Saul and David
King Saul, King in the Bible (around 1050 - 1000 B.C.)

"Choli nophel" (falling sickness), was the ancient Hebrew term for epilepsy; "nophel" (present participle of the Hebrew verb "naphal": to fall), 'the falling person', was a popular term in ancient Hebrew for someone with epilepsy.

The first book of Samuel mentions Saul's uncontrolled violent behaviour several times. In Chapter 10, it is written: "And the spirit of God came mightily upon him, and he prophesied among them." (1 Samuel, 10:10). Elsewhere in Samuel, an evil spirit from God is talked about which takes possession of Saul from time to time: "Behold now, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you." (1 Samuel 16:15) and two chapters later: "And on the morrow an evil spirit from God rushed upon Saul, and he raved within his house." (1 Samuel 18: 10).
» continue...
                Saul and David
      (Rembrandt, approx. 1630)

Deutsches Epilepsiemuseum Kork