I Samuel 16:23


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I Samuel 16:23

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.

This verse came up the other day, and after checking various translations, and my own assumptions, I'm kinda left with the thought that I really can't definitely say what this means. I can "assume" that God permitted an evil spirit to come upon Saul as punishment, or I can assume that it was only evil from Saul's perspective because it tormented him. But, most proper translations don't really bend on this at all. They are all pretty clearly stating "evil Spirit from the LORD" in one way or another.

Any one have any real insight? I mean, beyond the same assumptions I've already made?
Hey, Banareth! There is scripture somewhere (sorry,forgot where) that talks about the Lord handing sinners over to their sins. Talking about those that are unrepentant and persistent in thier sin, they will be given over to the tormentors.
Saul was persistent in his disobedience.
There is also scripture about the unrepentant given over to Satan for the destruction of thier flesh to save thier souls. (new testament, the epistles I believe)
It's not so much as God causing it, as it is the result of persistent sin. The consequence of sin. Eat too much, you get fat, have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes.... Consequences of eating too much of the wrong things.
Ironic, isnt it, that the object of his (Saul's) hate was the only relief he could get from the tormenting spirit!
When we are obedient to God and stay in relationship with Him, we are "covered" so to speak. Protected. But when we step out from under His covering in disobedience and sin, we are no longer protected. We are open to attacks. And who did it? We did, by moving away from Him.
I finally found a literal translation, and found it interesting that in the original text, the "evil spirit from God" was only "spirit from God" and that the "evil spirit" that departed, could also be translated as "saddened spirit" or "discordant spirit".

So the way I read THAT now, is that God was convicting Saul, and it made Saul feel guilty for his actions and disobedience.
Most translations put the word evil intalics meaning the translator thought this was an implied meaning and not an acutal literal translation.