1 Samuel 16:23
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Whenever the spirit from God came on Saul, David would take up his lyre and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.

New Living Translation
And whenever the tormenting spirit from God troubled Saul, David would play the harp. Then Saul would feel better, and the tormenting spirit would go away.

English Standard Version
And whenever the harmful spirit from God was upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand. So Saul was refreshed and was well, and the harmful spirit departed from him.

New American Standard Bible
So it came about whenever the evil spirit from God came to Saul, David would take the harp and play it with his hand; and Saul would be refreshed and be well, and the evil spirit would depart from him.

King James Bible
And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Whenever the spirit from God troubled Saul, David would pick up his lyre and play, and Saul would then be relieved, feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.

International Standard Version
Whenever an evil spirit from God came to Saul, David would take the lyre and play it. Relief would come to Saul and he would be better, because the evil spirit would leave him.

NET Bible
So whenever the spirit from God would come upon Saul, David would take his lyre and play it. This would bring relief to Saul and make him feel better. Then the evil spirit would leave him alone.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Whenever God's spirit came to Saul, David took the lyre and strummed a tune. Saul got relief [from his terror] and felt better, and the evil spirit left him.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took a harp and played with his hand; so Saul was refreshed and was better, and the evil spirit departed from him.

King James 2000 Bible
And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took a harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.

American King James Version
And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was on Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.

American Standard Version
And it came to pass, when the evil'spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took the harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.

Douay-Rheims Bible
So whensoever the evil spirit from the Lord was upon Saul, David took his harp, and played with his hand, and Saul was refreshed, and was better, for the evil spirit departed from him.

Darby Bible Translation
And it came to pass, when the [evil] spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took the harp, and played with his hand; and Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.

English Revised Version
And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took the harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.

Webster's Bible Translation
And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took a harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.

World English Bible
It happened, when the [evil] spirit from God was on Saul, that David took the harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.

Young's Literal Translation
And it hath come to pass, in the spirit of sadness from God being on Saul, that David hath taken the harp, and played with his hand, and Saul hath refreshment and gladness, and the spirit of sadness hath turned aside from off him.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

16:14-23 Saul is made a terror to himself. The Spirit of the Lord departed from him. If God and his grace do not rule us, sin and Satan will have possession of us. The devil, by the Divine permission, troubled and terrified Saul, by the corrupt humours of his body, and passions of his mind. He grew fretful, peevish, and discontented, and at times a madman. It is a pity that music, which may be serviceable to the good temper of the mind, should ever be abused, to support vanity and luxury, and made an occasion of drawing the heart from God and serious things. That is driving away the good Spirit, not the evil spirit. Music, diversions, company, or business, have for a time often been employed to quiet the wounded conscience; but nothing can effect a real cure but the blood of Christ, applied in faith, and the sanctifying Spirit sealing the pardon, by his holy comforts. All other plans to dispel religious melancholy are sure to add to distress, either in this world or the next.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul,.... See 1 Samuel 16:14 though the word evil is not in the text here; wherefore Abarbinel thinks that this here was the Spirit of God, which stirred up in him thoughts of divine things, put him in mind of what God had said, that he had rejected him from being king, and had rent the kingdom from him; and this filled him with grief and trouble, and he became melancholy:

that David took an harp, and played with his hands; upon it; and, as Josephus (r) says, at the same time sung hymns and psalms; made use both of vocal and instrumental music:

so Saul was refreshed, and was well; became cheerful, his grief was removed, his black and gloomy apprehensions of things were dispersed, and he was cured of his melancholy disorder for the present:

and the evil spirit departed from him: at least for a while; he had his fits and intervals; of the effects of music in a natural way; see Gill on 1 Samuel 16:16, though no doubt the music of David was more than natural, being attended with the power and blessing of God, in order to raise his fame and credit at court.

(r) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 6. c. 8. sect. 2.)

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

23. David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well—The ancients believed that music had a mysterious influence in healing mental disorders.

1 Samuel 16:23 Additional Commentaries
Context
David Serves Saul
22Saul sent to Jesse, saying, "Let David now stand before me, for he has found favor in my sight." 23So it came about whenever the evil spirit from God came to Saul, David would take the harp and play it with his hand; and Saul would be refreshed and be well, and the evil spirit would depart from him.
Cross References
1 Samuel 16:14
Now the Spirit of the LORD had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD tormented him.

1 Samuel 16:22
Then Saul sent word to Jesse, saying, "Allow David to remain in my service, for I am pleased with him."

1 Samuel 18:10
The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully on Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the lyre, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand

2 Kings 3:15
But now bring me a harpist." While the harpist was playing, the hand of the LORD came on Elisha
Treasury of Scripture

And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was on Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.

the evil spirit

1 Samuel 16:14,16 But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit …

Saul

1 Samuel 18:10,11 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God …

Matthew 12:43-45 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walks through dry …

Luke 11:24-26 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walks through dry …

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