[b-hebrew] 'Prophesying' 1 Samuel 18:10

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Wed Jul 7 04:41:53 EDT 2004

Dear Brian,

I want to add a couple of thoughts to what I said last night. 
Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar notes that the Hithpael is primarily the 
reflexive of Piel. While the intensive is not always

       distinctly marked, it is so in other cases, e.g. HTNQM "to show 
oneself revengeful" (Niph., simply "to
       take revenge"), and in the numerous instances where the 
Hithpael expresses to make oneself that
       which is predicated by the stem, to conduct oneself as such, to 
show oneself, to imagine oneself, to
       effect to be of a certain character.

Regarding the meaning of "evil spirit," it seems helpful to recall 
the framework of a heavenly juridical setting for much of the angelic 
conflict between evil and God. God is sovereign but does not commit 
evil. The OT shows Him sovereign over  Satan and evil spirits and 
seemingly directing (1 Kings 22) or allowing (Job) their work. But we 
know from Revelation that the evil spirits are only tolerated in 
heaven. Though Zechariah shows Satan with a role in the heavenly 
courtroom, Revelation shows that it is as an Accuser. Though the OT 
seems to have God deputizing evil spirits to do His work, Matthew 25 
teaches that Gehenna is prepared for the devil and his angels. So the 
heavenly courtroom is just part of the overall struggle between good 
and evil.

God allows evil to exist for the accomplishment of His greater 
purposes of good, and He can utilize evil spirits, in their hostile 
rebellion to Him, for those purposes. If Scripture says that God sent 
an evil spirit between Abimelech and the citizens of Shechem, we can 
trust that this was part of the heavenly drama, and that God allowed 
demonic spirits to carry out certain actions, as in the case of Job. 
The text says that He did it in order that Abimelech's crime against 
Jerub-Baal's seventy sons might be avenged (Jdg 9:24). God is 
separated from evil (holy), and so it is the part of creation that is 
in rebellion to Him that must be involved in God sending an evil 
spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem, it seems to me.

					Harold Holmyard

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