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But the spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

16:14 departed from Saul. In the old dispensation, the Holy Spirit evidently came and went from believers in accord with God’s purpose and their obedience to His leading. Now, however, according to Christ’s promise: “I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth;...for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (John 14:16,17).

16:14 evil spirit. It seems strange that God would send an “evil spirit” to trouble Saul. Even though such evil spirits have evidently followed Satan in his rebellion against God, and now have become the fallen “angels that sinned” (II Peter 2:4) or “the devils” (i.e., “demons” in Matthew 8:31), God can still control them when He so wills, and use them to fulfill His purposes. Compare also the “lying spirit” sent by the Lord to “persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead” (I Kings 22:20-23).

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