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1 Samuel 16:13 states that:

So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came powerfully upon David.

and in 14:

Now the Spirit of the LORD had departed from Saul

Is this a description of the holy spirit?


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Should be on Biblical Hermeneutics. – DJClayworth Feb 22 '12 at 16:26
I disagree - this is asking about the doctrinal implications of the Spirit of the Lord. That's totally on topic here. – Affable Geek Feb 23 '12 at 3:14
I also think this is a fabuluous question! +1 Brian, and welcome to C.SE! – Affable Geek Feb 23 '12 at 3:15
@AffableGeek Thank you very much – Brian Mains Feb 23 '12 at 12:53
up vote 6 down vote accepted

It is, indeed, presumed to be the Holy Spirit. There is the idea that the Spirit did not indwell people in Old Testament times, but did "come upon" them. The indwelling did not take place until after redemption has been accomplished with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own 1 Corinthians 6:19 ESV

A key question would be what Spirit could it be if it is not the Holy Spirit. There really are no other legitimate candidates for that. The word "spirit" is typically used of our own spirits and of the Holy Spirit. Since this particular use of "spirit" is distinguished as that of the Lord (and not ours), the best conclusion appears to be that it is, in fact, a reference to the Holy Spirit.

It is interesting to note that David specifically prayed that God would not take the "Holy Spirit" from him after his sin with Urriah and Bathsheeba:

Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Psalm 51:11 ESV

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Clearly the Spirit did not indwell all Israelites but I'm curious what your justification is for the distinction between "indwelling" and "coming upon"? – Mallioch Feb 22 '12 at 19:52
@Mallioch The New Testament speaks of the Spirit being "in us" from the time of new birth, continuing into eternity. This is distinguished by the Old Testament where the Spirit appears to come and go at times. (this might make a good question of its own) – Narnian Feb 22 '12 at 20:10

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