As I was reviewing some of my morning devotion notes late this evening, the morning Office for Friday 14th Sunday after Trinity in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer caught my attention. The text in question is found in 1 Samuel 19:1-10. I always try to read the entire chapter as ambitious as I am when it comes to reading God’s holy writ. This passage is replete with perplexing and intriguing phrases: The evil spirit from Yahweh; The Spirit of Yahweh; David’s spouse Michal’s betrayal of her husband; King Saul’s schizophrenia; the notion of this same king being ranked among the prophets, prophesying all day; and his servants also prophesying, and the lists go on.
I have spent a considerable part of my adult life trying to study God’s word. But the more I study, the more I realize how little I know. It keeps me humble just knowing that the human mind cannot articulate this Being called God. This passage is troubling because it contains things that are extremely difficult to explain. How can a good God have evil spirit? How can Saul, with such malicious intent to kill God’s anointed prophesy? And Oh by the way, he laid naked the entire day, and also prophesied before Samuel the prophet of Yahweh. He then swears an oath in God’s name not to put David to death, but as soon as the evil spirit from Yahweh comes upon him, he strikes with his javelin but missed David by few inches.
It seems to me that Saul was really possessed by this evil spirit, to the extent that he was bent on killing David. There are so many things to explore in this passage, but I want to talk about vs 9., the evil spirit from Yahweh coming upon Saul. Commentators avoid this passage. I have not come across one Commentary that dealt with this passage. I am sure that there are commentaries on this passage out there, but I am unaware of any.
I have looked at this passage in other languages to find out what is really going here, but always disappointed. I know someone who knows a little bit of Hebrew, and Spanish. And I figured maybe finding out how this passage reads in both languages might proffer some insight to this passage, but that made it even more interesting.
I tried to exonerate Yahweh by trying to prove that the preposition “from” is employed in an “instrumental” sense and not in “possessive” sense. But unfortunately, the Hebrew has it as possessive (the Hebrew Construct). The word (ruach) Spirit is in the construct tense denoting possession. I figured maybe Spanish will help, but again it reads: “Y el espíritu malo de parte de Jehová fué sobre Saul.” This spirit indeed was from God. This is impossible. The Biblical writers must have made a very huge mistake. But we have to face the fact. So what is going in this passage? Well, stay tuned! I will explore this in my next post. Please share your thoughts on this passage. All comments are valuable and are welcome!
God’s Best Wishes!