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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
Judges 13

 

 

Verses 1-25


The Story of Samson

Except for Judges 15:20 and Judges 16:31, Samson has none of the characteristics of a Judge. His exploits against the Philistines are all solitary, and though they doubtless afforded relief to the Israelites, they left no permanent result. We learn much more of the internal organisation of the Philistines than of any of the other foes of Israel; and it was their continued and formidable opposition which, under the will of Jehovah, really welded Israel into a single nation in the times of Samuel and Saul. Samson could not accomplish this; his hatred of the Philistines is undying; but its causes are private rather than national; and his fate is the direct result of his unwillingness to break off all relations with them. He is a warning rather than an example; but such stories as his could not fail to be popular.

1. The Philistine Oppression: see on Judges 3:8.

2-25. The Birth and Parentage of Samson.

2. Zorah] in Joshua 19:41 a Danite city; it lies some 17 m. W. of Jerusalem. Later, the Danites migrated northwards (Judges 18), and Zorah was reckoned as belonging to Judah (Joshua 15:33; 2 Chronicles 11:10). Family] properly, clan.

3. Angel of the Lord] cp. Judges 2:1; Judges 6:11.

4, 5. Wine nor strong drink] These are forbidden to the Nazirites (Numbers 6:3), and here to the mother of the future Nazirite: cp. also Amos 2:12. Unclean] regarded as unfit for food: we may compare our English attitude to horseflesh. No razor] In Numbers 6 the 'Nazirite,' or religious devotee, is under restrictions only for a time; he takes the condition on himself voluntarily; at the close of the period he cuts off his hair and devotes it to God (cp. Acts 18:18). Here the state begins before birth, and is to last till death. Samson himself does not appear to abstain from wine (Judges 14:10). Nothing is here said of the connexion between Samson's hair and his strength.

6. Man of God] The woman, apparently like Gideon (see on Judges 6:15), does not recognise her visitor as supernatural, though she feels him to be inspired. She does not venture, like her husband, to ask the stranger's name.

12. Now let thy words, etc.] i.e. granted that this takes place, how shall we, etc. How shall we] RV 'what shall be the manner of the child, and what shall he his work?'

15. Cp. Judges 6:17.

16. The last words give the reason for Judges 6:15.

18. Secret] RV 'wonderful,' i.e. above your comprehension; cp. Genesis 32:29.

22. Cp. Judges 6:22.; Isaiah 6:5. No man can hope to see God and live. Note the sound wisdom of the woman's answer.

24, 25. Samson] i.e. probably 'Sun's man': cp. the name of the Bethshemesh, 'place of the Sun,' just opposite Zorah. Move] a rare word, meaning to disturb or stir up: cp. Judges 14:19; Judges 15:14 also Judges 3:10; Judges 6:34; Judges 11:29. In Samson's case the narratives suggest a peculiar frenzy of strength and rage. Camp of Dan] RV, as a proper name, 'Mahaneh-dan,' which was near Kirjath-jearim, in Judah (c. Judges 18:12). Eshtaol] 1½ m. E. of Zorah.

 


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Judges 13:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/judges-13.html. 1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, November 12th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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