1 Samuel 16:16
Parallel Verses
New International Version
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."

King James Bible
Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well.

Darby Bible Translation
Let our lord now speak; thy servants are before thee: they shall seek out a man, a skilful player on a harp; and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well.

World English Bible
Let our lord now command your servants who are before you, to seek out a man who is a skillful player on the harp. It shall happen, when the evil spirit from God is on you, that he shall play with his hand, and you shall be well."

Young's Literal Translation
let our lord command, we pray thee, thy servants before thee, they seek a skilful man, playing on a harp, and it hath come to pass, in the spirit of sadness from God being upon thee, that he hath played with his hand, and it is well with thee.'

1 Samuel 16:16 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke'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

before thee

1 Samuel 16:21,22 And David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him greatly; and he became his armor bearer...

Genesis 41:46 And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh...

1 Kings 10:8 Happy are your men, happy are these your servants, which stand continually before you, and that hear your wisdom.

play

1 Samuel 16:23 And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was on Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand...

1 Samuel 10:5 After that you shall come to the hill of God, where is the garrison of the Philistines: and it shall come to pass...

2 Kings 3:15 But now bring me a minstrel. And it came to pass, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the LORD came on him.

Library
The Shepherd-King
'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

Early Days
The life of David is naturally divided into epochs, of which we may avail ourselves for the more ready arrangement of our material. These are--his early years up to his escape from the court of Saul, his exile, the prosperous beginning of his reign, his sin and penitence, his flight before Absalom's rebellion, and the darkened end. We have but faint incidental traces of his life up to his anointing by Samuel, with which the narrative in the historical books opens. But perhaps the fact that the story
Alexander Maclaren—The Life of David

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 16:15
Saul's attendants said to him, "See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you.

1 Samuel 16:17
So Saul said to his attendants, "Find someone who plays well and bring him to me."

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

1 Samuel 19:9
But an evil spirit from the LORD came on Saul as he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand. While David was playing the lyre,

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

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