New International Version
Saul's attendants said to him, "See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you.
King James Bible
And Saul's servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee.
Darby Bible Translation
And Saul's servants said to him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubles thee.
World English Bible
Saul's servants said to him, "See now, an evil spirit from God troubles you.
Young's Literal Translation
and the servants of Saul say unto him, 'Lo, we pray thee, a spirit of sadness from God is terrifying thee;
1 Samuel 16:15 Parallel
CommentaryClarke'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 16:16 "Let our lord now command your servants who are before you. Let them seek a man who is a skillful player on the harp; and it shall come about when the evil spirit from God is on you, that he shall play the harp with his hand, and you will be well."
'And the Lord said unto Samuel, How long wilt them mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel! fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Beth-lehemite: for I have provided Me a king among his sons. 2. And Samuel said, How can I go? If Saul hear it, he will kill me. And the Lord said, Take an heifer with thee, and say, I am come to sacrifice to the Lord. 3. And call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show thee what thou shalt do: and thou shalt anoint …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
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 16:16
Let our lord command his servants here to search for someone who can play the lyre. He will play when the evil spirit from God comes on you, and you will feel better."
Jump to PreviousAttendants Evil Sadness Saul Saul's Servants Spirit Terrifying Troubles Troubleth Troubling
Jump to NextAttendants Evil Sadness Saul Saul's Servants Spirit Terrifying Troubles Troubleth Troubling
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