Saul Prophesying 

Rather than allow the people to be destroyed in Egypt and let the Egyptians make fun of Jehovah for having such an evil group of worshippers or from just destroying them, God removed them from Egypt

In the day that I lifted up mine hand unto them, to bring them forth of the land of Egypt into a land that I had espied for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands: Ezekiel 20:6

Then said I unto them, Cast ye away every man the abominations of his eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. Ezekiel 20: 7

But they rebelled against me, and would not hearken unto me: they did not every man cast away the abominations of their eyes, neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt: then I said, I will pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them . Ezekiel 20: 8

But I wrought for my names sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, among whom they were, in whose sight I made myself known unto them, in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt. Ezekiel 20: 9

The idols were of Apis the bull or Hathor the cow as incarnations of Osiris or Isis. At Mount Sinai they made the golden calf and "rose up to play" around it. This included vocal and instrumental music.

See the Egyptian Idolatry Which God said they continued.
See the worship at Mount Sinai.

See what happened as a result

God made the same choice (even if He knows the end from the beginning) in the wilderness:

Wherefore I caused them to go forth out of the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness. Ezekiel 20: 10

And I gave them my statutes, and shewed them my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them. Ezekiel 20: 11
Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them. Ezekiel 20: 12

But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and my sabbaths they greatly polluted: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them. Ezekiel 20: 13

But I wrought for my names sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, in whose sight I brought them out. Ezekiel 20: 14

The righteous decision would be to leave Israel in the wilderness. Again, god had to protect His people to protect His Name:

Yet also I lifted up my hand unto them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands; Ezekiel 20: 15

Because they despised my judgments, and walked not in my statutes, but polluted my sabbaths: for their heart went after their idols. Ezekiel 20: 16

The fatal despising of God's judgment was when they "rose up to play."

Play: "The Hebrew verb means to dance to music, vocal and instrumental. See Judges 19:2, 1 Chron. 13:8)" (Cook). "This was playing before the ark, as it slowly made progress; that is, there were evolutions and marching figures and religious dances" (Professor Beecher, quoted in Peloubet's Selects Notes, 1903, p. 270).

Pollute is the Hebrew:

Chalal (h2490) khaw-lal'; to bore, i. e. (by impl.) to wound, to dissolve; fig. to profane (a person, place or thing), to break (one's word), to begin (as if by an "opening wedge"); denom. (from 2485) to play (the flute): - begin (* men began), defile, * break, defile, * eat (as common things), * first, * gather the grape thereof, * take inheritance, pipe, player on instruments, pollute, (cast as) profane (self), prostitute, slay (slain), sorrow, stain, wound.

Nevertheless mine eye spared them from destroying them, neither did I make an end of them in the wilderness. Ezekiel 20: 17

But I said unto their children in the wilderness, Walk ye not in the statutes of your fathers, neither observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols: Ezekiel 20: 18

Notwithstanding the children rebelled against me: they walked not in my statutes, neither kept my judgments to do them, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; they polluted my sabbaths: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness. Ezekiel 20: 21

Nevertheless I withdrew mine hand, and wrought for my names sake, that it should not be polluted in the sight of the heathen, in whose sight I brought them forth. Ezekiel 20: 22

God warned the Israelites how He would destroy the Assyrians:

And in every place where the grounded staff shall pass, which the Lord shall lay upon him, it shall be with tabrets and harps: and in battles of shaking will he fight with it. 2 Chron 30:32

For Tophet is ordained of old; yea, for the king it is prepared; he hath made it deep and large: the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it. 2 Chr 30:33

The idolatrous worship of Apis at Mount Sinai sentenced Israel to captivity and almost total destruction -- then and there -- because they would always be unfaithful to God. Therefore, He gave them a law which could not give life (as the Covenant could have) and helped them on their way to destruction when they "fired" Him and demanded a king like the nations so that they could worship like the nations:

I lifted up mine hand unto them also in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the heathen, and disperse them through the countries; Ezekiel 20: 23

Because they had not executed my judgments, but had despised my statutes, and had polluted my sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers idols. Ezekiel 20: 24

Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live; Ezekiel 20: 25

And I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the Lord. Ezekiel 20: 26

To worship like the nations meant that Israel, under violated law, was doomed to worship like the nations. This included burning "spare" children in the red-hot arms of Molech. With minor exceptions for short periods this destructive worship persisted until Israel was lost and Judah was sent to Babylon for 70 years to have their noses rubbed in idolatry so that they could comprehend the sorrow of God

The three primary kings: Saul, David and Solomon were used by God to carry out His sentence upon a people who were doomed by their musical idolatry at Mount Sinai. The insult was that while God had rescued them from Egypt, Aaron made an image of Apis the bull and said: "This is the god who brought you out of Egypt." As a result the tribe of Levi and its Aaronic priests would have to "bear the burden" for the people and keep them away from God's symbolic presence in the Tabernacle.

When they refused to repent in Canaan, the demand for a human king in place of God was the final blow. Hosea wrote:

O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help. Hosea 13:9

I will be thy king: where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities? and thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes? Hosea 13:10

I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath. Hosea 13:11

The Demand "Set A King Over Us"

The theme that the kings were not spiritual leaders but civil leaders who would eventually drag the nation into destruction and captivity is so common in the bible that no literate person could ever see the king and the civil-state sacrificial system as authority for modern musical worship ministers or clergy mediating between God and the congregation. For instance, when Israel demanded a king and Samuel protested, God said, in effect, It is now my will that they have a king because when you rejecte God by rejecting His Word He sends you strong delusions to make you rejoice in your new freedom -- for awhile.

You should understand that the true prophets were sent to pronounce judgment upon the priestly leaders who had led the nation into worship like the nations to meet their own mercenary needs.

The effeminate prophesying was singing and playing musical instruments often in the belief that they could arouse the dead gods. This was a direct insult to God who had already delivered His Word to them through Moses.

When Israel rejected God's direct rule he sent the professional "prophesiers" from the Philistine "high place" as a judgmental sign of their rejection:

After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where is the garrison of the Philistines: and it shall come to pass, when thou art come thither to the city, that thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they shall prophesy: 1S.10:5

"This is the first mention in the OT of a band of prophets. These were men who went about in companies and were able by means of music and dancing to work themselves up into a convulsive and ecstatic frenzy (2 Ki. 3:1-10).

Their abnormality was believed to be caused by the invasive influence of the spirit of god.
word prophesied here does not mean either foretelling the future or preaching after the manner of the later prophets, but engaging in the ritual dance of the prophetic guild (19:18-24). Their behavior was commonly regarded as a form of madness (2 Ki. 9:11; Jer. 29:26)" (The Int. Bible Ency., I Sam. p. 932).

And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. 1 Samuel 8:7

According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee. 1 Samuel 8:8

Now, an earthly king is part of God's will because they have violated the probation they were on when they wanted the "god" represented by the golden calf to become their leader:

Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them. 1 Samuel 8:9

And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots. 1 Samuel 8:11

And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments (trumpets to toot the people away) of his chariots. 1 Samuel 8:12

"So Samuel is instructed to grant them their request, but not till he had first solemly warned them of its immediate results, in the oppression which their king would exercise till they should cry out to Jehovah against the master of their own choice...We must not suppose that that man would be a ferocious tryant, at once beginning to inflict the retribution of their folley. Like their own idea of a monarchy, he covered, under a fair exterior, great possibilities of good, and the seeds of still greater evil." (Smith, Hist of OT, p. 386).

"Israel could not, with an easy conscience, become a nation like the surrounding nations, for the religious faith of the Confederacy survived its collapse and found new expression in Israel's prophetic movement. Israel was not allowed to identify a human kingdom with the Kingdom of God, for Yahweh alone was king. Sometimes great Israelite kings like David and Solomon, in their consuming ambition to make Israel great in the eyes of the world, forgot this truth, with the result that prophets arose to remind the people in the spirit of Samuel that Israel's calling was not to be 'like the nations' but to be the people of the covenant." (Anderson, Anderson, Hist OT p. 164).

Instruments of Chariots

The word "instrument" in both Hebrew and Greek is from the same word as "weapon." Paul claimed that he would not battle with "carnal weapons" and described musical instruments as "lifeless instruments." The men were confiscated from their family and farms and made to run before the king's chariot making a gread noise to "triumph over" the enemy. For instance:

Hesoid in The Shield of Heracles

(191-196) And on the shield stood the fleet-footed horses of grim Ares made gold, and deadly Ares the spoil-winner himself. He held a spear in his hands and was urging on the footmen: he was red with blood as if he were slaying living men, and he stood in his chariot. Beside him stood Fear and Flight, eager to plunge amidst the fighting men.

(197-200) There, too, was the daughter of Zeus, Tritogeneia who drives the spoil (3). She was like as if she would array a battle, with a spear in her hand, and a golden helmet, and the aegis about her shoulders. And she was going towards the awful strife.

(201-206) And there was the holy company of the deathless gods:

and in the midst the son of Zeus and Leto played sweetly on a golden lyre.
There also was the abode of the gods, pure Olympus, and their assembly, and infinite riches were spread around in the gathering, the
Muses of Pieria were beginning a song like clear-voiced singers.

(l270-285) Next, there was a city of men with goodly towers; and seven gates of gold, fitted to the lintels, guarded it.

The men were making merry with festivities and dances; some were bringing home a bride to her husband on a well-wheeled car, while the bridal-song swelled high, and the glow of blazing torches held by handmaidens rolled in waves afar.

And these maidens went before, delighting in the festival;
and after them came frolicsome choirs,
the youths singing soft-mouthed to the sound of shrill pipes,
while the echo was shivered around them,
and the girls led on the lovely dance to the sound of lyres.

Then again on the other side was a rout of young men revelling,

with flutes playing; some frolicking with dance and song, and
others were going forward in time with a
flute player and laughing.
The whole town was filled with
mirth and dance and festivity.

Plutarch, Life of Marcellus
, xiv. 65, and

Quaest. Conv. viii. 2. 1, 7, where Plato is represented as "having been angry with Eudoxus and Archytas because they employed instruments and apparatus for the solution of a problem, instead of relying solely on reasoning."

"But when the envious opposed his (Marcellus) being brought triumphant into the city, because there were some relics of the war in Sicily, and a third triumph would be looked upon with jealousy, he gave way.

He triumphed upon the Alban mount, and thence entered the city in ovation, as it is called in Latin, in Greek eua;
but in this ovation he was neither carried in a
chariot, nor crowned with laurel, nor ushered by trumpets sounding;

but went afoot with shoes on, many flutes or pipes sounding in concert, while he passed along, wearing a garland of myrtle, in a peaceable aspect, exciting rather love and respect than fear.

But the people refused to listen to God

But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me. Psalm 81:11

So I gave them up unto their own hearts lust:
and they walked in their own counsels. Psalm 81:12

Of course, they picked their old Babylonian-Egyptian-Canaanite form of worship which they never really abandoned during their stay in Egypt. Therefore, what the Psalmist said (even though he used instruments for his personal praise) is restated at the end of the Bible as Christ warns about the end-time worship:

And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all. Revelation 18:14

And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; Revelation 18:22

When people refuse God's Word He sends strong delusions upon them. They play music, dance to make fools of themselves and speak in tongues and even speak it to god (1 Cor 14:2) which was probably Juno, the air god (1 Cor. 14:9):

How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Proverbs 1:22

Scorn is similar to the word halal taken as authority for musical praise:

Luwc (h3887) loots; a prim root; prop. to make mouths at, i. e. to scoff; hence (from the effort to pronounce a foreign language) to interpret, or (gen.) intercede: - ambassador, have in derision, interpreter, make a mock, mocker, scorn (-er, -ful), teacher.

On the other hand, when people love God and obey Him He pours out His Spirit (mind) upon them which is to make them understand His Words. When we reject the Word we can be sure that God has rejected us and turned us over to worship our bodies.

Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. Proverbs 1:23

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. John 6:63

Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; Proverbs 1:24

What Happened When Saul Prophesied

"Like most of the aspects of Israel's religion, the institution of the priesthood suffered injury as a result of the conquest of Canaan.

The Levites did not retain possession of most of their allocated cities and were forced to wander about the country (Judg. 17:7; 19:1; I Sam. 1:1).

More serious was the theological impact of Canaanitish religious practices.
Even faithful Gideon came to feel no qualms about
assuming to himself certain of the priestly functions;
for he made an ephod, the priests' surplice that was decked with gold (Exod. 28:6-15),
and employed it for a worship which was
contrary to the law (Judg. 8:24-27).

Eli's sons became so corrupt (I Sam. 2:12) that the line of Eli, which seems to have been that of Aaron's fourth son Ithamar, was cursed of God (vv. 30-36). Saul then slaughtered both the priests (I Sam. 22:18) and the temple slaves (II Sam. 21:1)." (Theology Of the OT, p. 375).

This mad prophesying or singing with musical instruments was a judgmental sign always heaped upon people who reject God. Therefore, God through Samuel prophesied that the kings would destroy the nation and he gave them other signs:

And ye have this day rejected your God, who himself saved you out of all your adversities and your tribulations; and ye have said unto him,

Nay, but set a king over us. Now therefore present yourselves before the Lord by your tribes, and by your thousands. 1S 10:19

Is it not wheat harvest to day? I will call unto the Lord, and he shall send thunder and rain; that ye may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which ye have done in the sight of the Lord, in asking you a king. 1S 12:17

Organizing the people into groups of a hundred or thousand was a "ministry system" imposed upon Israel by God as they insisted that they would be governed by a like the nations king and worship like the nations.

Joel also prophesied of mixed blessings as young boys and girls engaged in this form of judgmental prophesying and the old men engaged in dreaming or the enchanting methods of the Chaldeans:

And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: Joel 2:28 (Like enchanter)

And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. Joel 2:30

The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come. Joel 2:31

Compare What Happened With Jezebel's "prophets"

Re 1 Sam. 10:10 "These prophets were groups of men who devoted themselves to ecstatic devotions. They would play instrument, sing, dance and put themselves into wild trances, and fall down in a frenzy. They rather resembled certain orders of dervishes of later Islamic times, and if the word were here given as 'dervishes' rather than 'prophets,' the picture would be clearer.

"In their trances and ecstasies, these prophets or dervishes were believed to be divinely possessed, to have access to more than human knowledge, to be able to pronounce oracles, and so on."

"In the time of Saul, the companies of prophets were by no means completely edifying. They may, indeed, have been hang-overs of paganism. Samuel, as the spiritual leader of the time, seems to have attempted to guide their energies into the path of Yahvism, but it is difficult to say how much success he might have head."

"Yet the prophets were an excellent tool. They had the capacity to stir and influence the people and they tended to be strongly nationalistic, ready always to serve as the backbone of resistance against foreign oppression. Samuel, as their head, could direct them to meet and join Saul. It was the support of the bands of prophets that was Samuel's practical contribution to the establishment of Sauls kingship." (Asimov's Guide to the Bible, p. 283).

"Self-interest in social affairs made for self-indulgence in matters of religion. The northern sanctuaries were crowded with worshippers who, in the main, were rejoicing in the erotic religious rites that were the concomitant of a pagan Canaanite Baal worship.

Prophets and priests associated with the sanctuaries profited from the lavish gifts of the worshippers, and naturally condoned these exercises in the name of religion,

appearing completely oblivious to the conditions of rapid decay which lay immediately underneith the surface of social life." (Harrison, R. K., Introduction to the Old Testament, Eerdmans, p. 886)

The Britannica [Or Click Here] notes that "Prophets were a common phenomenon in Syria-Palestine. In an Egyptian text (11th century BC), Wen-Amon (a temple official at Karnak) was sent by the pharaoh to Gebal (Byblos) to procure timber. While there, a young noble of that city was seized by his god and in frenzy gave a message to the king of Gebal that the request of Wen-Amon should be honoured. In another instance, an Aramaic inscription from Syria records that the god Baal-shemain told King Zakir (8th century BC) through seers and diviners that he would save the king from his enemies. These chapters reveal the close connection between sacrificial rites and divine inspiration. In the Old Testament book of Numbers, chapters 22-24, the Mesopotamian prophet Balaam (who may have been a mahhu) from Pethor, whom the Moabite king Balak had asked to curse the invading Israelites, is mentioned. In chapter 27, verse 9, of Jeremiah, another Old Testament book, it is said that prophets, diviners, and soothsayers were in the neighbouring countries of Judah: in Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre, and Sidon. Since so little is known about these prophets, the question of the uniqueness of Hebrew prophecy is difficult to assess (see also Middle Eastern religion).

Informing us about the king of Tyre as an agent of Lucifer whose music branded him with "the song of the prostitute" even after strong discipline, the Phoenicians tried to lull Wen Amun with a musical woman. The message was: "Eat, drink and be merry" and don't worry about who stole your cedary.

"In a Hittite text King Mursilis II (reigned c. 1334-c. 1306 BC) mentions the presence of prophets, but there is no information about the type of prophecy. More informative are texts from Mari (Tall al-Hariri, 18th century BC) in northwest Mesopotamia, where some striking parallels to Hebrew prophecy have been discovered. The Mari prophets--believed to be inspired--spoke the word of the god Dagon just as Israelite prophets spoke the word of Yahweh.

"In Mari, the two key words for prophet are muhhum (an ecstatic, a frenzied one) and apilum (the one who responds). Both may be connected with the cult, but there are incidents indicating that the

muhhum was not bound to the cultic setting but received his message in a direct revelation from his god. The apilum usually acted within a group of fellow prophets. Many of their sayings are political in nature, but there are also oracles that deal with the king's duty to protect the poor and needy, indicating that an ethical dimension was present among the Mari prophets. The messages could also contain admonitions, threats, reproofs, accusations, and predictions of either disaster or good fortune.

"The Mari texts are important in the history of prophecy because they reveal that inspired prophecy in the ancient Middle East dates back 1,000 years before Amos and Hosea (8th century BC) in Israel. From Mesopotamia there is evidence of the mahhu, the frenzied one, known in Sumerian texts as the lú-gub-ba. Mention also is made of some prophets who spoke to Assyrian kings, and their message is sometimes introduced with the clause: "Do not fear." Omina (omens) texts containing promises or predictions are also known. In one of the maqlu ("oath") texts, in which an asipu priest is being sent forth by his god, the deity first asks "Whom shall I send?"

When Saul prophesied the Hebrew is:

Naba (g5012) naw-baw'; a prim. root; to prophesy, i. e. speak (or sing) by inspiration (in prediction or simple discourse): - prophesy (- ing), make self of prophet.

Paul defined true prophecy as to bring "revelation, knowledge, prophecy or word of doctrine." (1 Corinthians 14:6). However, to the pagan Greeks and most others, the word "prophesy" and "to make music" to bring on a form of madness is the same. Paul's warning would be against loud vocal music in forms designed to bring on mind-changing reactions (mainomai) in 1 Corinthians 14:23).

Another Man

The normal word for "another" means an associate, brother or companion. However, Saul had turned strange. As another, he would hinder Israel's spiritual life:

Achar (h309) aw-khar'; from: to loiter, be behind; by implication: to procrastinate, defer, delay, hinder, be slack

The turning in Hebrew most often meant to overthrow someone. Saul's friends composed a little "ditty" to make fun of him because "to prophesy" meant that Saul would engage in a practice reserved for the abnormal.

Haphak (h2015) haw-fak'; turn about or over; by implication: to pervert... It is often used as "to overthrow, perverse, retire, tumble, turn aside, to the contrary "

Hophek (2017) from 2015 upset, perversity, turn things upside down.

Saul "prophesied among the team" but Saul was not a prophet! He "predicted" future events in responsive singing with the musicians from the High Place. "Turned" is first used of the flaming swords at Eden "to keep the way of the tree of life" because they rejected God's quiet "voice" walking in the garden. By rejecting God, they were again "outside the garden of God's grace."

Karen Armstrong notes that the urban feminist urge sweeping revivalist movements is a rejection of Yahweh as the masculine God of the mind or spirit or Word. Later,

"We find demon-possessed Saul 'acting like a prophet' by becoming semi-conscious and immobile when attempting to apprehend David at Ramah..The context of this passage makes it clear that Saul's behavior was not the ordinary behavior of the true prophets of God." (Christianity Today, March 12,

"'Played the prophet,' viz., by gestures and demeanor."&emdash;Driver. "Rather, he raved."&emdash;Keil. "The word 'prophesy' describes an ecstatic condition due to supernatural influence, good or evil; the result in the one case being prophetic inspiration or religious enthusiasm, in the other raving madness."&emdash;Cambridge Bible. 1971, p. 541)

Heredotus writes: Now the Scythians are wont to reproach the Greeks with their Bacchanal rage, and to say that it is not reasonable to imagine there is a god who impels men to madness. No sooner, therefore, was Scylas initiated in the Bacchic mysteries than one of the Borysthenites went and carried the news to the Scythians "

You Scyths laugh at us" he said, "because we rave when the god seizes us.

But now our god has seized upon your king, who raves like us, and is maddened by the influence.
If you think I do not tell you true, come with me, and I will show him to you."

The chiefs of the Scythians went with the man accordingly, and the Borysthenite, conducting them into the city, placed them secretly on one of the towers.

Presently Scylas passed by with the band of revellers, raving like the rest, and was seen by the watchers.
Regarding the matter as a
very great misfortune they instantly departed, and came and told the army what they had witnessed.

When Israel rejected God's direct rule he sent the professional "prophesiers" from the Philistine "high place" as a judgmental sign of their rejection:

After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where is the garrison of the Philistines: and it shall come to pass, when thou art come thither to the city, that thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they shall prophesy: 1S.10:5

"This is the first mention in the OT of a band of prophets. These were men who went about in companies and were able by means of music and dancing to work themselves up into a convulsive and ecstatic frenzy (2 Ki. 3:1-10).

Their abnormality was believed to be caused by the invasive influence of the spirit of god.

The word prophesied here does not mean either foretelling the future or preaching after the manner of the later prophets, but engaging in the ritual dance of the prophetic guild (19:18-24). Their behavior was commonly regarded as a form of madness (2 Ki. 9:11; Jer. 29:26)" (The Int. Bible Ency., I Sam. p. 932).

The Sign of the grain Crop

Now therefore stand and see this great thing, which the Lord will do before your eyes. 1 Sam 12:16

Is it not wheat harvest to day? I will call unto the Lord, and he shall send thunder and rain; that ye may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which ye have done in the sight of the Lord, in asking you a king. 1 Sam 12:17

So Samuel called unto the Lord; and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day: and all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel. 1 Sam 12:18

And all the people said unto Samuel, Pray for thy servants unto the Lord thy God, that we die not:
for we have added unto all our sins this evil, to ask us a king. 1 Sam 12:19

God sent the destruction of the wheat crop and warned that the king would set captains over them.

David fulfilled this when he and the captains or commanders of the army organized prophesying bands.

David, together with the commanders of the army, set apart some of the sons of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun for the ministry of prophesying, accompanied by harps, lyres and cymbals. Here is the list of the men who performed this service: 1Chr.25:1

They did not serve in "congregational worship" but forced the people into hard labor and to fall to the ground during dedication or purification animal sacrifices. This was not true worship music but was always called "noise" to warn and control the people.

The trained musicians which eventually appear around the time of David and Solomon
mark a distinctive change in the history of Jewish music. Before this time much of the music was made by women." (Zondervan Pict., Music p. 313).

Some examples, all negative, are:

And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. Exodus15:20 (Miriam helped the women escape exactly as she might have done in Egypt)

And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount. Exodus 32:19

And see, and, behold, if the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance in dances, then come ye out of the vineyards, and catch you every man his wife of the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin. Judges 21:21 (They were swept off their feet)

And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter. Judges 11:34

And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick. 1 Samuel 18:6

Saul, like most kings, was tall, dark and handsome and he could sing "under the influence." However, some of the people "disesteemed, despised, scorned, and thought that Saul was a vile person." (1 Samuel 10:27). Because Saul was "slack" and "turned aside," God sent His Spirit or influence into him to stir him up for war:

And the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard those tidings, and his anger (snorting nostrils) was kindled (a blazing fire) greatly. 1 Samuel 11:6

Adam Clark notes of a later event of prophesying:

The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully upon Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the harp, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand 1 Sam 18:10

"He prophesied in the midst of the house. He was beside himself; made prayers, supplications, and incoherent imprecations: 'God preserve my life,' 'Destroy my enemies,' or such like prayers, might frequently escape from him in his agitated state. The Arabic intimates that he was actually possessed by an evil spirit, and that through it he uttered a sort of demoniacal predictions." (Clark, 1 Sam 18, p. 270).

"In ancient times, says Justin, kings used a spear instead of a diadem: And as spears were the emblems of supreme power, hence they were reputed as attributes of the Divinity, and were worshipped as representatives of the gods." (Adam Clark, 1 Sam. 18, p. 270)

In 1 Sam. 18:10 when "an evil spirit from God came mightily upon Saul, and he raved"" with a spear in his hand while David was playing the harp. The word raved is the word prophesied.. Thus only the context can determine whether one is delivering a message from God or simply mimicking the idolatrous prophets of Baal in their charismatic signs of madness.

"Specifically, the inhabitants of Canaan had become addicted to the oracles of spiritists; and it was the need to counteract this evil influence that occasioned the rise of regular prophecy (Deut. 18:14, 15)...prophecy first came into prominence about 1090 B.C. Because of this defeat, the Philistines captured the ark, destroyed the central sanctuary of Shiloh, and brought about the death of the high priest Eli." (Theology of the OT, p. 50).

"the creation of the monarchy was providential...In retrospect, one can say that events which brought about the collapse of the Confederacy and the rise of the Israelite state were not...devoid of divine purpose. God's revelation is relevant to the whole of human life--to economics, politics, and every sphere of human activity. If God would speak to the nations through Israel, then Israel must undergo the experience of being a nation in order that she might appreciate the wealth of nationhood and attack the idolatrous power of nationalism." (Walter Eichrodt, quoted by Anderson, p. 163)

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