Clothed by the Spirit: The Characterisations of Amasai (1 Chr 12) and Zechariah (2 Chr 24)

There are only three characters in the Hebrew Bible who are said to be clothed by the spirit (of YHWH/God; וְר֣וּחַ לָבְשָׁ֗ה אֶת־): Gideon (Judg 6:34), Amasai (1 Chr 12:19 [HB]), and Zechariah (2 Chr 24:20). In contrast to the protracted narrative of Gideon (Judges 6:11-8:35), for Amasai and Zechariah we seem to have little else other than the brief accounts (1 Chr 12:17-19 [HB]; 2 Chr 24:15-22) of their experiences, primarily featuring being clothed in this way and a short speech.

This paper will examine the portrayals of Amasai and Zechariah, with a specific aim to discerning their characterisations and the implications of their clothing experiences. Comparisons and contrasts between the two characters, as well as with their surrounding actors will be made. Additionally, in light of the apparent intertextual allusion, consideration of the presentation of Gideon will also be included to further understand the characters in Chronicles, in an effort to spotlight the nuances which accord with their rare engagement with the spirit of YHWH in this way.