I Samuel – Chapter 19

Is Saul Among the Prophets AGAIN?

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

Shaul spoke to his advisors about killing David, but Jonathan warned David. He told him to hide out while he spoke to his father about him; he would report back to David as to Shaul’s disposition.

Jonathan then spoke to his father the king about David, assuring him that David was as loyal as they come. David risked his life to defeat Goliath and never sinned against the king – to kill him would be to murder an innocent man! Shaul had to agree that what Jonathan said was correct and he promised not to hurt David. Jonathan reported this to David, who was reconciled with Shaul.

But it was not to last. Shaul’s illness returned and he attacked David with his spear again. David wisely beat a hasty retreat. Shaul sent soldiers to stand guard in front of David’s house so that they could arrest him in the morning when he left. Michal saw the soldiers and warned her husband. She lowered him out the rear window and put a dummy in his bed. When David didn’t come out in the morning, Shaul sent his men into the house, where they eventually discovered the subterfuge. Shaul asked his daughter how she could side with David against him. In order to protect herself, she lied that David had threatened her. (Without this excuse, Michal would have been guilty of treason against the king. While blaming David doesn’t seem very nice, what could Shaul possibly do to him? Kill David twice?)

David ran away to Shmuel in Ramah. Shaul found out and sent soldiers to arrest him, but as soon as they came among the prophets that Shmuel was training, they removed their military garments and started prophesying. After three groups of soldiers failed to return, Shaul decided to go himself. Being a great person despite his flaws, and having already experienced prophesy once before, Shaul was more sensitive to it and he started prophesying as soon as he entered Ramah. He removed his royal robes and prophesied day and night, reinforcing the previous saying about Shaul being among the prophets.

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