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1 Samuel 19:9-24

Context
19:9 Then an evil spirit from the Lord came upon 1  Saul. He was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand, while David was playing the lyre. 2  19:10 Saul tried to nail David to the wall with the spear, but he escaped from Saul’s presence and the spear drove into the wall. 3  David escaped quickly 4  that night.

19:11 Saul sent messengers to David’s house to guard it and to kill him in the morning. Then David’s wife Michal told him, “If you do not save yourself 5  tonight, tomorrow you will be dead!” 19:12 So Michal lowered David through the window, and he ran away and escaped.

19:13 Then Michal took a household idol 6  and put it on the bed. She put a quilt 7  made of goat’s hair over its head 8  and then covered the idol with a garment. 19:14 When Saul sent messengers to arrest David, she said, “He’s sick.”

19:15 Then Saul sent the messengers back to see David, saying, “Bring him up to me on his bed so I can kill him.” 19:16 When the messengers came, they found only the idol on the bed and the quilt made of goat’s hair at its head.

19:17 Saul said to Michal, “Why have you deceived me this way by sending my enemy away? Now he has escaped!” Michal replied to Saul, “He said to me, ‘Help me get away or else I will kill you!’” 9 

19:18 Now David had run away and escaped. He went to Samuel in Ramah and told him everything that Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went and stayed at Naioth. 19:19 It was reported to Saul saying, “David is at Naioth in Ramah.” 19:20 So Saul sent messengers to capture David. When they saw a company of prophets prophesying with Samuel standing there as their leader, the spirit of God came upon Saul’s messengers, and they also prophesied. 19:21 When it was reported to Saul, he sent more messengers, but they prophesied too. So Saul sent messengers a third time, but they also prophesied. 19:22 Finally Saul 10  himself went to Ramah. When he arrived at the large cistern that is in Secu, he asked, “Where are Samuel and David?” They said, “At Naioth in Ramah.”

19:23 So Saul went to Naioth in Ramah. The Spirit of God came upon him as well, and he walked along prophesying until he came to Naioth in Ramah. 19:24 He even stripped off his clothes and prophesied before Samuel. He lay there 11  naked all that day and night. (For that reason it is asked, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”)

1 tn Heb “[was] to.”

2 tn The Hebrew text adds here “with his hand.”

3 tn Heb “and he drove the spear into the wall.”

4 tn Heb “fled and escaped.”

5 tn Heb “your life.”

6 tn Heb “teraphim” (also a second time in this verse and once in v. 16). These were statues that represented various deities. According to 2 Kgs 23:24 they were prohibited during the time of Josiah’s reform movement in the seventh century. The idol Michal placed under the covers was of sufficient size to give the mistaken impression that David lay in the bed, thus facilitating his escape.

7 tn The exact meaning of the Hebrew word כָּבִיר (kavir) is uncertain; it is found in the Hebrew Bible only here and in v. 16. It probably refers to a quilt made of goat’s hair, perhaps used as a fly net while one slept. See HALOT 458 s.v. *כָּבִיר. Cf. KJV, TEV “pillow”; NLT “cushion”; NAB, NRSV “net.”

8 tn Heb “at the place of its head.”

9 tn Heb “Send me away! Why should I kill you?” The question has the force of a threat in this context. See P. K. McCarter, I Samuel (AB), 325, 26.

10 tn Heb “he” (also in v. 23). the referent (Saul) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

11 tn Heb “and he fell down.”



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