1 Samuel 11:6
And the Spirit of God came on Saul when he heard those tidings, and his anger was kindled greatly.
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(6) And the Spirit of God came upon Saul.—Nothing, perhaps, could have moved Saul so deeply as this news respecting the distress of Jabesh-gilead; he was affected not merely by the disgrace to Israel over which the Eternal had so lately directed him to be anointed king, but by the sore peril which menaced the ancient friend and ally of his tribe. On Saul’s heart, thus prepared for action, the Holy Spirit fell, and endued him with extraordinary wisdom, valour, and power for the great and difficult work which lay before him.

We read of the Spirit of the Lord coming upon men like Othniel (Judges 3:10) and the other great Israelitic judges, who were raised up to be in their day the deliverers of the people; and the immediate result of the Spirit of the Lord coming upon them was to impart new and unusual power to their spirit, power which enabled them successfully to surmount every danger and difficulty which barred the progress of the great work they were specially called upon to do.

11:1-11 The first fruit of Saul's government was the rescue of Jabesh-gilead from the Ammonites. To save their lives, men will part with liberty, and even consent to have their eyes put out; is it then no wisdom to part with that sin which is as dear to us as our right eye, rather than to be cast into hell-fire? See the faith and confidence of Saul, and, grounded thereon, his courage and resolution. See also his activity in this business. When the Spirit of the Lord comes upon men, it will make them expert, even without experience. When zeal for the glory of God, and love for the brethren, urge men to earnest efforts, and when God is pleased to help, great effects may speedily be produced.This time the Spirit of God came upon him, as upon the Judges before him, as a Spirit of supernatural energy and power. 1Sa 11:5-11. They Send to Saul, and Are Delivered. The Spirit of God came upon Saul, inspiring him suddenly with more than ordinary courage, and zeal, and resolution, to engage himself and the people for their rescue. Compare Judges 3:10 6:34 11:29.

His anger was kindled greatly against Nahash, for so insolent and barbarous a proposition. And the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard those tidings,.... And filled him with pity and compassion to the inhabitants of Jabesh, and with wisdom and prudence, and set his thoughts at work to contrive ways and means for their relief, and with fortitude, courage, and resolution, to attempt their deliverance; so the Targum,"the spirit of fortitude from the Lord dwelt on Saul:''and his anger was kindled greatly; against Nahash the Ammonite for insulting Israel, and threatening to use the inhabitants of Jabesh in such a cruel manner. And the Spirit of God {c} came upon Saul when he heard those tidings, and his anger was kindled greatly.

(c) God gave him the spirit of strength and courage to go against this tyrant.

6. the spirit of God came upon Saul] The Heb. for “came upon” describes a sudden and pervading impulse. (Sept. ἐφήλατο: Vulg. insilivit.) A supernatural accession of physical and mental vigour roused his dormant energies into action, and enabled him to meet the crisis promptly.Verse 6. - And the Spirit of God came upon Saul. Rather, descended mightily upon Saul (see 1 Samuel 10:6). No miraculous influence is here meant; far more full of meaning and piety is the lesson so constantly taught in the Book of Judges, that all mighty and noble acts are from God (Judges 3:10; Judges 6:34; Judges 11:29; Judges 13:25; Judges 14:6; Judges 15:14, etc.). Even the heathen saw in enthusiasm something Divine, for it means the having God within. The energy with which Saul acted was strictly natural, but yet as truly Divine; and it is a sign of the irreligion of modern days that it can see and hear of great and heroic achievements and assign no part in them to God. In the days of Samuel and the judges the whole glory of such acts was ascribed to God. But equally now, whenever men are moved to noble acts, it is "the breath of God" that descends upon them and inspires them. But as it generally happens that, where a person is suddenly lifted up to exalted honours or office, there are sure to be envious people found, so was it here: there were בליּעל בּני, worthless people, even among the assembled Israelites, who spoke disparagingly of Saul, saying, "How will this man help us?" and who brought him no present. Minchah: the present which from time immemorial every one has been expected to bring when entering the presence of the king; so that the refusal to bring a present was almost equivalent to rebellion. But Saul was "as being deaf," i.e., he acted as if he had not heard. The objection which Thenius brings against this view, viz., that in that case it would read כם היה והוּא, exhibits a want of acquaintance with the Hebrew construction of a sentence. There is no more reason for touching ויהי than ויּלכוּ in 1 Samuel 10:26. In both cases the apodosis is attached to the protasis, which precedes it in the form of a circumstantial clause, by the imperfect, with vav consec. According to the genius of our language, these protases would be expressed by the conjunction when, viz.: "when Saul also went home, ... there went with him," etc.; and "when loose (or idle) people said, etc., he was as deaf."
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