1 Samuel 16:23
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.

Berean Study Bible
And whenever the spirit from God came upon Saul, David would pick up his harp and play, and Saul would become well, and the spirit of distress 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.

New King James Version
And so it was, whenever the spirit from God was upon Saul, that David would take a harp and play it with his hand. Then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the distressing spirit would depart 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 feel relieved and become well, and the evil spirit would leave him.

NASB 1995
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.

NASB 1977
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.

Amplified Bible
So it came about that whenever the [evil] spirit from God was on Saul, David took a harp and played it with his hand; so Saul would be refreshed and be well, and the evil spirit would leave him.

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

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.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And whenever the evil spirit of LORD JEHOVAH was on Shaul, David took and he played on the harp and refreshed Shaul, and it was good for him, and the evil spirit passed away from him

Brenton Septuagint Translation
And it came to pass when the evil spirit was upon Saul, that David took his harp, and played with his hand: and Saul was refreshed, and it was well with him, and the evil spirit departed from him.

Contemporary English Version
Whenever the evil spirit from God bothered Saul, David would play his harp. Saul would relax and feel better, and the evil spirit would go away.

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.

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.

Good News Translation
From then on, whenever the evil spirit sent by God came on Saul, David would get his harp and play it. The evil spirit would leave, and Saul would feel better and be all right again.

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.

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.

JPS Tanakh 1917
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 found relief, and it was well with him, and the evil spirit departed from him.

Literal Standard Version
And it has come to pass, in the spirit of [sadness from] God being on Saul, that David has taken the harp, and played with his hand, and Saul has refreshment and gladness, and the spirit of sadness has turned aside from off 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.

New Heart English Bible
It happened, when the 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.

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.

Additional Translations ...
Context
David Serves Saul
22Then Saul sent word to Jesse, saying, “Let David remain in my service, for I am pleased with him.” 23And whenever the spirit from God came upon Saul, David would pick up his harp and play, and Saul would become well, and the spirit of distress would depart from him.

Cross References
1 Samuel 16:14
After the Spirit of the LORD had departed from Saul, a spirit of distress from the LORD began to torment him.

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

1 Samuel 18:10
The next day a spirit of distress sent from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied inside the house while David played the harp as usual. Now Saul was holding a spear,

2 Kings 3:15
But now, bring me a harpist." And while the harpist played, the hand of the LORD came upon 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 from the LORD troubled him…

Saul

1 Samuel 18:10,11
And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: and there was a javelin in Saul's hand…

Matthew 12:43-45
When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none…

Luke 11:24-26
When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out…









(23) David took an harp, and played with his hand.--"The music," beautifully writes F. D. Maurice, "was more than a mere palliative. It brought back for the time the sense of a true order, a secret, inward harmony, an assurance that it is near every man, and that he may enter into it. A wonderful message, no doubt, to a king or a common man, better than a great multitude of words, a continual prophecy that there is a deliverer who can take the vulture from the heart, and unbind the sufferer from the rock. . . . As the boy minstrel played, the afflicted monarch was refreshed, and the dark clouds rolled away."

"He is Saul, ye remember in glory--ere error had bent

The broad brow from the daily communion, and still, though

much spent

Be the life and the bearing that front you, the same God did

choose

To receive what a man may waste, desecrate, never quite

lose."--BROWNING: Saul.

And the evil spirit departed from him.--Many instances besides those recorded above (see note to 1Samuel 16:16) might be quoted of the beneficial effects of music and singing upon a disturbed spirit, or on a mind diseased. The holy Elisha, we are told, when "disturbed in spirit," would call for a minstrel, and after listening to the sweet, soothing strains, would write and speak his prophetic utterances.

In modern times a well-known instance of this strange power over a troubled spirit is that of Philip V. of Spain, who, we are told, was restored from the deepest melancholy and depression by the sweet voice and words of Farinelli. Luther speaks of this power of music over the sick and weary soul as "one of the fairest and most glorious gifts of God, to which Satan is a bitter enemy, for it removes from the heart the weight of sorrow and the fascination of evil thoughts." Basil's words on this subject are worth quoting:--"Psalmody is the calm of the soul, the repose of the spirit, the arbiter of peace. It silences the wave, and conciliates the whirlwind of our passions. It is an engenderer of friendship, a healer of dissension, a reconciler of enemies. It repels demons, lures the ministry of angels, shields us from nightly terrors, and refreshes us in daily toil."



Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
And whenever
וְהָיָ֗ה (wə·hā·yāh)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Conjunctive perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 1961: To fall out, come to pass, become, be

the spirit
רֽוּחַ־ (rū·aḥ-)
Noun - common singular construct
Strong's 7307: Wind, breath, exhalation, life, anger, unsubstantiality, a region of the sky, spirit

from God
אֱלֹהִים֙ (’ĕ·lō·hîm)
Noun - masculine plural
Strong's 430: gods -- the supreme God, magistrates, a superlative

came
בִּֽהְי֤וֹת (bih·yō·wṯ)
Preposition-b | Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct
Strong's 1961: To fall out, come to pass, become, be

upon
אֶל־ (’el-)
Preposition
Strong's 413: Near, with, among, to

Saul,
שָׁא֔וּל (šā·’ūl)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 7586: Saul -- first king of Israel, also an Edomite and two Israelites

David
דָּוִ֛ד (dā·wiḏ)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 1732: David -- perhaps 'beloved one', a son of Jesse

would pick up
וְלָקַ֥ח (wə·lā·qaḥ)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Conjunctive perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 3947: To take

his harp
הַכִּנּ֖וֹר (hak·kin·nō·wr)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 3658: A harp

and play,
וְנִגֵּ֣ן (wə·nig·gên)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Piel - Conjunctive perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 5059: To touch or play a stringed instrument

and Saul
לְשָׁאוּל֙ (lə·šā·’ūl)
Preposition-l | Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 7586: Saul -- first king of Israel, also an Edomite and two Israelites

would become
וְרָוַ֤ח (wə·rā·waḥ)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Conjunctive perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's 7304: To breathe freely, revive, to have ample room

well,
וְט֣וֹב (wə·ṭō·wḇ)
Conjunctive waw | Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's 2895: To be pleasing or good

and the spirit
ר֥וּחַ (rū·aḥ)
Noun - common singular construct
Strong's 7307: Wind, breath, exhalation, life, anger, unsubstantiality, a region of the sky, spirit

of distress
הָרָעָֽה׃ (hā·rā·‘āh)
Article | Adjective - feminine singular
Strong's 7451: Bad, evil

would depart
וְסָ֥רָה (wə·sā·rāh)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Conjunctive perfect - third person feminine singular
Strong's 5493: To turn aside

from him.
מֵעָלָ֖יו (mê·‘ā·lāw)
Preposition-m | third person masculine singular
Strong's 5921: Above, over, upon, against


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OT History: 1 Samuel 16:23 It happened when the evil spirit (1Sa iSam 1 Sam i sa)
1 Samuel 16:22
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