The Holy Spirit: Judges – 2 Samuel

Judges

In Judges, we see clearly that God gives the Spirit to his leaders and those charged with judging his people.

(Jdg 3:9-10 ESV)  9 But when the people of Israel cried out to the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer for the people of Israel, who saved them, Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. 10 The Spirit of the LORD was upon him, and he judged Israel. He went out to war, and the LORD gave Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand. And his hand prevailed over Cushan-rishathaim.

(Jdg 6:34 ESV) 34 But the Spirit of the LORD clothed Gideon, and he sounded the trumpet, and the Abiezrites were called out to follow him.

(Jdg 11:29-33 ESV) 29 Then the Spirit of the LORD was upon Jephthah, and he passed through Gilead and Manasseh and passed on to Mizpah of Gilead, and from Mizpah of Gilead he passed on to the Ammonites. 30 And Jephthah made a vow to the LORD and said, “If you will give the Ammonites into my hand, 31 then whatever comes out from the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the Ammonites shall be the LORD’s, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.” 32 So Jephthah crossed over to the Ammonites to fight against them, and the LORD gave them into his hand. 33 And he struck them from Aroer to the neighborhood of Minnith, twenty cities, and as far as Abel-keramim, with a great blow. So the Ammonites were subdued before the people of Israel.

(Jdg 13:24-25 ESV) 24 And the woman bore a son and called his name Samson. And the young man grew, and the LORD blessed him. 25 And the Spirit of the LORD began to stir him in Mahaneh-dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.

(Jdg 14:6 ESV) 6 Then the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon him, and although he had nothing in his hand, he tore the lion in pieces as one tears a young goat. But he did not tell his father or his mother what he had done.

(Jdg 14:19 ESV)  19 And the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon and struck down thirty men of the town and took their spoil and gave the garments to those who had told the riddle. In hot anger he went back to his father’s house.

(Jdg 15:14-15 ESV) 14 When he came to Lehi, the Philistines came shouting to meet him. Then the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon him, and the ropes that were on his arms became as flax that has caught fire, and his bonds melted off his hands. 15 And he found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, and put out his hand and took it, and with it he struck 1,000 men.

Not only does the Spirit equip God’s leaders for leadership, it was the source of Samson’s super-human strength. But more than that, we see that passion for God’s mission comes from the Spirit.

The phrase “the Spirit … rushed upon him” is interesting. It may well be the source of the New Testament’s “be filled with the Spirit.” The verb is used elsewhere of fire —

(Amo 5:6 ESV) Seek the LORD and live, lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and it devour, with none to quench it for Bethel,

— which helps explain —

(1Th 5:19 NIV) Do not put out the Spirit’s fire …

Judges also tells us about Deborah.

(Jdg 4:4-6 ESV) 4 Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. 5 She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the people of Israel came up to her for judgment. 6 She sent and summoned Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh-naphtali and said to him, “Has not the LORD, the God of Israel, commanded you, ‘Go, gather your men at Mount Tabor, taking 10,000 from the people of Naphtali and the people of Zebulun.'”

Deborah is the second woman called a prophetess — and she was also a judge — literally deciding cases — and issued orders to the general over Israel’s army. She was effectively the head of state, although she was, of course, female and married.

1 & 2 Samuel

After the period of the judges, God appointed Saul and then David as kings, and both were given the Spirit to equip them for leadership.

(1Sa 10:1-7 ESV) Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his head and kissed him and said, “Has not the LORD anointed you to be prince over his people Israel? And you shall reign over the people of the LORD and you will save them from the hand of their surrounding enemies. And this shall be the sign to you that the LORD has anointed you to be prince over his heritage. 2 When you depart from me today, you will meet two men by Rachel’s tomb in the territory of Benjamin at Zelzah, and they will say to you, ‘The donkeys that you went to seek are found, and now your father has ceased to care about the donkeys and is anxious about you, saying, “What shall I do about my son?”‘

3 Then you shall go on from there farther and come to the oak of Tabor. Three men going up to God at Bethel will meet you there, one carrying three young goats, another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a skin of wine. 4 And they will greet you and give you two loaves of bread, which you shall accept from their hand. 5 After that you shall come to Gibeath-elohim, where there is a garrison of the Philistines. And there, as soon as you come to the city, you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with harp, tambourine, flute, and lyre before them, prophesying. 6 Then the Spirit of the LORD will rush upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man. 7 Now when these signs meet you, do what your hand finds to do, for God is with you.

This is a fascinating story. For example, there’s a reference in v. 5 to “a group of prophets … prophesying” with musical instruments. What sort of prophecy is this?

And the Spirit is said to turn Saul “into another man,” surely suggesting that the “prophecy” is some kind of ecstatic utterance or somehow or other would take him over.

(1Sa 10:10-13 ESV)  10 When they came to Gibeah, behold, a group of prophets met him, and the Spirit of God rushed upon him, and he prophesied among them. 11 And when all who knew him previously saw how he prophesied with the prophets, the people said to one another, “What has come over the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?”

12 And a man of the place answered, “And who is their father?”

Therefore it became a proverb, “Is Saul also among the prophets?” 13 When he had finished prophesying, he came to the high place.

When Saul met these prophets, the Spirit “rushed” upon him and apparently caused him to prophesy — utter words in a way that the people recognized to be from God.

You can’t help but imagine this was some sort of ecstatic utterance. Or was it seen as prophecy because he was speaking in poetry? What was it about his speech that marked it as prophecy?

(1Sa 16:13-14 ESV) 3 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. 14 Now the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and a harmful spirit from the LORD tormented him.

When Samuel anointed David king, David received the Spirit and Saul lost the Spirit.

(1Sa 19:20-24 ESV)  20 Then Saul sent messengers to take David, and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as head over them, the Spirit of God came upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied. 21 When it was told Saul, he sent other messengers, and they also prophesied. And Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they also prophesied. 22 Then he himself went to Ramah and came to the great well that is in Secu. And he asked, “Where are Samuel and David?”

And one said, “Behold, they are at Naioth in Ramah.”

23 And he went there to Naioth in Ramah. And the Spirit of God came upon him also, and as he went he prophesied until he came to Naioth in Ramah. 24 And he too stripped off his clothes, and he too prophesied before Samuel and lay naked all that day and all that night. Thus it is said, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”

Here’s another story we didn’t learn in Sunday school. The Spirit repeatedly came upon those intending to capture David and forced them to “prophesy” and strip off their clothes.

Now, at this time, the Spirit had left Saul, but the Spirit was able to nonetheless take over Saul and his men and force them to prophesy against their will. And, again, the fact the “prophecy” resulted in Saul prophesying naked all day and all night certainly sounds more like an ecstatic event rather than like, say, an Isaiah standing before kings announcing God’s will in verse. (I’m very glad there are no churches that have taken this as a patttern for the Spirit’s work today!)

(2Sa 23:1-4 ESV) 1 Now these are the last words of David: The oracle of David, the son of Jesse, the oracle of the man who was raised on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, the sweet psalmist of Israel:

2 “The Spirit of the LORD speaks by me; his word is on my tongue. 3 The God of Israel has spoken; the Rock of Israel has said to me: When one rules justly over men, ruling in the fear of God, 4 he dawns on them like the morning light, like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning, like rain that makes grass to sprout from the earth.

In this psalm David composed at the end of his life, he speaks of inspiration directly. Here we see that the words of a leader filled with the Spirit are from God — that is, that the Spirit can inspire men to speak the word of God.

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23 Responses

  1. You can’t help but imagine this was some sort of ecstatic utterance. Or was it seen as prophecy because he was speaking in poetry? What was it about his speech that marked it as prophecy?

    Maybe it was the same quality that made people amazed at Jesus’ teaching.

    Mat 7:28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching,
    Mat 7:29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

  2. Jay, you may want to hold off on questions until later, which I understand. Question: Is there any significance in the prepositions used with respect to the placement of the HS, i.e., “on, ‘ “upon”, and “in”, “within,’ in light of (Mt 7:21-23 & I Co 13)?

  3. Douglas Jacoby notes a distinction between the Spirit being “upon” someone and the Spirit living in someone. The vast majority of the passages where the Spirit comes upon someone (including in the book of Acts), that person is led to do things: prophesy, speak in tongues, etc.

    That is a possible explanation as to why John says that the Spirit “wasn’t” until after the crucifixion. (John 7:39) John may be referring to “indwelling” versus the “coming upon.”

    Grace and peace,
    Tim Archer

  4. I guess that proves it, President Obama, and the supreme court are led by the spirit, just different spirits.

    I don’t think anyone here is arguing that God did not take an active part, in choosing leaders, and leading them by his spirit. I seem to remember when he chose a mule to act, and talk through.

  5. laymond why do you want to scoff at God and His workings?

  6. I am not “scoffing” at anything, just trying to piont out we can’t always go to the old testament to prove things in the new.

  7. Paul said we should.

    Romans 15:4 “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”

  8. Anonymous, you are right, but that is not what the post is trying to confirm, it is saying God gives confort and guidance through personal indwelling.
    Not “through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures”

  9. it is saying God gives confort and guidance through personal indwelling. Not “through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures”

    I don’t think the post said Scripture does not give comfort and guidance, if the post does please show where. You are trying to say God no longer gives people His indwelling Spirit, will you show us where God said that.

  10. Anonymous, I thought this whole discussion was about whether a christian is led by the word, or the spirit.

  11. Anonymous asked, “You are trying to say God no longer gives people His indwelling Spirit,will you show us where God said that.”
    As soon as you show me where it is said that anyone recieved the spirits in full, except Jesus, and the spirit remained with anyone but him.

  12. As we see the spirits of God, or the Holy Spirit decended upon Jesus at baptism, and stayed there.

    Jhn 1:32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.

    And as we also see , all the holy spirits rested upon Jesus.

    Jhn 3:34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure [unto him].

    Let’s look at the “comforter” that Jesus promised the apostles, and what it’s purpose was , and see if it comes close to what he recieved from God.

    Jhn 14:26 But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

    Yes the comforter is the holy Ghost, but it does not say without measure, instead it looks as if it is limited to the “Spirit of Truth” for guidance, unto the truth.

    Jhn 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, [even] the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

    No I don’t see where even the apostles received the full measure of the Holy Spirit.

  13. Are you really trying to say Jesus was not filled with the Holy Spirit until He was baptized? Jesus went to John to fulfill all righteousness, Jesus did not come to John to become a child of God, He was already the Son of God, water baptism did not make Jesus the Son of God, He was born the Son of God. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and as a boy at age twelve He was teaching the words of God. John 3:34 “For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure.”

    Matthew 1:18 “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.”

    Matthew 1:20 “But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.”

    Luke 1:35 “And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.”

    Luke 2:42-49 “And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother did not know it; but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day’s journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances. So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.” And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”

  14. Anonymous, on May 13, 2010 at 11:45 pm Said:
    Are you really trying to say Jesus was not filled with the Holy Spirit until He was baptized?

    I, am not trying to say, anything.

    Mat 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
    Mar 1:10 And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:
    Luk 3:22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.
    Jhn 1:32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
    Jhn 1:33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.

    Just because you are born, Bill Gates son, don’t mean you receive a million dollars when you are born, if you receive it, it happens when he says it does. Just simplifying it for your benefit

  15. The Holy Spirit in someone can come and be on or beside them.

    Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, who is God, Jesus already had the Holy Spirit.

    Matthew 1:18 “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.”

    Matthew 1:20 “But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.”

    Luke 1:35 “And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.”

    Jesus at the age twelve was speaking the words of God teaching the teachers in the temple who were amazed by Him, John 3:34 “For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure.”

    Luke 2:42-49 And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother did not know it; but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day’s journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances. So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.” And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”

    Jesus is God.

    Genesis 1:26 “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

    Genesis 3:22 “Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever.”

    Psalm 110:1 “The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”

    Isaiah 6:3 “And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!”

    Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”

    Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

    Matthew 1:23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

    John1:1-2 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.”

    John 8:57-58 “Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”

    Romans 8:9-10 “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.”

    Romans 8:15 “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”

    Romans 9:5 “Of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.”

    1 Corinthians 3:16 “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”

  16. “Jesus at the age twelve was speaking the words of God teaching the teachers”

    Is this story told differenty elsewhere,” sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions” sounds a little different from the way you discribed it.

  17. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers.

    laymond you only see what you want twist to, trying to make it fit your twisted theology and warped agenda denying Jesus is God.

    Folks please pray that laymond’s heart will be softened to the truth, to know the Lord Jesus Christ and have a personal relationship with Him.

  18. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers.

    and you turned this into – speaking the words of God teaching the teachers

    Luke seemed to say this was a learning session for Jesus.

    Luk 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

  19. Anonymous, I am open to learn, if Jesus was God as you clain, please explain Luk 2:52 did he increase in favour with himself.

  20. Jesus listened and asked them questions, but look who answered, Jesus did, “And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers.” He was doing His Fathers business.

    Your heart is obviously very hard, not everyone will see and accept the truth. The Scriptures are there and are not going to change, Jesus is God. I will and walk away and dust off my feet.

    Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, Until these calamities have passed by. I will cry out to God Most High, To God who performs all things for me. He shall send from heaven and save me; He reproaches the one who would swallow me up. Selah God shall send forth His mercy and His truth. My soul is among lions; I lie among the sons of men who are set on fire, whose teeth are spears and arrows, And their tongue a sharp sword. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; Let Your glory be above all the earth. They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down; They have dug a pit before me; Into the midst of it they themselves have fallen. Selah My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and give praise. Awake, my glory! Awake, lute and harp! I will awaken the dawn. I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing to You among the nations. For Your mercy reaches unto the heavens, And Your truth unto the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; Let Your glory be above all the earth. Psalm 57

  21. Jesus listened and asked them questions, but look who answered, Jesus did.

    Yeah you leave, but not without one last exageration.

  22. “The Gift of Prophecy” is not as complicated or difficult to understand as it is frequently made out to be. This gift of the Spirit is more common than many realize and simply is that “God” tells you things that you wouldn’t know otherwise through the natural logical (carnal) mind. Sometimes it is about something future, at other times it is a revelation about something you wouldn’t have know otherwise if God hadn’t told you. One thing it is not is a revelation of “new scripture” as the Holy Spirit never contradicts His written word. Jay, I was not taught this as I have always been “church of Christ”. Yet I have experienced and observed this is true. Let me give an example: when a minister / teacher prepares a lesson and then at the last minute is unexplainably overwhelmed with the need to preach / teach on a more pressing subject, and he is baffled as to why he must, especially when this occurs during his lesson, he has been give a message (prophecy) from the Spirit. Sometimes we forget that the prophets had no control over when and where the Spirit would come upon them with a message etc. The Holy Spirit does as He does when and where He wishes and NO man can tell Him what He can do (such as those who say He “retired” at the completion of the NT) or what He can’t do. The true servant of the Lord Jesus can only be willing to be the “vehicle” of the Holy Spirit, not grieving or resisting Him but open. Jay, some of your lessons have demonstrated the influence of the Holy Spirit.

  23. Paul,

    Thanks.

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