I've been over at Michael Prescott's site reading his blogs The Slaughter of the Nabiim and Voices of the Gods and this was my response
Michael Prescott "Another possibility is that the voice persisted because, in the early stages of his postmortem existence, the king was still able to communicate through mediums - and in that society, everyone was a medium."
Michael I think you’re really onto something here but might I suggest a possible twist?
When the Pope dies they go through this procedure where they smash his personal seals and other religious paraphernalia belonging to his reign.
When the British Monarch dies the cry goes up Shakespeare style "The King is dead! Long live the King!"
We also have the case of Akhenaten where once his reign was over all evidence he even existed was literally chiselled or rehieroglyphed over particularly his name nor I suggest’s this the unique event it's often made out there being evidence it may’ve been a common if more conservatively scaled custom throughout all Pharaonic Egyptian history.
The modern assumption's this sort of thing's priestly revenge at worst clearing away the old so the new has the field to itself at best.
Yet let's take the Samuel Saul era circa the 1st Millennium BC four centuries after Exodus.
In Samuel we have an individual who starts out this mystical shamanic civil servant figure the judge a role which by divine ordainment endows him with this Shekinatic/charismatic charged persona conferring automatic universal unquestioning acceptance of his pronouncements on any issue whatsoever be it legal military theological or how to get a date because it’s assumed it’s not him speaking but God.
Meanwhile I suggest some crisis which seems to be occurring all over the world's hinted at locally by the emergence of the musical ecstatics The Shouters who it's difficult to ignore bear a striking resemblance to the Dionysian maenad phenomenon or the antics of followers of various Indo-Tibetan avatars like Krishna or crazy wisdom holders like Padmasambhava [or the garrulous nutters on pre mobile period buses and trains] because suddenly Samuel's renouncing his Confucius the civic civilizer gig and a la Gautama Zoroaster and Lao Tse etc he’s wanting the hell permanently out city life and society generally even as he’s simultaneously scaling up to become a major version of the newly emerging worldwide much more cosmologically dimensioned critters known as the prophets nor’re people anywhere happy about any of it hence Samuel’s attempt to convince Israel his sons’re judges as good as he was but the people quickly cotton on not only hasn’t God conferred on the lads anything like the same level of charisma or infallible oracular capacity but unlike the priesthood judgehood clearly isn’t and can never be hereditary viz the sons of Eli.
It’s at this stage we realise we aren’t just witnessing a Bruce Banner gamma ray sized transformation of the SPIRITUAL landscape but a similarly monumental transformation of the whole urban political scene hence Samuel publicly bollocks Israel for the idiocy of wanting the complete absence of upto spec judges filled with one of these newfangled latest fashion crazes kings just because just about everyone everywhere’s got one.
He points out not only’re kings not just for Christmas but where prophets and judges have their unique direct hotline to and from God to keep ‘em incorruptible the institution of kings place the onus permanently’ll on the people themselves to keep the bastards’ arses in line and if they don’t they’ll only have themselves to blame for the consequences which is exactly the mitigating circumstance Saul pleads when he realises just how seriously pissed off God and Samuel are with him.
Yet what most people don’t suspect when Saul and Samuel make their statements’s the possibility they’re talking about something very much along the lines of your society of mediums who dead kings could still communicate with.
…only with two possible twists 1) this communication business didn’t just apply to dead kings but possibly even more so to living ones and 2) it wasn’t just the living and dead kings who were invested with the capacity to subtly telepathically and psychokinetically influence the people with their movie star like glamour but the people themselves who under certain conditions became capable of telepathically and psychokinetically compelling their kings to do whatever the hell they wanted hence again Saul’s lament all the debauchery murderousness material greed and endless infidelities with foreign gods he exhibited was purely a reflection of his own inability to resist the spell the people’d placed on him by way of giving themselves permission to join in all the forbidden foreigner fun hence Samuel’s explicit loathing for Saul for not having it in himself to develop an equally powerful desire to stand up to his peoples’ materialistic obsessions by cleaving to God [and hence I suggest King Agag’s cheeky uppitiness before Samuel because he can’t conceive for one moment Samuel might be immune to the more tolerant approach Saul and the people’ve already decided on to deal with him].
And to get an idea what those special king controlling conditions might’ve been we only need review the Tower of Babel story which among several possible layers of ideas and levels of meaning encoded in it explicitly states the purpose of the tower was to create a sort of vertically rising magic circle to prevent the human race from dispersing across the planet and indeed God explicitly confirms this cramming together on the same spot’s precisely how they’re deriving their power when He states the only way to put an end to the humans’ capacity to act with such monumentally monolithic potency’s to scatter the buggers cross the face of the Earth confusing in the process the common tongue which’s been facilitating them acting with one mind and bringing ‘bout the sort of pronounced cultural differences which’ll ensure monolithic recombination’s almost impossible.
It’s the same idea I suggest also contained in the story which goes a Sufi student suddenly dug his teacher in the ribs and gasped “Oh my god Master there goes the notorious black magician known as the Beast are we scared?” “Of him? Dear me no the black magicians who should scare us’re the ones so powerful they don’t need to advertise…and they move unsuspected all round us.”
Most people grasp the level of this story which implies there might be those amongst us so powerful they’re able to bring to bear an almost god like influence upon us without us suspecting a thing but they usually miss the much deeper implication this god like influence might actually be being achieved by deceiving and covertly steering the REAL all powerful magicians who move unsuspected all about us the human race itself a race of magicians whose abilities usually only docilely manifest in their unconscious moment by moment collective efforts to bring into existence and maintain the world in forms convivial to human beingness until every so often they become sufficiently provoked or antagonised to trigger off their collective aggression or resentment and suddenly English French American Russian or Chinese Revolutions start spontaneously erupting all over the place not to mention Arab Springs while Berlin Walls start quite literally coming down round the ears of the likes of the CIA or the KGB without them having so much as the slightest clue any of it’s about to happen.
So according to this particular interpretation of the Babel story the reason humanity condemns countless generations of itself to building what’s effectively a sky high tower block prison’s because certain parties among them who might be thought of as anti-judges or anti-prophets’ve beguiled them into forgetting about expanding back out into and exploring the rest of the planet by entrancing their collective ego with the concept of making a name for itself in which case the human race wasn’t being punished or diminished when a stop was put to Babel but rather being rescued from a fate which would’ve seen them becoming a cross between Star Trek’s the Borg and attaining Mao’s vision of a world so perfectly unified everyone speaks dresses eats thinks lives and believes exactly the same thing the exception being of course the hypothetical anti-judges and the anti-prophets.
It’s the surreptitious manipulatory antics of precisely these individuals I suggest Aristotle’s alluding to when he speaks of cities containing those who’re men those who’re more than men and those who’re less than men ie human demons.
It’s also these guys I suggest the Bible’s alluding to when it speaks of certain non-gift bearing scoundrels who Saul behaves powerless before in spite of the fact they’re shamelessly rubbishing him to his face when he’s just become king.
And it’s these guys I suggest who’re ultimately the reason for Samuel’s monumental spiritual career change as well as the growing murderousness towards seers and ultimately prophets alluded to by Zechariah because Samuel strongly suspected as powerful psychics and mediums themselves they’d not only brought about a Babel style pooling of their perverted mystical talents to effectively seize surreptitious control of the psychic internet making judges redundant by interfering Devil’s Verses style with any transmissions between them and God but they’d embarked on a progressive agenda to gradually destroy any similarly talented competition to the degree people’d either forget there’d ever been such things as psychics or at least’d relegate them to the level of mere figures in fairy tales.
This’s also I suggest why God adds to the section of Zechariah you provide this qualifier “In the whole land," declares the LORD, "two-thirds will be struck down and perish; yet one-third will be left in it. 9 This third I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, 'They are my people,' and they will say, 'The LORD is our God.' "
The inference being I suggest despite what the anti-judges and the anti-prophets might think their behaviour was all part of a design to bring about a new form of human being operating at a level beyond even that of Samuel.