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Bible Commentaries
Judges 16

Hampton's Commentary on Selected BooksHampton's Commentary

Verses 1-3

Samson went in to a harlot at Gaza, which the text does not say was of the Lord as had been the earlier marriage arrangement at Timnath. The Gazites surrounded the city and waited for daybreak to kill him. At midnight, he tore the gates, posts and all, out of the ground and carried them about a half mile distant to a hill facing Hebron (16:1-3).

Verses 4-21

He then fell in love with a woman near his birthplace named Delilah. The lords of the Philistines offered her 1,100 shekels of silver from each of them if she could discover the secret of his strength. Three times he deceived her and he overthrew the men who came to capture him. However, the fourth time she wore him down by continual questioning and he revealed the secret of his strength was in the Nazarite vow. Remember, the uncut hair was a symbol of his life being consecrated to God, so, when a Philistine barber cut it while he slept on Delilah's lap, the Lord's strength left him. This time the Philistines successfully captured him, put out his eyes, bound him with brass, or bronze, fetters and put him to work grinding grain in the prison (16:4-21).

Verses 22-31

Later, the Philistines brought him to the temple of their god Dagon where about 3,000 were gathered to celebrate the victory he had given them over their enemy. Samson, whose hair had now begun to grow back, was led to the temple by a lad and placed between the pillars to entertain the people by their being allowed to make sport of him. He prayed to God for strength and pushed down the pillars so that he killed more in his death than in his life. His brothers buried him in the tomb of his father after he had judged for twenty years (16:22-31). It should be noticed that the Lord gave him a second chance when Samson again acknowledged the source of his strength.


The title for today's lesson, which comes from Jdg_17:6 , describes a tragic period in Israel's history. The people had lost sight of their true leader, God, and strayed into sin. Events in the life of a man named Micah, who lived in mount Ephraim, are representative of that time. Micah stole 1,100 shekels of silver from his mother, but confessed it to her after he heard her place a curse on the money. She asked the Lord's blessings on him, dedicated the silver to the Lord and gave it back to her son to make a graven image and a molten image. Of course, that shows her ignorance of God's law ( Exo_20:3-6 ). Micah set up the image along with his household gods, or teraphim, and made one of his sons serve as a priest ( Jdg_17:1-5 ).

Bibliographical Information
Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Judges 16". "Hampton's Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghc/judges-16.html. 2014.
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