1 Samuel 19:1-24 Saul’s Family and Friends Help David


1 Samuel 19:1-24


Jonathan, Michal, and Samuel all defy Saul in order to save David.


Several times in these passages, Saul attempts to kill David, but is thwarted by his children and former friend, Samuel. When Saul merely mentioned that he wanted to kill David, Jonathan informed David, and spoke to his father, urging him not to kill Saul’s champion. Another time, when Saul received an evil spirit from the LORD and sought to kill David, Michal helped her husband escape through a window, and installed a dummy in his place in the bed. Lastly, David escaped to Samuel in Ramah. When Saul pursued David, Saul fell into a prophetic frenzy, and removed his clothing as he prophesied all night. Yet again, the people of Israel inquire: “Is Saul among the prophets?” 

Careful readers will note the presence of idols in David’s house that Michal uses to cover up David’s escape. 

Again, an evil spirit from the LORD attacks Saul. And again, Saul falls into a prophetic trance or frenzy. Interpreters should be cautious not to infer mental or emotional health issues into these stories. The text identifies spiritual causes for Saul’s behavior. It is unwise to assume that we know what was happening long ago, far away, and in another cultural context.  

We must see the evil spirit and the prophetic trance as spiritual happenings that indicate God’s displeasure with Saul. And not only has God turned away from Saul, but so has even Saul’s inner circle.