in Shmuel I chapter 19 Posuk 20.

And Saul sent messengers to take David, and he saw the company of prophets prophesying and Samuel was standing as head over them; and a spirit from God was upon Saul's messengers, and they too prophesied. כוַיִּשְׁלַח שָׁאוּל מַלְאָכִים לָקַחַת אֶת דָּוִד וַיַּרְא אֶת לַהֲקַת הַנְּבִיאִים נִבְּאִים וּשְׁמוּאֵל עֹמֵד נִצָּב עֲלֵיהֶם וַתְּהִי עַל מַלְאֲכֵי שָׁאוּל רוּחַ אֱלֹהִים וַיִּתְנַבְּאוּ גַּם הֵמָּה:

What does this mean exactly? i'm a little bit confused, did they come to get him and as they got there they fell into a trance and started prophesying?

1 Answer 1


The Judaica Shmuel Alef quotes Radak, Metzudas David, and Ralbag that they were all overcome by Ruach Hakodesh and began uttering praises of Hashem and short term (near future) prophesies. Shaul had sent them to arrest David and as they approached the group around Shmuel, they lost control of their actions.

Pasuk 23 says about Shaul, "and he too prophesied before Shmuel" Just like Shaul Hamelech in Pasuk 24 the messengers had lost control of their faculties and were unable to refrain from joining the group around Shmuel and losing control of their actions.

  • Thank you! So i guess it's safe to say that they fell into a trance? Commented May 31, 2015 at 2:05
  • @sabbahillel Can you provide an online link to "Judaica Shmuel Alef quotes Radak, Metzudas David, and Ralbag"?
    – ninamag
    Commented Apr 13, 2019 at 20:34
  • @sabbahillel what does it mean "lost control of their faculties" and "losing control of their actions"? What did the rabbis say? Did they chant? Did they slur their words? How did they prophesy?
    – ninamag
    Commented Apr 13, 2019 at 20:36

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