WORD STUDY: Spiritual Watch
I Samuel 18:9: “And Saul eyed David from that day and forward.”
Eyed: “avan oyan” Allow you spiritual eyes to inhabit the behavior of another, to watch someone to discover spiritual secrets.
Many translations of I Samuel 18:9 renders this as Saul casting a “jealous” eye on David. This is based upon the fact that you have two words rendered as “jealous eye.” The first word is “‘avan” which means “jealous” and the following word is “oyan” from the root word ayin which means eye. Yet in the original Hebrew without vowel pointings we are not really sure if the vav is used as a vowel or a consonant. Translators just assume that the English idiomatic expression: “I’ve got my eye on you”h which indicates that you are watching someone was also used in ancient times and in the Hebrew language. Actually, there is no really evidence such an idiomatic expression was used.
Based upon that I would suggest that the root word for ‘avan is not ‘avah (jealously) but is really exactly as it is written in the text – ‘avan which means to dwell and in habit. Translators will say to render it this way would not make sense. Well, it makes no sense to me to incorporate a modern English idiom into the ancient Hebrew and assume they also had such an idiom. But I ask, why not keep the root word as Ayin Vav Nun which means to dwell and inhabit.
You see King Saul had not yet reached the point of blind jealousy. He was actually in awe of David. David had what he wanted, David was able to move in the power of God which King Saul once did but could no longer do. As a result he kept a “eye” on David. The word “eye” is Ayin, Yod Nun, means spiritual insight. I would render this verse as “And Saul’s spiritual insight dwelled on David.”
In I Samuel 18:21 we learn King Saul had David marry his daughter to “snare” him. The word “snare” in Hebrew is “yakash” which is often used to express the idea of trying to trap someone into revealing a secret. As a condition to the marriage David was to secure the foreskin of a hundred Philistines. Now when you read the English text it appears that King Saul is plotting to have the Philistines kill David. I can see how that can be translated to express this idea. However, I can also see an alternative translation which would suggest that what King Saul was doing was indeed setting David up, but not to be killed, but to once again use the power of God. King Saul spiritual insight would dwell on David to see just what David did and said to capture the one hundred foreskins.
I believe this is important because Christians, especially within the charismatic and prophetic movement fall into the same trap as King Saul. They envy the spiritual power of someone else. They see someone moving in Spirit performing signs and wonders and they too long to perform these signs and wonders, but rather than examine themselves and their own motives, they allow their spiritual insight to dwell on that person or “’avan oyan” to discover their so called spiritual secrets. They try to imitate that person, do and say what they do to somehow capture their spiritual secret. A pastor attends a conference and sees a speaker move in the power of God and he ‘avan oyan or allows his spiritual insight to dwell on that person. He notices that this speaker always says: “Turn to your neighbor and say ‘be blessed.” That next Sunday before his congregation he is saying: “Turn to your neighbor and say: ‘be blessed.” Before long preachers all over the country are making their congregations talk to each other but not getting the results that this first preacher had because they were “avan ‘oyan” examining another man spiritually rather than examining themselves spiritually.
WORD STUDY: Spiritual Watch