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Bible Commentaries
Judges 16

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy ScripturesEverett's Study Notes

Verses 1-31

Judges 16:1-31 Samson’s Captivity and Death Judges 16:1-31 records the tragic story Samson’s capture at the hands of Deliah, and his death. One minister gave this outline of Chapter 16:

1. Forsakening (Judges 16:1-19)

2. Awakening (Judges 16:20-22)

3. Shakening (Judges 16:23-31)

Judges 16:1 Then went Samson to Gaza, and saw there an harlot, and went in unto her.

Judges 16:1 Comments - In Judges 16:1 Samson went into a harlot. This is the last of four chapters on Samson; thus, the end of his ministry has begun (Proverbs 9:13-18).

Proverbs 9:18, “But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.”

Judges 16:2 And it was told the Gazites, saying, Samson is come hither. And they compassed him in, and laid wait for him all night in the gate of the city, and were quiet all the night, saying, In the morning, when it is day, we shall kill him.

Judges 16:3 And Samson lay till midnight, and arose at midnight, and took the doors of the gate of the city, and the two posts, and went away with them, bar and all, and put them upon his shoulders, and carried them up to the top of an hill that is before Hebron.

Judges 16:4 And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.

Judges 16:4 Comments - The New Testament warns us against friendship with the world (James 4:4).

James 4:4, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”

Judges 16:5 And the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and said unto her, Entice him, and see wherein his great strength lieth, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him: and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver.

Judges 16:5 “Entice him” Comments - Note James 1:14, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed .”

Judges 16:5 “that we may bind him to afflict him” Comments - Friendship with the world brings bondage and affliction.

Judges 16:5 “and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver” Comments - Many stories in the Bible show how the love of money causes people to sin (1 Timothy 6:10).

1 Timothy 6:10, “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

Judges 16:6 And Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, I pray thee, wherein thy great strength lieth, and wherewith thou mightest be bound to afflict thee.

Judges 16:6 “Delilah said to Samson” Comments - The seductive and clever words of Deliah led to Samson’s downfall (Proverbs 6:26; Proverbs 7:21; Proverbs 22:14, Jeremiah 9:2-5).

Proverbs 6:26, “For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.”

Proverbs 7:21, “With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.”

Proverbs 22:14, “The mouth of strange women is a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the LORD shall fall therein.”

Jeremiah 9:2-5, “Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men; that I might leave my people, and go from them! for they be all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men. And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the LORD. Take ye heed every one of his neighbour, and trust ye not in any brother: for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbour will walk with slanders. And they will deceive every one his neighbour, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity.”

Judges 16:6 Comments - Delilah was both a “traitor” and “a lover of money” (2 Timothy 3:2-3).

2 Timothy 3:2-3, “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors , heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;”

Judges 16:6 Comments - The world may look good, but it wants to bring you into bondage and afflict you.

Judges 16:6 Comments - Leonard Ravenhill made the following statements: [29]

[29] Leonard Ravenhill, Sermon, SouthCliff Baptist Church, Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday night service, April 17, 1983.

A woman of the world was asking a man of God the secret of his strength. The early church was unpredictable. It had poverty, persecution and prison. Today the church has posterity, popularity, and personality. Samson was an example of the early church. No man is greater than his prayer life. A person may be good at organizing, but poor at agonizing, having a good supper room, but no upper room.

Sweat was a sign of the curse. Man sweated only after the curse. Samson was a type of man who pulls down strong holds. Samson was a type of spirit-anointed man. The lion is a type of the devil.

The Nazarite:

No touching of dead represents dead in sin.

No wine represents no worldly by pleasure.

No cutting of hair represents being like a woman.

If he had stayed on his knees, he would not have been on hers.

Less joy in Lord, more entertainment. More joy in Lord, less entertainment.

If no trust and obey, you will rust and decay.

Backsliding begins with prayerlessness.

After Samson's capture, they bound him, blinded him and tied to the grinder.

Judges 16:16 And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death;

Judges 16:16 “vexed” Comments - Lot was also vexed with this world (2 Peter 2:7-8).

2 Peter 2:7-8, “And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)”

Judges 16:17 That he told her all his heart, and said unto her, There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother's womb: if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man.

Judges 16:17 “for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother's womb” - Comments - According to Psalms 22:10, we also belong to God. He has a divine plan for each of our lives, too.

Psalms 22:10, “I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly.”

Judges 16:17 “if I be shaven” Comments - Why was this the key to Samson's strength? Because then he would break a vow to God. “Disobedience” is a key word. Note:

Numbers 6:1-7, “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD: He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried. All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk. All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the LORD, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow. All the days that he separateth himself unto the LORD he shall come at no dead body. He shall not make himself unclean for his father, or for his mother, for his brother, or for his sister, when they die: because the consecration of his God is upon his head .”

Note the NIV, “The symbol of his separation to God is on his head.”

Judges 16:16-17 Comments Samson Yields to Deliah - The method of persistence that Delilah used is well illustrated in Luke 18:1-8:

Luke 18:1-8, “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”

Samson had been also enticed with the tears of his first wife before (Judges 14:15-17).

Judges 14:15-17, 'And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they said unto Samson's wife, Entice thy husband, that he may declare unto us the riddle, lest we burn thee and thy father's house with fire: have ye called us to take that we have? is it not so? And Samson's wife wept before him, and said, Thou dost but hate me, and lovest me not: thou hast put forth a riddle unto the children of my people, and hast not told it me. And he said unto her, Behold, I have not told it my father nor my mother, and shall I tell it thee? And she wept before him the seven days, while their feast lasted: and it came to pass on the seventh day, that he told her, because she lay sore upon him: and she told the riddle to the children of her people.”

A Christian will stumble if he follows worldly desires. Samson was strong, but he had a will, and he chose to sin.

Judges 16:19 And she made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him.

Judges 16:19 “And she made him sleep upon her knees” - Comments - Oh, how much craftiness she must have devised and deceptive talk to cause Samson to sleep on her knees, all as a result of a greedy heart for gold (Judges 16:5). We do not know the time spent and effort involved in planning this clever scheme.

Judges 16:20 And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him.

Judges 16:20 “I will go out as at other times before” Scripture References - Note:

2 Corinthians 3:5, “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;”

Judges 16:20 “And he wist not that the Lord was departed from him” Comments - Leonard Ravenhill calls Judges 16:20 the saddest verse in the entire Bible. [30]

[30] Leonard Ravenhill, Sermon, SouthCliff Baptist Church, Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday night service, April 17, 1983.

“the Lord was departed” - Scripture References - Note:

Isaiah 59:1-2, “Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”

Judges 16:21 But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house.

Judges 16:21 “he did grind” - Comments - Sweat is a sign of the curse placed upon Adam (Genesis 3:19).

Genesis 3:19, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”

Judges 16:21 Comments - This world and Satan will blind your minds (2 Corinthians 4:4).

2 Corinthians 4:4, “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

Judges 16:23 Then the lords of the Philistines gathered them together for to offer a great sacrifice unto Dagon their god, and to rejoice: for they said, Our god hath delivered Samson our enemy into our hand.

Judges 16:23 Comments - This idol Dagon was half man and half fish ( ISBE). [31]

[31] Max L. Margolis, “Dagon,” in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., c1915, 1939), in The Sword Project, v. 1.5.11 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008).

Judges 16:24 And when the people saw him, they praised their god: for they said, Our god hath delivered into our hands our enemy, and the destroyer of our country, which slew many of us.

Judges 16:25 And it came to pass, when their hearts were merry, that they said, Call for Samson, that he may make us sport. And they called for Samson out of the prison house; and he made them sport: and they set him between the pillars.

Judges 16:25 Comments - The Philistines were scoffers (2 Peter 3:3).

2 Peter 3:3, “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,”

Judges 16:30 And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.

Judges 16:30 “the house fell” Scripture References - Note:

Hebrews 12:25-29, “See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain . Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.”

Isaiah 2:12-19, “For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low: And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan, And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up, And upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall, And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures. And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. And the idols he shall utterly abolish. And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth .”

Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Judges 16". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/judges-16.html. 2013.
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