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I would take the passage in question to be saying that the evil spirit did not originate from God, but that it was allowed by God's permissive will to afflict Saul (similar to the way in which Satan was given the ability by God to cause Job to suffer (Job 1-2)). However, in Saul's case, the presence of the evil spirit in Saul was not as a test of Saul's righteousness (as Job's suffering was), but in judgment or punishment of the repeated disobedient actions that Saul had previously taken as king -- in particular, his unauthorized offering of sacrifices in place of Samuel (1 Samuel 13:5-14), and his failure to utterly destroy the Amalekites, along with their possessions, as God had specifically commanded (1 Samuel 15:1-9)). As a result, God had already rejected Saul as king (1 Samuel 15:10-11), and had directed Samuel to anoint David as Saul's successor, even though Saul was still alive (1 Samuel 16:1-13).
Hebrew word ra' [H7451] + spirit occurs in 1Sam 16:15, 16; 18:10; 19:9. Also Judge 9:23. Most translates as 'evil spirit'. However, English word 'evil' is misleading here and does not fit in the context. A few translations have it as 'tormenting', 'distressing', 'harmful'. God does not have an evil spirit to send out. A similar expression: 1Kg 22:22 YHUH said... I will go out and be a deceiving/lying [H8267 sheqer] spirit in the mouth of all the prophets of Ahab. In the N.T. the phrase 'evil spirit' occurs only 2x (in Act 19:15, 16). Elsewhere mostly 'unclean spirit'.
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