The real or supposed ancestors of the Hebrews were venerated and were felt to be so close that their descendants even continued to suffer for their sins (Exod. 20: 5). Not surprisingly it would seem that a cult of the dead infiltrated into Israel from neighbouring peoples (Deut. 26: 14) and former kings were worshipped (Ezek. 43: 7–9). The practice of calling up the dead, as when Saul consulted Samuel through the ‘witch’ of Endor (1 Sam. 28: 7), is condemned by the prophets (Isa. 8: 19–20).