The Spirit of the Lord Rushed upon David

1 Samuel 16:13,

“Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.”

You read a text often enough, and you start to wonder what’s behind it. Who wrote 1 Samuel? Did he interview people? How did he know that? What does it mean, that the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David?

I’m assuming David told somebody, later, that he felt something. How else would he know that the Spirit “rushed” on him? The ’84 NIV says that the Spirit “came upon him in power.” Which begs the question of what it means to come upon somebody in power, as opposed to just coming upon them the normal way. We’re still left with the impression that David had some kind of experience that he felt. Maybe that experience had later results in terms of supernaturally increased ability to lead or sing (prophesy?), or go to war. But for it to be noticeable, at just that moment, David had to have an experience.

That semi-mystical experience then had enough theological value to be included in the text of scripture as an example of what it means to have the Holy Spirit come upon you.

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