, Urim or prophets (Samuel 1.28.6). The midrash says that Saul chose not to consult with the Urim and Thummim because he expected them to rebuke him for killing the priests of Nob and their families. Earlier in the same midrash Levi II rebukes Saul for using necromancy rather than the Urim and Thummim, implying that Saul did not in fact try to beseech God through the Urim. If these sages are correct and Saul never bothered trying the Urim, why does scripture say God did not answer him through the Urim? Surely it is obvious that the Urim cannot reply to a question that was never even asked?

  • I'm pretty sure both R' Levis there are the same person.
    – Harel13
    Jun 28, 2022 at 19:28
  • 'Levi II' is used to differentiate the third generation Amora from Levi ben Sisi.
    – user19234
    Jun 28, 2022 at 20:07
  • Eh, okay... Who's Levi I?
    – Harel13
    Jun 28, 2022 at 20:10
  • Levi ben Sisi might as well be 'Levi I' but he is instead simply known as Levi ben Sisi.
    – user19234
    Jun 28, 2022 at 20:27
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    Great question. Perhaps he is learning that 28:6 and 28:15 are actually two separate discrete occasions, whereas on the first he did attempt to consult all three (prophecy, dreams, urim/tumim), on the second he did not (only prophecy and dreams). Peshat-wise the flow of the text does not sound like it is two different occasions, however 28:15 missing the mention of urim/tumim is notable, and it is presumably precisely this apparent discrepancy that R. Lewi is picking up on and filling in the gaps for. Just my 2¢ Jun 29, 2022 at 10:00


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