1 Samuel 18:10
Parallel Verses
New International Version
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

King James Bible
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.

Darby Bible Translation
And it came to pass the next day that an evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house, but David played with his hand, as on other days; and the spear was in Saul's hand.

World English Bible
It happened on the next day, that an evil spirit from God came mightily on Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house. David played with his hand, as he did day by day. Saul had his spear in his hand;

Young's Literal Translation
And it cometh to pass, on the morrow, that the spirit of sadness from God prospereth over Saul, and he prophesieth in the midst of the house, and David is playing with his hand, as day by day, and the javelin is in the hand of Saul,

1 Samuel 18:10 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

The evil spirit from God - See on 1 Samuel 16:14 (note), etc.

He prophesied in the midst of the house - He was beside himself; made prayers, supplications, and incoherent imprecations: "God preserve my life," "Destroy my enemies," or such like prayers, might frequently escape from him in his agitated state. The Arabic intimates that he was actually possessed by an evil spirit, and that through it he uttered a sort of demoniacal predictions.

But let us examine the original more closely: it is said that Saul prophesied in the midst of his house, that is, he prayed in his family, while David was playing on the harp; and then suddenly threw his javelin, intending to have killed David. Let it be observed that the word ויתנבא vaiyithnabbe is the third person singular of the future hithpael; the sign of which is not only to do an action on or for one's self, but also to feign or pretend to do it. The meaning seems to be, Saul pretended to be praying in his family, the better to conceal his murderous intentions, and render David unsuspicious; who was, probably, at this time performing the musical part of the family worship. This view of the subject makes the whole case natural and plain.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

the evil spirit

1 Samuel 16:14,15 But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him...

1 Samuel 19:9 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.

1 Samuel 26:19 Now therefore, I pray you, let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If the LORD have stirred you up against me...

and he prophesied. Wyyithnabbai, rather, `and he pretended to prophesy; for the verb is in Hithpael, the signification of which conjugation is not only reflex action, but also affectation of the action:

Jeremiah 29:26,27 The LORD has made you priest in the stead of Jehoiada the priest, that you should be officers in the house of the LORD...

The meaning seems to be, that Saul, influenced by the evil spirit, feigned to be prophesying, the better to conceal his murderous intentions, and to render David unsuspicious.

1 Samuel 19:24 And he stripped off his clothes also, and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night...

1 Kings 18:29 And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice...

1 Kings 22:12,20-23 And all the prophets prophesied so, saying, Go up to Ramothgilead, and prosper: for the LORD shall deliver it into the king's hand...

Jeremiah 28:2-4,11 Thus speaks the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon...

Zechariah 13:2-5 And it shall come to pass in that day, said the LORD of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land...

Acts 16:16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us...

2 Thessalonians 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

played

1 Samuel 16:16 Let our lord now command your servants, which are before you, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp...

and there was Wehachanith beyad Shaool, rather, `and the javelin was in the hand of Saul;' for the javelin or spear was the emblem of regal authority; and kings had it always in their hand, as may be seen represented on ancient instruments. In ancient times, says Justin, kings used a spear instead of a sceptre.

Library
A Soul's Tragedy
'And David went out whithersoever Saul sent him, and behaved himself wisely: and Saul set him over the men of war; and he was accepted in the sight of all the people, and also in the sight of Saul's servants. 6. And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick. 7. And the women answered one another as they played,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Exile.
David's first years at the court of Saul in Gibeah do not appear to have produced any psalms which still survive. "The sweetest songs are those Which tell of saddest thought." It was natural, then, that a period full of novelty and of prosperous activity, very unlike the quiet days at Bethlehem, should rather accumulate materials for future use than be fruitful in actual production. The old life shut to behind him for ever, like some enchanted door in a hill-side, and an unexplored land lay beckoning
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 16:16
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."

1 Samuel 16:23
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.

1 Samuel 18:9
And from that time on Saul kept a close eye on David.

1 Samuel 19:7
So Jonathan called David and told him the whole conversation. He brought him to Saul, and David was with Saul as before.

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,

1 Samuel 19:23
So Saul went to Naioth at Ramah. But the Spirit of God came even on him, and he walked along prophesying until he came to Naioth.

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