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Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Judges 16

 

 

Introduction
1Samson at Gaza escapes, and carries away the gates of the city.
4Delilah, corrupted by the Philistines, entices Samson.
6Thrice she is deceived.
15At last she overcomes him.
21The Philistines take him, and put out his eyes.
22His strength renewing he pulls down the house upon the Philistines, and dies.

Verse 1
Then went Samson to Gaza, and saw there an harlot, and went in unto her.
Gaza
Gaza, a city of great antiquity, was situated between Raphia and Askelon, twenty-two miles north of the former, and sixteen south of of the latter, according to the Antonine Itinerary; three miles from the sea, according to Arrian, and thirty-four from Ashdod or Azotus, according to Diodorus Siculus. It was a place of great strength and importance; and successively belonged to the Philistines, Hebrews, Chaldeans, and Persians; which latter defended it for two months against Alexander the great, who finally took and destroyed it. It was afterwards rebuilt, and alternately possessed by the Egyptians, Syrians, and Jews. The present town, which the Arabs call Razza, is situated on an eminence, and is rendered picturesque by the number of fine minarets which rise majestically above the buildings, with beautiful date trees interspersed. It contains upwards of 2,000 inhabitants.
Genesis 10:19; Joshua 15:47
an harlot
Heb. a woman an harlot. and went
Genesis 38:16-18; Ezra 9:1,2

Verse 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.
compassed
1 Samuel 19:11; 23:26; Psalms 118:10-12; Acts 9:24; 2 Corinthians 11:32,33
quite
Heb. silent. kill him.
15:18; Matthew 21:38; 27:1; Acts 23:15

Verse 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.
took
Psalms 107:16; Isaiah 63:1-5; Micah 2:13; Acts 2:24
bar and all
Heb. with the bar.

Verse 4
And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.
he loved
1 Kings 11:1; Nehemiah 13:26; Proverbs 22:14; 23:27; 26:11; 27:22; 1 Corinthians 10:6
in the valley
or, by the brook.

Verse 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.
the lords
3:3; Joshua 13:3; 1 Samuel 29:6
Entice
14:15; Proverbs 2:16-19; 5:3-11; 6:24-26; 7:21-27; 1 Corinthians 6:15-18
afflict
or, humble. we will.
17:2; Genesis 33:16; Numbers 22:17,18; Micah 7:3; Matthew 26:15; 1 Timothy 6:9,10

Verse 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.
Psalms 12:2; Proverbs 6:26; 7:21; 22:14; 26:28; Jeremiah 9:2-5; Micah 7:2,5

Verse 7
And Samson said unto her, If they bind me with seven green withs that were never dried, then shall I be weak, and be as another man.
If they bind
10; 1 Samuel 19:17; 21:2,3; 27:10; Proverbs 12:19; 17:7; Romans 3:8; Galatians 6:7; Colossians 3:9
green withs
or, new cords. Heb. moist. another. Heb. one.

Verse 8
Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven green withs which had not been dried, and she bound him with them.
bound him
Ecclesiastes 7:26

Verse 9
Now there were men lying in wait, abiding with her in the chamber. And she said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he brake the withs, as a thread of tow is broken when it toucheth the fire. So his strength was not known.
toucheth
Heb. smelleth.
Psalms 58:9

Verse 10
And Delilah said unto Samson, Behold, thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: now tell me, I pray thee, wherewith thou mightest be bound.
now tell me
7,13,15-17; Proverbs 23:7,8; 24:28; Ezekiel 33:31; Luke 22:48

Verse 11
And he said unto her, If they bind me fast with new ropes that never were occupied, then shall I be weak, and be as another man.
If they bind me
Proverbs 13:3,5; 29:25; Ephesians 4:25
that never, etc
Heb. wherewith work hath not been done.

Verse 13
And Delilah said unto Samson, Hitherto thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: tell me wherewith thou mightest be bound. And he said unto her, If thou weavest the seven locks of my head with the web.
with the web
It is evident that this verse ends abruptly, and does not contain a full sense. Houbigant has particularly noticed this, and corrected the text from the Septuagint: which adds after these words, [kai enkrouses to passalo eis ton toichou, kai esomai hos eis ton anthropon asthenes kai egeneto en to koimasthai auton kai elabe Dalida tas hepta seiras tes kephales autou, kai hyphanen en to diasmati, k.t.l.] "and shall fasten them with the pin in the wall, I shall become weak like other men: and so it was, that when he slept, Dalida took the seven locks of his head, and wove them with the web," etc. This is absolutely necessary to complete the sense; else Delilah would appear to do something she was not ordered to do, and to omit what she was commanded. Dr. Kennicott very judiciously observes, that the omission, for such it appears to be, begins and ends with the same word; and that the same word occurring in different places, is a very common cause of omission in Hebrew manuscripts.

Verse 14
And she fastened it with the pin, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awaked out of his sleep, and went away with the pin of the beam, and with the web.
went away
Ezra 9:13,14; Psalms 106:43

Verse 15
And she said unto him, How canst thou say, I love thee, when thine heart is not with me? thou hast mocked me these three times, and hast not told me wherein thy great strength lieth.
How canst
14:16; Proverbs 2:16; 5:3-14
when thine
Genesis 29:20; Deuteronomy 6:5; 1 Samuel 15:13,14; 2 Samuel 16:17; Proverbs 23:26; Song of Solomon 8:6,7; John 14:15,21-24; 15:10; 2 Corinthians 5:14,15; 1 John 2:15,16; 5:3

Verse 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;
she pressed
Proverbs 7:21-23,26,27; Luke 11:8; 18:5
vexed
Heb. shortened.
Job 21:4; *marg:; Jonah 4:9; Mark 14:24

Verse 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.
all his heart
Proverbs 12:23; 29:12; Micah 7:5
There hath
13:5; Numbers 6:5; Acts 18:18

Verse 18
And when Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, Come up this once, for he hath shewed me all his heart. Then the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and brought money in their hand.
Come up
Psalms 62:9; Proverbs 18:8; Jeremiah 9:4-6
brought money
5; Numbers 22:7; 1 Kings 21:20; Matthew 26:15; Ephesians 5:5; 1 Timothy 6:10

Verse 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.
she made
Proverbs 7:21-23,26,27; 23:33,34; Ecclesiastes 7:26

Verse 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.
I will go
3,9,14; Deuteronomy 32:30; Isaiah 42:24; Hosea 7:9
the Lord
Numbers 14:9,42,43; Joshua 7:12; 1 Samuel 16:14; 18:12; 28:14-16; 2 Chronicles 15:2; Isaiah 59:1,2; Jeremiah 9:23,24; Matthew 17:16,20; 2 Corinthians 3:5

Verse 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.
and put out
Heb. and bored out.
Proverbs 5:22; 14:14; 2:19
bound him
2 Kings 25:7; 2 Chronicles 33:11; Psalms 107:10-12; 149:8
grind
Exodus 11:5; Isaiah 47:2; Matthew 24:41

Verse 22
Howbeit the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaven.
the hair
Leviticus 26:44; Deuteronomy 32:36; Psalms 106:44,45; 107:13,14
after he was shaven
or, as when he was shaven.

Verse 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.
Dagon
1 Samuel 5:2-5; Jeremiah 2:11; Micah 4:5; Romans 1:23-25; 1 Corinthians 8:4,5; 10:20
to rejoice
Job 30:9,10; Psalms 35:15,16; Proverbs 24:17

Verse 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.
praised
Deuteronomy 32:27; Isaiah 37:20; Ezekiel 20:14; Daniel 5:4,23; Habakkuk 1:16; Revelation 11:10
which slew many of us
Heb. and who multiplied our slain.
15:8,16

Verse 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.
their hearts
9:27; 18:20; 19:6,9; 2 Samuel 13:28; 1 Kings 20:12; Esther 3:15; Isaiah 22:13; Daniel 5:2,3; Matthew 14:6,7
them
Heb. before them. sport.
Job 30:9,10; Psalms 35:15,16; 69:12,26; Proverbs 24:17,18; Micah 7:8-10; Matthew 26:67,68; 27:29,39-44; Hebrews 11:36

Verse 27
Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and there were upon the roof about three thousand men and women, that beheld while Samson made sport.
and there
"Samson, therefore," says Dr. Shaw, "must have been in a court or area below; and consequently the temple will be of the same kind with the ancient, [temene] or sacred enclosures, which were only surrounded either in part, or on all sides, with some plain or cloistered buildings. Several palaces, doutwanas, (as the courts of justice are called in those countries) are built in this fashion. On their public festivals and rejoicings, the roofs of these cloisters are crowded with spectators. I have often seen numbers of people diverted in this manner on the roof of the dey's palace at Algiers; which, like many others, has an advanced cloister, over against the gate of the palace, like a long pent-house, supported by one or two contiguous pillars in front, or centre."
the roof
9:51; Deuteronomy 22:8; Joshua 2:8; 2 Samuel 11:2

Verse 28
And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.
called
2 Chronicles 20:12; Psalms 50:15; 91:15; 116:4; Lamentations 3:31,32; Hebrews 11:32
remember me
Psalms 74:18-23; Jonah 2:1,2,7; Jeremiah 15:15
that I may
5:31; Psalms 58:10,11; 143:12; 2 Timothy 4:14; Revelation 6:10

Verse 29
And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left.
on which it was borne up
or, he leaned on them.

Verse 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.
me
Heb. my soul. die.
Matthew 16:25; Acts 20:24; 21:13; Philippians 2:17,30; Hebrews 12:1-4
and the house
Job 20:5; 31:3; Psalms 62:3; Ecclesiastes 9:12; Matthew 24:38,39; 1 Thessalonians 5:2
So the dead
14:19; 15:8,15; Genesis 3:15; Philippians 2:8; Colossians 2:15; Hebrews 2:14,15

Verse 31
Then his brethren and all the house of his father came down, and took him, and brought him up, and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the buryingplace of Manoah his father. And he judged Israel twenty years.
his brethren
John 19:39-42
between Zorah
13:2,25; Joshua 19:41
And he judged
15:20

 


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Bibliography Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Judges 16:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/judges-16.html.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, November 20th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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