1 Samuel

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1 Samuel 19 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on 1 Samuel 19 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

1 And Saul spake to Jonathan his son, and to all his servants, that they should kill David.

2 But Jonathan Saul’s son delighted much in David: and Jonathan told David, saying, Saul my father seeketh to kill thee: now therefore, I pray thee, take heed to thyself until the morning, and abide in a secret place, and hide thyself:

"Jonathan ... delighted much in David."
True friendship between men, it does and did exist. It is a sign of the times that the word friendship does no longer have a meaning in our days.

3 And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where thou art, and I will commune with my father of thee; and what I see, that I will tell thee.

4 And Jonathan spake good of David unto Saul his father, and said unto him, Let not the king sin against his servant, against David; because he hath not sinned against thee, and because his works have been to thee-ward very good:

5 For he did put his life in his hand, and slew the Philistine, and the LORD wrought a great salvation for all Israel: thou sawest it, and didst rejoice: wherefore then wilt thou sin against innocent blood, to slay David without a cause?

6 And Saul hearkened unto the voice of Jonathan: and Saul sware, As the LORD liveth, he shall not be slain.

7 And Jonathan called David, and Jonathan shewed him all those things. And Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence, as in times past.

8 And there was war again: and David went out, and fought with the Philistines, and slew them with a great slaughter; and they fled from him.

"David went out, and fought with the Philistines, and slew them with a great slaughter."
“There was war” we read in this verse. In war people kill. The SAB author would rather have read that the Philistines slaughtered the Israelites?

9 And the evil spirit from the LORD was upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his javelin in his hand: and David played with his hand.

"And the evil spirit from the Lord was upon Saul." Poor guy, he just can't keep away from God's damned evil spirit.
Saul received the evil spirit as punishment. He continued in sinning, for example in wanting to kill an innocent man, see verse 1. His deeds made the evil spirit feel quite at home. If he had repented, it is sure the evil spirit would have fled. But it was according to God's curse, Deut. 28:34:

So that thou shalt be mad for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.

10 And Saul sought to smite David even to the wall with the javelin; but he slipped away out of Saul’s presence, and he smote the javelin into the wall: and David fled, and escaped that night.

11 Saul also sent messengers unto David’s house, to watch him, and to slay him in the morning: and Michal David’s wife told him, saying, If thou save not thy life to night, to morrow thou shalt be slain.

12 So Michal let David down through a window: and he went, and fled, and escaped.

Escape of David
(Gustave Dore, 1865)

13 And Michal took an image, and laid it in the bed, and put a pillow of goats hair for his bolster, and covered it with a cloth.

14 And when Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, He is sick.

15 And Saul sent the messengers again to see David, saying, Bring him up to me in the bed, that I may slay him.

16 And when the messengers were come in, behold, there was an image in the bed, with a pillow of goats’ hair for his bolster.

17 And Saul said unto Michal, Why hast thou deceived me so, and sent away mine enemy, that he is escaped? And Michal answered Saul, He said unto me, Let me go; why should I kill thee?

18 So David fled, and escaped, and came to Samuel to Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done to him. And he and Samuel went and dwelt in Naioth.

19 And it was told Saul, saying, Behold, David is at Naioth in Ramah.

20 And Saul sent messengers to take David: and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over them, the Spirit of God was upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied.

21 And when it was told Saul, he sent other messengers, and they prophesied likewise. And Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they prophesied also.

22 Then went he also to Ramah, and came to a great well that is in Sechu: and he asked and said, Where are Samuel and David? And one said, Behold, they be at Naioth in Ramah.

23 And he went thither to Naioth in Ramah: and the Spirit of God was upon him also, and he went on, and prophesied, until he came to Naioth in Ramah.

24 And he stript off his clothes also, and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Wherefore they say, Is Saul also among the prophets?

Saul gets a bit carried away with his prophesying "and he stripped off his clothes ... and lay down naked all that day and night. Wherefore they say, Is Saul also among the prophets?" (But see 1 Sam.10:11-12 for another story explaining the origin of this famous proverb.)
The proverb is used here, but no mention is made that this story is the origin of the proverb, see chapter 10:12.
Stripping of his clothes does not necessarily mean he was without clothes. It is more probable he was without his robe and shoes, see for example Is. 20:2.