Further to my question, Nudity in the bible - Genesis 2 and 3, I have the following quote which I would like clarified.

Adam and Eve felt shame when they were naked in the Garden of Eden yet, there are other parts of the Old Testiment which seem to highlight that nudity does not necessarily cause shame.

1 Samuel 19:20-24 Saul had sent a group of messengers to capture David. The "Spirit of God" descended on the messengers, and they started to prophesise (Verse 20). Saul sent a second and third group of messengers, both with the same result (Verse 21). Finally Saul went himself and the Spirit descended upon him as well (Verses 22 & 23). Verse 24 states:

1 Samuel 19:24 - And he stripped off his clothes also, and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night...." (KJV).

The nudity of Saul and his messengers while prophesising is the first of many similar instances in the Bible.

Why were Saul and the prophets not ashamed when nudity was a source of shame to Adam and Eve?

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    Chris - I've seen the other question, and posted a possible answer there. But, is it possible to change this one to be more specific about Saul and the prophets? Like, "Why were they not ashamed?" Or, "Were there commandments against nudity, based on Adam and Eve?" Or, "Why were they prophesying naked?" Otherwise, now that they are clarified - they seem to overlap a bit. Aug 19, 2017 at 13:59

4 Answers 4


Excellent verse ,thanks for sharing!

When the verse uses the word naked it doesnt necessarily mean without clothes,

for under the tunic there was worn by men of the upper ranks certainly a fine-woven shirt of linen or cotton. Lyranus explains the words “stripped off his clothes” as simply denoting that he threw off his upper garment, “his royal robe.”
-- Source: BibleHub Commentaries

Saul was in the presence of a strong spiritual force that made him act erratically or against his original intentions. That reminds of Balaam and the time he tried to curse Israel but all that came out of his mouth was blessings.

  • "...under the tunic there was worn by men of the upper ranks certainly a fine-woven shirt of linen or cotton", I see, so would Saul's messengers be considered to be in the upper ranks with Saul? Also, is there something I can reference to corroberate this when mentioning it? Jun 25, 2017 at 15:26

You are supposing that in this particular scripture reference, Saul is not emberassed by being naked and prophesying.

I think you should reconsider this. i am absolutely sure he was supremely emberassed by this. He was supposed to be the king, and to be honorable in all things.

But he was not acting in a kingly way when he pursued David to kill him. God used this to disrupt his wicket plan and shame him. The text does not say directly that he was ashamed, but knowing about the times and the culture we can assume (and i think the text takes for granted) That rolling on the ground "naked" was a terribly emberassing thing for a king to do.

That is why the people mock him "Is Saul a Prophet too". He was supposed to be a king but he was forced to act in an un-kingly way


I thought this was an interesting take on it. In the Complete Jewish Study Bible, the comment on this passage says,

The removal of royal garments and lying naked portrays a king who has lost his royal position and is now thoroughly humiliated.

It seems Saul may have been ashamed and humiliated before God because of the way he acted as king and the nakedness is a representation of that shame.


Nakedness in the Bible denoted shame, Adam and Eve after the fall, GOD Covered them... Noah's son was cursed because he saw his father's nakedness, there are other verses regarding nakedness... Like in the New Testament when Jesus approached the demoniac he lived near the tombs and was naked. Since we have an enemy who likes that sort of thing to have humanity be degraded I am thinking here that The Almighty allowed Saul to drop to a lowly state because of his disobedience.

GOD Is not mocked and Saul was plagued with an evil spirit that The Almighty allowed to plague Saul.

Obedience to GOD is critical, however, thannk GOD for Grace, and our Advocate, The LORD Jesus and thank GOD for 1John 1:9, if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to cleanse us from our sins and all unrighteousness."

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