madness

madness

A state of irrationality. In biblical times it was generally attributed to some other spirit or power taking over a person’s mind. Saul is the primary example of someone afflicted with madness in the OT. When God’s spirit left King Saul to rest on David, Saul was invaded by an “evil spirit” (1Sam 16:14-17). This spirit caused outbreaks of violence against David in which Saul attempted to kill him (1Sam 18:10-11; 1Sam 19:9). However, God’s hand was behind the evil spirit that invaded Saul, much as it was behind the outbreak of Saul’s prophetic ecstasy (1Sam 10:6; 1Sam 10:10). In the NT madness takes the form of demonic possession (Mark 5:1-13; Mark 9:14-29), but it is also brought up as a charge against John the Baptist (Matt 11:18), Jesus (Mark 3:21-22; John 8:48), and the apostle Paul (Acts 26:24).

1Sam 16:14-17

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1Sam 18:10-11

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1Sam 19:9

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1Sam 10:6

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1Sam 10:10

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Mark 5:1-13

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Mark 9:14-29

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Matt 11:18

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Mark 3:21-22

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John 8:48

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Acts 26:24

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