And the Spirit of Jehovah turned aside from Saul, and a spirit of sadness from Jehovah terrified him;
1 Samuel 16:14 Additional TranslationsClarke's Commentary on the Bible
The Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul - He was thrown into such a state of mind by the judgments of God, as to be deprived of any regal qualities which he before possessed. God seems to have taken what gifts he had, and given them to David; and then the evil spirit came upon Saul; for what God fills not, the devil will.
An evil spirit from the Lord - The evil spirit was either immediately sent from the Lord, or permitted to come. Whether this was a diabolic possession, or a mere mental malady, the learned are not agreed; it seems to have partaken of both. That Saul had fallen into a deep melancholy, there is little doubt; that the devil might work more effectually on such a state of mind, there can be but little question. There is an old proverb, Satan delights to fish in troubled waters; and Saul's situation of mind gave him many advantages.
The theory of Dr. Scheuchzer, in his Physica Sacra, on the malady of Saul, is allowed to be very ingenious. It is in substance as follows: Health consists in a moderate tension of the fibres, which permits all the fluids to have an entire freedom of circulation, and to the spirits, that of diffusing themselves through all the limbs; on the contrary, disease consists in tensions of the fibres morbidly weak or morbidly strong. This latter seems to have been the case of Saul; and as the undulations of the air which convey sound communicate themselves to and through the most solid bodies, it is easy to suppose that by the modulations of music all the fibres of his body, which were under the influence of the morbidly increased tension, might be so relaxed as to be brought back into their natural state, and thus permit the re-establishment of a free and gentle circulation of the fluids, and consequently of the animal spirits, and thus induce calmness and tranquillity of mind. I believe this theory to be correct, and I should find no difficulty to amplify and to illustrate the subject. Even a skillful playing upon the harp was one means to bring a disordered state of the nervous and fibrous system into a capacity of affording such uninterrupted tranquillity to the mind as to render it capable of receiving the prophetic influence; see the case of Elisha, 2 Kings 3:14, 2 Kings 3:15. It has been said: -
"Music hath charms to sooth the savage breast."
This has been literally proved: a musician was brought to play on his instrument while they were feeding a savage lion in the tower of London; the beast immediately left his food, came towards the grating of his den, and began to move in such a way as to show himself affected by the music. The musician ceased, and the lion returned to his food; he recommenced, and the lion left off his prey, and was so affected as to seem by his motions to dance with delight. This was repeatedly tried, and the effects were still the same.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
1 Samuel 11:6 And the Spirit of God came on Saul when he heard those tidings, and his anger was kindled greatly.
1 Samuel 18:12 And Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with him, and was departed from Saul.
1 Samuel 28:15 And Samuel said to Saul, Why have you disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed...
Judges 16:29 And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars on which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand...
Psalm 51:11 Cast me not away from your presence; and take not your holy spirit from me.
Hosea 9:12 Though they bring up their children, yet will I bereave them, that there shall not be a man left: yes...
evil spirit The evil spirit was either sent immediately from the Lord, or per- mitted to come; but whether this was a diabolic possession, or a mere mental malady, is not agreed: it seems to have partaken of both. That Saul had fallen into a deep melancholy, there is little doubt; and that an evil spirit might work more effectually on such a state of mind, there can be little question. His malady appears to have been of a mixed kind, natural and diabolical: there is too much of an apparent nature in it to permit us to believe it was all spiritual; and there is too much of apparently supernatural influence, to suffer us to believe it was all natural.
1 Samuel 18:10 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came on Saul, and he prophesied in the middle of the house...
1 Samuel 19:9,10 And the evil spirit from the LORD was on Saul, as he sat in his house with his javelin in his hand: and David played with his hand...
Judges 9:23 Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech:
1 Kings 22:22 And the LORD said to him, With which? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets...
Acts 19:15,16 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you...
troubled. or, terrified
1 Samuel 16:14 Parallel CommentariesDeparted Evil Sadness Saul Spirit Terrified Terrorized Tormented Troubled Troubling TurnedDeparted Evil Sadness Saul Spirit Terrified Terrorized Tormented Troubled Troubling TurnedTHE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica®.
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